C) Countertops. In kitchens and dining rooms of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for counter spaces shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(1) through (5).
(1) Wall Counter Spaces. A receptacle outlet shall be installed at each wall counter space that is 300 mm (12 in.) or wider. Receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 600 mm (24 in.) measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space.
(2) Island Counter Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each island counter space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater.
(3) Peninsular Counter Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular counter space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connecting edge.
(4) Separate Spaces. Countertop spaces separated by range tops, refrigerators, or sinks shall be considered as separate countertop spaces in applying the requirements of 210.52(C)(1), (2), and (3).
(5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located above, but not more than 500 mm (20 in.) above, the countertop. Receptacle outlets rendered not readily accessible by appliances fastened in place, appliance garages, or appliances occupying dedicated space shall not be considered as these required outlets.
Exception: To comply with the conditions specified in (a) or (b), receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 300 mm (12 in.) below the countertop. Receptacles mounted below a countertop in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop extends more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond its support base.
Dwelling unit receptacles that serve countertop spaces in kitchens, dining areas, and similar rooms, as illustrated in Exhibit 210.26, are required to be installed as follows:
(1) In each wall space wider than 12 in. and spaced so that no point along the wall line is more than 24 in. from a receptacle
(2) Not more than 20 in. above the countertop [According to 406.4(E), receptacles cannot be installed in a face-up position. Receptacles installed in a face-up position in a countertop could collect crumbs, liquids, and other debris, resulting in a potential fire or shock hazard.]
(3) At each countertop island and peninsular countertop with a short dimension of at least 12 in. and a long dimension of at least 24 in. (The measurement of a peninsular-type countertop is from the edge connecting to the nonpeninsular counter.)
(4) Accessible for use and not blocked by appliances occupying dedicated space or fastened in place
(5) Fed from two or more of the required 20-ampere small-appliance branch circuits and GFCI protected according to 210.8(A)(6)
For the 2002 Code, the maximum permitted height of a receptacle serving a countertop was revised in 210.52(C)(5) upward from 18 in. to 20 in. as a practical consideration.