210.52(C)(5)

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
Hi folks, sorry I've been out so long, been hectic.

So, I got a question for you: I have an island with a code-required island on one side, and one side has a receptacle that can not be considered acceptable for countertop space. Must the receptacle under the overhang be removed?
 

Attachments

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Hey, George!

As long as there is a compliant receptacle, a non-compliant one does not need to be removed, unless its existence breaks a restriction.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Well, it would hard to argue with him if he reads it that way. IMO, he is not getting the intent. In order to qualify as a required receptacle it cannot be more than 12" down from the top. It does not mean there cannot be other receptacles.

Suppose the island was a room divider and there was a dining room on the back side. Is the inspector saying I cannot add a required outlet down low for the dining area? I have no doubt his interpretation is incorrect as the situation for outlets installed for other areas has always been accepted.

What is his reason for not allow it?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Also, the exception states to comply with 1 and 2 of 210.52(C).... It does not state no other outlets are allowed just that they would not comply with 1 and 2
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
A kid could pull it onto his head.... with the 2' cord on most appliances, it probably wouldn't reach the outlet under the top. But... plug in that same appliance close to the outlet at the edge of the countertop, and I'll bet there's a nice loop not quite a foot long dangling over the edge of the counter. Ban all of the outlets!
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I suppose you could say that a coffee pot full of hot coffee is more dangerous than a lamp falling on someone, but what do you expect to have in a kitchen? If you are going to allow and require receptacles on the sides of cabinets you just invite that kind of accident. If you are concerned about it I say don't allow receptacles in kitchens located where they create dangling cords that kids can pull on. Encourage the use of pop-ups.

-Hal
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Hey George! Glad to see you back. We had this same debate years ago and the hot pot of death falling on a child was the reason a lot of the members agreed with your inspector's interpretation.
I can possibly see that the wider the overhang, the closer the appliance has to be to the edge until the cord doesn't reach anymore. But the Code doesn't come out and say that or prohibit receptacles under the overhang. So I can't see any reason why the receptacle under the overhang shouldn't remain.

-Hal
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
I recall that we have been down this road before. I don’t recall where the journey left us. But I can make a case for the Inspector’s point of view.

Although I agree that the code’s intent would not prohibit “additional” receptacles that don’t satisfy the location requirements, I have to turn to “Charlie’s Rule”: the words are what the words are. In this instance, it is the “missing word” that tells the story. 210.52(C)(5) starts with, “Receptacle outlets shall be located. . . .” The word that is not present is the word, “Required.” Specifically, 210.52(C)(5) does not start with, “(The) REQUIRED receptacle outlets shall be located. . . .” That can be interpreted as meaning that if any receptacle is installed, whether it be the code-required one or otherwise, it shall be located as described.

Now let me throw a question back at you all: Why would anyone want a receptacle in that location anyway? All questions of safety aside, it is essentially unusable for countertop appliances. I can’t see anyone plugging a vacuum cleaner into that receptacle. So why is it there?
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
By the way, there was a change in the exception between 2014 and 2017. In 2014, the exception allowed installations below the countertop if you met condition (1) OR (2). In 2017, the "or" was changed to "and." I am not familiar with the NFPA's Manual of Style. But just using plain English, I would interpret this as saying that you can only apply the exception if you meet both conditions. Anyone wish to comment?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
By the way, there was a change in the exception between 2014 and 2017. In 2014, the exception allowed installations below the countertop if you met condition (1) OR (2). In 2017, the "or" was changed to "and." I am not familiar with the NFPA's Manual of Style. But just using plain English, I would interpret this as saying that you can only apply the exception if you meet both conditions. Anyone wish to comment?
Charlie, the change to "and" instead of "or" is confusion. IMO, the "and" does not mean you have to meet both conditions but rather the receptacle is allowed to install on the cabinet within 12" of the top and 6" or less overhang. This is true for both conditions "A" or "B".

A handicapped individual may have an island where receptacles can be installed above the countertop but they are allowed to be installed lower because of condition 1. If it is not a handicap install and there is a place to mount the receptacles above the countertop then , IMO, it cannot be mounter into the side of the cabinet. Notice also that wall mounted countertops must have the receptacles mounter either in the countertop or above. It cannot be mounted below the top in the sides of the cabinet or on the face of the cabinet
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
210.52(C)(5) starts with, “Receptacle outlets shall be located. . . .” The word that is not present is the word, “Required.” Specifically, 210.52(C)(5) does not start with, “(The) REQUIRED receptacle outlets shall be located. . . .” That can be interpreted as meaning that if any receptacle is installed, whether it be the code-required one or otherwise, it shall be located as described.
Except 210.52(C) limits the scope of the section to "receptacle outlets for countertop spaces." So 210.52(C)(5) is a location limit only on "receptacles outlets for countertop spaces."

Cheers, Wayne
 
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