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#30186 - 10/07/03 05:33 PM vanity draw plugs
shadow_tx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/03
Posts: 8
Loc: Mt Vernon, TX, USA
i've been asked to install plug outlets in vanity draws so for example, a hair dryer or shavers can be left plugged in and keeped in the vanity draw.
i would like anyone that has seen or heared of such a thing to please give me some insight.
does the plug in the draw slide on energized tracts or what?

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#30187 - 10/07/03 07:05 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Welcome to the forum!

AS to your question.....energized tracks in the drawer?? I don't think so.

Thoughts on the matter are telling me whatever you may devise may not be NEC compliant.

If you have a hinged "door" (the front of the drawer), and the "drawer" is non-movable, you could mount a recept in there, and the dryer, shaver cords may be long enough to be useful.

Good luck, perhaps someone else has some opinions????


#30188 - 10/07/03 08:27 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
Speedy Petey Offline

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 175
Loc: Upstate, NY
I would assume they are referring to a receptacle in the vanity, not in the actual drawer.
I can't think of anything against this.
Speedy Petey

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein

#30189 - 10/07/03 09:28 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
triple Offline

Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 182
Loc: Wisconsin
A number of years ago, I worked on a new house-wiring project where the owner made the same request. I believe what my colleague did was to place a receptacle inside the vanity and behind the drawer. This receptacle was cut into the back of the vanity and fed from the load side of a GFI above the counter top. The back of the drawer was either cut down or notched in some way so as to easily allow cords to pass over or through. Thus curling irons, electric razors, hair dryers, and similar items could be left plugged in at all times whether in the drawer or out. As an added safety precaution a DPST switch was used to switch both the vanity lights and the drawer receptacle on and off at the same time. In doing so, it would be much less likely that say a curling iron would be left on once put away (the vanity light would still be left on as well). If you use the DPST switch, and the GFI and lights are not on the same circuit, make sure these two breakers have a common handle tie (two circuits on same yoke).

Instead of running a number of cords over the back of the drawer and into the receptacle, you may instead want to consider mounting a cord powered recepacle strip inside the drawer itself (to avoid any possible problems with 406.4(E), mount the strip on the side of the drawer instead of the bottom). Then you would have just one cord running to the receptacle in the back of the vanity. This would also provide the user with more available tool cord length to work with.

[This message has been edited by triple (edited 10-08-2003).]

[This message has been edited by triple (edited 10-08-2003).]

#30190 - 10/07/03 09:38 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Don’t give up on your paying customer yet! Did they tell you what their budget was?
;-) ;-) ;-)

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 10-08-2003).]

#30191 - 10/07/03 09:39 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
straightedge Offline

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 86
Loc: Mesa, AZ

What you are most likely wanting to acheive is best known here as a utility garage.

They are most common in kitchens of custom homes. You can hide your toaster and can openers in there.

They mount on top of the counter top and have a front door whereby you can conceal these devices.

They are made of wood and look like part of the cabinets.

We usually like to put a double duplex receptacle on the wall directly behind were the garage is going to be installed.

This is the most common sense way to keep ugly devices hidden without trying to invent sliding contacts inside of a drawer.

My opinion only,


#30192 - 10/07/03 10:38 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
triple Offline

Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 182
Loc: Wisconsin
If you were to randomly look at 10 residential vanities, how many do you think would have enough counter space to install an appliance garage large enough to hold a razor, dryer, curler, and possibly one or two other items. Usually when you come across a large vanity it has two sinks, which negates any possibility of big open areas. Also, many mirrors would tend to interfere with an appliance garage that sat up higher that the back splash. Large mirrors above the vanity are the reason that most electricians avoid even installing a receptacle directly above the back of the vanity.

Don't get me wrong; an appliance garage would definately "work" in some cases. It just won't be as universally acceptable (visually and practically) as it seems to be in kitches.

#30193 - 10/08/03 01:52 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Personally, I don't see what's wrong with having a normal receptacle on the outside and just plugging in the hair-dryer or whatever when needed.

If it has to be, however, I like the isolation switch idea which will insure that any appliances go off with the lights.

#30194 - 10/08/03 04:23 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
CanadianSparky Offline

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 86
Loc: Alberta Canada
What about mounting a "door switch" in behind the back of the drawer which energizes a plug in the back of the drawer wired with a piece of flex. Then the plug will deenergize when its closed.

#30195 - 10/08/03 04:38 PM Re: vanity draw plugs
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Just a guess here, the customer might want the outlet to stay on 24/7 to power rechargeable shavers.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

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