Looking at a job, question came up. They have a built in microwave. (not a vent hood type) The receptacle for the microwave is located in the cabinet directly above the microwave with a hole in the bottom of this cabinet to which the cord to the microwave passes thru. I think this is a code violation (although I see it alot)Am I correct?
It's a good point ...and I just did such an install today!
That's exactly what the instructions specified; and the way the cord exited the microwave, I defy anyone to do it otherwise.
Yet, that does seem to conflict with the NEC rule against passing cords through walls or partitions. Perhaps - and I'm just guessing here - it's allowed here simply because the receptacle is still readily accessible. Such is not the case where the receptacle is in another room.
As such, though, I'd insist the hole be large enough for the plug to pass through.
IMOP, No violation there. 400.8 says flexible cords are not permitted be run through walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings or floors. Cabinets themselves have tops, bottoms, sides, faces, etc… but generally don’t qualify as walls, floors or ceilings.
Hotline, KJay ... I am inclined to agree. Indeed, for dishwashers, I much prefer an accessible plug under the sink, to either hard-wire, or a receptacle buried behind the unit. The challenge comes with the next step ....
IF such an assembly were submitted for listing, it would be expected that the opening be large enough for the plug to pass through, and that there be no sharp edges to damage the cord. While that might be 'common sense,' I don't see anything in the NEC to require such measures. Conceivably, one would be allowed to make but a notch at the back of the cabinet to let the cord alone squeeze through, then mount the cabinet permanently to the wall.
Yesterday's microwave was such a case; for some reason, the installer started with but a slot, then changed his mind, and made a hole. Why? I have no idea.
Reno: I neglected to mention that the 'hole' must allow the cord cap (plug) to pass thru. A slot/notch buys a red sticker from me, and the other AHJ's here. The 'cord' must be NEC compliant for the DW and GD's. Most, if not all micros have factory cords.
SparkyinAK: I see your point, but have not seen or heard of any problems. If the receptacle is behind the micro, there may be the possibility of cord/plug damage also? Right?? How about the 'fridge being pushed back to far...oops, the cord shorted out. I guess the recessed box & outlet (bubble cover competition) would solve the behind the fridge problem.
My respone is to the OP. It was a "fixed" microwave and the recept was passed through the bottom of the cabinet above. Therefore the microwave is not blocking the cord thus anything could in theory can be placed in the the cabinet. Since the cord is unprotected, it is exposed to potential damage. It is not a matter if anyone seen or heard problem. An unprotected cord put in a place in an area of potential damage is not exceptable (NEC 400.8(7)). If the recept is behind a fixed microwave, someone has to go out of their way to damage the cord.
As for your refigerator comment, if both receptacle and refrigerator are properly installed there will be no damage to the cord.