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Short wall #205187 02/04/12 12:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
pdh Offline OP
My father's house has a short (as in lower height) wall with a narrow countertop on it. It is also the separation between the kitchen and the family room. It is also an island wall, not connected to any other wall (if that matters). On the side facing to the kitchen, there are two separate receptacle boxes, each connected to one of the two kitchen countertop circuits (verified by testing the two GFCI receptacles that lead the kitchen circuit runs).

The side facing the family room has no receptacles. It is about 20 feet long. One might have considered this wall design to be a "kitchen bar" with bar stools on the family room side (room for 6 of them). But it is not actually used that way. Instead there is furniture as well as 3 electrical appliances having cords that hop over the wall to gain access to the kitchen side outlets.

Should the family room side of this wall have had its own outlets? Or is it considered OK to hop over the counter space or top of the wall? Or is it considered that electrical utilization there is unanticipated?

Note, the appliances with power hopping over the wall are minor: a lamp with a 25 watt bulb, power for a cordless phone base station, and power for a wireless access point (cable TV also comes on on the kitchen side of the wall). There is a bread pop-up toaster on the kitchen side that does not hop over.


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Re: Short wall [Re: pdh] #205188 02/04/12 02:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,568
gfretwell Offline
The living room side still needs to abide by the 6 foot rule.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Short wall [Re: pdh] #205257 02/08/12 12:22 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
pdh Offline OP
That's what I was thinking. I could not see any way it could avoid it. This house just has a number of things wrong, electrically. I've not seen anything majorly dangerous. But 6 foot rule is marginally violated in about 4 places. That short wall, and another wall in a bedroom, lack outlets. There's also a wall in the laundry room which lacks any outlets, though it has a funny shape to make a storage area, like this:
__ __

where the opening faces into the room. But there is no door nor framework to put one in. The narrow areas on the two sides have shelves. But there is no outlet anywhere except the other side of the room (the expected ones for laundry equipment, a GFCI one next to the laundry sink, and another one in the other corner. We put a garden seeding shelf in that funny storage space (a big metro shelf just fits), but lacked an outlet to power its lights. Luckily, the wall switch next to it that switched the overhead light in the storage space was not a switch loop, so I added one there by using a switch/outlet duplex device.

All in all, three places where there are no outlets turn out to be in need of them. Things are just goofy in that house. I suspect no permits were pulled and no inspection happened when it was built in 2000.

Re: Short wall [Re: pdh] #205258 02/08/12 06:48 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,568
gfretwell Offline
I doubt 210.52(A) would apply to the laundry room but I still agree it is silly not to have any more receptacles in there.
The others do seem to be violations if you can't reach a receptacle with a 6' cord, anywhere along a wall.
It was either a guy who didn't understand the code or someone really shaving pennies on the bid.

Greg Fretwell


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