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Thread: Kitchenette a Kitchen?

  1. #1

    Kitchenette a Kitchen?

    In a commercial office is a kitchenette with a refrigerator, sink, counter-top and microwave considered a Commercial Kitchen as per the NEC? This would mean the microwave would be considered for cooking and the food prep simply placing your lunch on the counter? Seems like a lot less than requirements for a commercial kitchen but there is no category for Kitchenettes. Basically I would prefer to not install a GFCI behind the fridge.

  2. #2
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    Depending on your code cycle, A GFCI device has to be readily accessible. If the fridge outlet is within 6' of the sink, it would still be required to have GFCI protection.
    I don't consider a microwave a permanent cooking appliance.
    I consider your "kitchenette" a break room.
    Ron

  3. #3
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    By definition it is arguable whether your area is a kitchenette. If the plan says kitchenette then you may have to follow the rules for a kitchen. If the plans say break room then I believe you may be okay. In either case, it is an authority having jurisdiction call.

    Gfci cannot be behind the refrigerator. Either use a gfci breaker or install a receptacle on the counter that feeds the refrigerator.
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  4. #4
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    It's not a commercial kitchen.
    Rob

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    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nietzj View Post
    In a commercial office is a kitchenette with a refrigerator, sink, counter-top and microwave considered a Commercial Kitchen as per the NEC? This would mean the microwave would be considered for cooking and the food prep simply placing your lunch on the counter? Seems like a lot less than requirements for a commercial kitchen but there is no category for Kitchenettes. Basically I would prefer to not install a GFCI behind the fridge.
    Kitchen. An area with a sink and permanent provisions for
    food preparation and cooking.
    The code does not seem to differentiate much between definitions of dwelling unit and commercial kitchens.

    I would suggest what you have qualifies as a kitchen if the microwave is built in or affixed in some way. You might get an inspector to accept the idea that it is not a permanent cooking means if the microwave is just sitting on a counter.
    Bob

  6. #6
    So if this isn't a commercial kitchen and it's not a dwelling I believe I'm ok installing a regular receptacle behind the refrigerator assuming it's more than 6' from the edge of the sink. It seems odd the NEC doesn't specifically address kitchenettes. They are very common in just about every office setting.
    Last edited by nietzj; 04-11-18 at 11:07 AM.

  7. #7
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    Yes.
    Ron

  8. #8
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    The rule is not about "commercial kitchens." It is about kitchens in other than dwelling units. I can't speak for your home state of Minnesota, but here in Washington what you described does qualify as a kitchen. Essentially, all you need to make that cut is a place to wash your knife and fork.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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    The problem is NEC defines kitchen in art 100 - but "permanent provisions for cooking" is subject to interpretation.

    Most use of microwave ovens I wouldn't call "cooking" So many items these days are just heat and eat - no real need to "cook".

    If you put raw meat or eggs in and thoroughly cook them then that is cooking.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    The problem is NEC defines kitchen in art 100 - but "permanent provisions for cooking" is subject to interpretation.

    Most use of microwave ovens I wouldn't call "cooking" So many items these days are just heat and eat - no real need to "cook".

    If you put raw meat or eggs in and thoroughly cook them then that is cooking.
    it is common to cook foods in microwaves. think microwave pizza. it is uncooked when it goes in the microwave and comes out cooked. think popcorn. goes in uncooked, comes out cooked.

    I think the key would be if the microwave is permanent or not in determining if this is a kitchen or not.

    Incidentally, it is pretty common in break rooms to have a toaster. That certainly cooks food. Again may or may not be considered permanent. I saw one once that had the cord secured to the wall, likely to make it harder to walk off with. that seems pretty much permanent to me.
    Bob

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