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#189712 10/22/09 08:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
We've all seen some fabulous kitchens. My question arises when the island or penninsula is also serving to separate the kitchen from another room. Let's look at this picture (stolen from Fine Homebuilding) as a good illustration of the idea:

[Linked Image from electrical-photos.com]

Now, here's the issue: When the island or peninsula is used to separate rooms, do you treat is as if it were a wall, requiring 'convenience outlets' (that would still be needed to be on a small appliance branch circuit)?

To stress the point: I'm not talking about receptacles to serve the countertop - I'm talking about receptacles near floor level, on the 'seating' side of the bar, to serve the room?

Do you apply the 2 ft and 6 ft rules here?

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,282
Likes: 3
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Reno:
First I would say no receptacles at the sitting area. Looking at that fine pic, I see no location on the 'face' to mount a receptacle. A carefully selected location, perhaps underneath the 'tabletop, or underneath the 'drawer' area, could serve as a GP 6-12.

I would address a kitchen job like the pic on a case by case basis.

As to 'required receptacle'...here (NJ) a EC or H/O can apply for a variation to 'required' on a 'safety issue' basis. A variation application is $250.00 and is the decision of the Electrical Subcode Official (AHJ). It has been used to eliminate a island required receptacle on the basis of someone getting tangled/caught in the cord, and possibly being injured by a falling appliance. (Especially kids)



John
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
So you do not believe the seating area counts as "the space afforded by fixed room dividers such as free-standing bar-top counters or railings," which this section of the NEC specifically says must have those floor-level receptacles?

Yes, that's a direct quote from the NEC, regarding the general requirements for receptacle spacing. This is the rule we apply to all the rooms of the house - and has nothing to do with the receptacles required for counters.

Don't feel bad; I bet this has yet to be enforced laugh

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
G
Member
As an inspector (IMHO) I see a lot of these high end homes in the multimillion dollar range and each one is a challenge. As for the picture posted here I would ask that we provide counter top receptacles on a 4' foot centers max. And putting my contractor hat on for one minute that's very easily accomplished with locating them facing down on the underside of the countertop. Another iption would be to provide "pop-up" receptacles @ $100. per. In 25 years of inspecting I only had one installation where a receptacle for the countertop (in this case an island) was waived and that was an all glass island counter.


George Little
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
Again, George ... the requirement I cite is for receptacles in addition to whatever serves the counter. They have nothing to do with the sounter space.

As I read that requirement, these receptacles would be no more than 12 ft apart, not more than 6 ft. from the ends, and are usually placed a foot or so above the floor - way too low, and on the wrong side, to serve the counter. Rather, they would serve the room on that side of the bar.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
G
Member
Reno- I'm agreeing with you. We could very easily install receptacles to serve the countertop and I would have no problem using these same receptacles to serve the "wall space" in front of the seating area on the snack bar/room divider.


George Little
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
Perhaps ... but their being on the wrong side, facing the kitchen, is an issue.

Mind you. I'm speaking in general terms, not just for the bar in this picture. Indeed, the differenc in height between the counter and the bar makes placing the counter receptacles a real cinch to instal.

I think of the last home I saw with this arrangement, and there was a receptacle on the face of the bar seating area. Then I think of a house I wired, and I faile to put one in. I also think of many places where the dividing counter did not have an receptacles serving the seating area.

Personally, I was surprised to see this called out so explicitly in the code.Is it a good requirement? A bad one? An ignored one? I don't know, hence this effort to get a discussion going smile

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,668
Likes: 6
G
Member
The face of the bar towards the area that was not kitchen would get a receptacle or two in it ... or you can put in a floor receptacle if that is not possible/acceptable.

I have the exact situation you are talking about in my house. We knocked out the wall between the kitchen and living room and installed a cabinet peninsula with a counter top on it. I serve the counter top with a receptacle at both ends, one on the wall, one below the counter from SA circuits and the 210.52(A) wall outlets on the living room side are fed from a general lighting circuit. My wife didn't like me cutting holes in her pecky cypress wainscoting for 2 duplex receptacles but "rulz is rulz". We use all of them. I found some wood covers that match up fairly well.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,282
Likes: 3
Member
Reno:
Please re-read what I said above, as to GP recept spacings.

As I mentioned, a case by case situation, either on 'paper' or in the field.

Yes, IF it is called a wall/divider/partition, it will have 6/12 or >24" spacing. Solutions to provide code compliance are available, the issue most times is with the owner not wanting a device where is has to be by code.

BTW, the 'variation' is not a regular used item


John
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
Well, I'm glad we're all in agreement, that the code does call for these convenience outlets.

I'm still amazed at the number of places that don't have them - including the home where I was raised (built 1963) and the one where I now stay (bulit 1996).

I think the 'real' reason this is overlooked is that the islands / peninsulas are constructed by the cabinet guys, who have zero interest in the NEC. They have less interest than the counter guys - as if that were possible!

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