Kitchen Remodel - outlet not going to be used

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  #1  
Old 10-08-04, 07:50 AM
Gabling2
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Kitchen Remodel - outlet not going to be used

Hello! I am in the design process of remodeling a portion of our kitchen. We are planning on knocking a pantry down (between kitchen/family room) and putting new countertop/cabinets there.

On one of the walls that I'll be removing is an electrical outlet. This is not a end-of-the run outlet so there's power in and then power back out. Unfortunately the builder put little slack in the wiring so there's not much I can do in terms of moving the box with the existing wiring. I finished the basement last year, so there is no access under the box.

What does NEC code allow when it comes to an unused outlet box? Several options I'm thinking of are to try to mount the box inside one of the cabinets, but with a blank plate on it instead of the outlets. Another is to try to move it a little to a wall that's staying (it will be behind the new cabinets), cover the box with a blank plate and cutting a hole in the cabinet back for access. I'm guessing code states that you have to have some type of access to the box, whether it's used or just wire-nutted off and covered with a blank plate.

Is there any easier way to 'cap-off' an outlet that's not being used??

Thank you!!

Glen
 
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  #2  
Old 10-08-04, 08:19 AM
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If you are installing counter top and cabinets, such as for an island or peninsula, then you will need to have receptacles for the counter top. The same rules apply. A receptacle with in 2 feet of the end and at least every four feet thereafter. It sounds like this receptacle you want to remove needs to stay as at least part of the required receptacles.

As for removing a receptacle, you have several choices. You can redo the wiring underneath. You don't seem to want to do this, because of a finished basement, but you may need to, to add new receptacles, etc.

You are correct, the junction box containing spliced wires must remain permanently accessible. This can be inside a cabinet, as long as you can get to it. Another caution, any wire run inside a cabinet or otherwise exposed must be protected. You may need a short piece of conduit inside the cabinet leading to the junction box to protect the cables.
 
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Old 10-08-04, 08:27 AM
Gabling2
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Thanks for the quick reply! The countertop will have two new receptacles, one at each end of a new half wall that will seperate the family room/kitchen. There is another existing receptable that I am planning on tapping into on the family room side of the half wall. (There are no loads on that circuit besides a small TV). But you've given me a good idea to tap into the existing receptable that won't be used... Might as well spread the potential new load to two different circuits.

Thank you also for the tip regarding protecting the cable inside the cabinet. Didn't think about that one!

Glen
 
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Old 10-08-04, 08:31 AM
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You cannot tap into a family room receptacle for a kitchen receptacle.
 
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Old 10-08-04, 08:37 AM
Gabling2
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Aaaaaaaah, glad you mentioned that!! You saved me from having to redo my permit. I guess I'll tap into the existing dinette/kitchen outlet for the two new receptables. Just have to work out the loads for the circuits to make sure it's ok.

Thank you again!

Glen
 
  #6  
Old 10-08-04, 08:53 AM
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Understand that there are many rules for kitchens. Depending on the scope of this project you will likely need to bring the entire kitchen up to date. You should familiarize yourself with ALL of them before proceeding.

Before you go and extend this circuit, answer some questions. Is it a 20 amp circuit? Does it only power kitchen counter top receptacles? Do you have two proper 20 amp circuits in your kitchen for counter top receptacles only?
 
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Old 10-08-04, 01:32 PM
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If you are installing new cabinets you may be able to cut the drywall either above or below the cabinets to allow you to run new wiring. This way the joints are not seen.
 
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Old 10-08-04, 05:02 PM
Savant
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Just curious... What's on the OTHER side of the wall where this unused outlet is? I'm wondering if it is feesible to cut a hole on the other side of the wall and mount it there. (only if the location is code suitable) I can't think of any code issues so long as you are moving it out of the kitchen. (as noted, there are a whole pile of rules for outlets in the kitchen) If this unused outlet is at standard height (12 inches to the bottom of the box) then perhaps flipping it around and onto the other side of the wall may be something to consider. (as I mentioned, it would still depend on the circumstances of what is on the other side)

Regards,

Savant
 
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Old 10-08-04, 07:17 PM
Gabling2
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Thank you to everyone! I've done a little more research to codes specific to kitchen's and it seems like most of them the builder has complied (the house is 7 yrs old). We already have 2 20amp circuits to counter-top receptables - one of the circuits includes the outlet I'm removing so I'll just tap into that. There are only 4 other outlets on the circuit and the gas stove, two of those outlets being counter-top receptables. (The other 2 are in the dinette).

PCboss - The sections of wall that will actually remain I'm thinking of totally removing the sheetrock and just reinstall sheets with minimal to no seams. The area is not too large (60" long), so it's easier to strip everything to the frame and rebuild back up.

Savant - Unfortunately the small wall where the outlet is currently will be knocked down. The other side of it is the inside of the pantry which will no longer be there. I took a video of the whole house before the sheetrock was up, so I can see that there is almost no slack in the wire going to the outlet box. Doesn't even look like I can move it a few inches to the back wall! It looks like one of the cabinet ends will be right where the outlet box is, so I'm thinking of just mounting a new flat box to the inside of the cabinet with the splices inside. (and, thanks Racraft, conduit over any exposed wiring to the box )

Again,thank you all for your quick replies. You've given me more then enough to chew on while we finish designing this out. I'll definitely revisit the code books to ensure everything is up-to-par 'kitchen-code' wise.

Glen
 
  #10  
Old 10-15-04, 12:05 PM
Gabling2
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One last question regarding this unused receptable. I am planning on moving the box to the back wall that will, after this remodel done, be behind the cabinets. I'll then cut a hole in the back of the cabinet interior to have access to the junction box.

If this is just a junction box with a blank cover, are there any height restrictions (floor to box)? Because of the minimal amount of slack that the builder left at this box, the only way I can move it to where I want it is to have it 5-6 inches from the floor. Is this acceptable code-wise?

Thank you again for your valuable advice!!

Glen
 
  #11  
Old 10-15-04, 01:08 PM
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For a junction box with a blank cover, you can put it anywhere you can get to. 5 or 6 inches off the floor is fine.
 
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