Outdoor kitchen electrical

I am a longtime reader of this forum, and finally have a question that doesnt seem to be answered specifically elsewhere. How can I install code compliant receptacles in a 6" tall backsplash serving the countertop of a outdoor kitchen? I am both the architect and builder, so I can change the design if necesdary. It is complicated by these factors:

- Backsplash is veneer stone, 1.5-2" thick. It is a curved bar, with a 72" radius. Hence, we cant use granite because it doesnt curve.
- Granite countertop below, with 20" wide cantilevered granite bar above. 6" height is measured from top surfaces, meaning there is only 4.5" space to work with when the thickness of granite is taken into consideration.
- 20 gauge metal stud framing

I know they have mounting blocks designed for veneer stone, but i doubt any will work given the space available. I assume all solutions will require recept. to be on it's side, and that is fine. In the past we've used 4" sq. boxes with 3/4" mud rings, but this is still far short of the 2" depth of this veneer. Cosmetics are a priority, so this has to be as sexy of install as possible.

Can I just install a 1.5 or 2" deep surface mounted box, and feed the cable in the back? Is there a simple way to surface mount a painted exterior box to metal framing? This stuff is hurting my brain!

- Benjamin Lane

Dust to Dreams, LLC
 
Would an adjustable depth new construction box be more appropriate? Even then, I doubt even they have 2" of travel. I am curious how often others have to deal with this "form vs function" issue at the rough-in stage. Have I simply hit a whole new level of over-thinking things? Little details like these tend to be overlooked until the end, when it is usually too late to correct them.
 
There are a couple of issues when mounting GFCI outlets on solid surfaces like this. If you use an old work box you may have to grind out a bit of depth for the "ears" on the box to be recessed flush with the surface so the receptacle mounting screws don't prevent the receptacle plate from sitting flush to the backsplash. You may also have to cut the plate screws so they can screw in far enough to mount the plate flush without bottoming out on the stone.

Regarding the box issue, I have used a deep metal box (like 3 1/2 or greater) mounted to the stud, leaving 1 1/2 or 2 inches from the face for the finished backsplash. I try to mount them upright if possible to reduce the exposed gap on the radius. If the box is recessed to the max allowed (iirc 1/8th inch from the finished surface for combustable materials) the plate may flex enough to reduce the visible gap along the radius even more. You can purchase those soft plastic plates at any of the big stores that are more than willing to flex more than the hard plastic ones that may crack. If it has to be mounted horizontally, the gap may be filled with grout or caulk if a mounting block isn't feasible.

I'm picturing a half wall that the backsplash mounts to. Will it have a serving counter on top? Either way, I usually measure down from the top to allow for the plate to finish below the finished top and remove whatever material from the rough framing to get the box to set as high as possible for the plate to mount without interference with the counter top. If the mounting surface (vertical space) is really tight I try to get it as close to the counter top as possible so I can shave a bit off the receptacle plate (if needs be)to have it trim right down to the countertop surface.

I hope this helps give you options. I have wired custom homes for some very picky people in the past and have had to get pretty creative to get the final product to be pristine. I would get the carpenters on board and consult with them about all final measurements and mounting heights and horizontal locations.

Also, if this is outdoors in a wet/damp location, you may need bubble covers or some such and that may require some additional modifications to ensure weather tightness.
 
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4" box with a 2" mud ring.
This is a brilliantly simple solution, and is precisely why I posted the question here! Assuming the metal box has a grounding jumper, there isnt any reason this GFI'd arrangement wouldnt pass inspection? I am dealing with a newly minted inspector who is making sure absolutely every aspect of this project is scrutinized. You know the type - feels he isnt doing his job unless he finds something to correct. The guy who is actually measuring between staples?

My local supplier is city electric....would this normally be an in-stock item? The masonry guys are chomping at the bit to get the stone on, and I have basically been the bottleneck!

Thank you so much for the simple solution! Just because I have never seen a 2" mud ring doesnt mean it doesnt exist. My own ignorance never fails to astound me.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Yes the deep covers work well in many applications such as concrete block walls and stone veneers. Here's a typical set up for us, I believe that this is a 2" deep cover.

Box in Block.jpg
 

kwired

Electron manager
This is a brilliantly simple solution, and is precisely why I posted the question here! Assuming the metal box has a grounding jumper, there isnt any reason this GFI'd arrangement wouldnt pass inspection? I am dealing with a newly minted inspector who is making sure absolutely every aspect of this project is scrutinized. You know the type - feels he isnt doing his job unless he finds something to correct. The guy who is actually measuring between staples?

My local supplier is city electric....would this normally be an in-stock item? The masonry guys are chomping at the bit to get the stone on, and I have basically been the bottleneck!

Thank you so much for the simple solution! Just because I have never seen a 2" mud ring doesnt mean it doesnt exist. My own ignorance never fails to astound me.
If you can't readily find one try a handibox extension plus whatever depth of mud ring is necessary to get the right overall depth. I bet your supply house has most mud rings up to at least 1-1/2 deep in 1/8 inch increments.
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Welcome to the forum!

Would an adjustable depth new construction box be more appropriate? Even then, I doubt even they have 2" of travel. I am curious how often others have to deal with this "form vs function" issue at the rough-in stage. Have I simply hit a whole new level of over-thinking things? Little details like these tend to be overlooked until the end, when it is usually too late to correct them.
I dont have one in front of me but I'm pretty sure that Carlon Adjustable boxes have 2" forward travel, or maybe a tad (1/8-1/4") more. and yes, they make 2" mudrings, I have an entire case of them left over from a job that had shear wall, sound board, and drywall on every other wall - needed 2" rings for that. Its not just block walls/masonry that occasionally require such a deep ring.

eta: 2" rings were not in stock when I needed them, certainly not in the quantity I needed, which was close to 200. If you need just a few you may be in luck. BB stores do not carry anything over 1" afaik.

This is one. There are deeper ones. A catalog page is available by clicking here.

wow, a 3.5" ring. I'd hate to try to get wire out of the back of that, pulling thru 2" rings for a riser setup was pain enough.
 
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This is a brilliantly simple solution, and is precisely why I posted the question here! Assuming the metal box has a grounding jumper, there isnt any reason this GFI'd arrangement wouldnt pass inspection? I am dealing with a newly minted inspector who is making sure absolutely every aspect of this project is scrutinized. You know the type - feels he isnt doing his job unless he finds something to correct. The guy who is actually measuring between staples?

My local supplier is city electric....would this normally be an in-stock item? The masonry guys are chomping at the bit to get the stone on, and I have basically been the bottleneck!

Thank you so much for the simple solution! Just because I have never seen a 2" mud ring doesnt mean it doesnt exist. My own ignorance never fails to astound me.
I guess I misunderstood the original post. You can use any box or box/extension ring combo that fits in your space. Pick one and install it. I thought the issue was the radius/stone.
 
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