Under Cabinet Kitchen Receptacles


Old 06-27-05, 10:43 AM
Bob53's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Derry, New Hampshire
Posts: 291
Under Cabinet Kitchen Receptacles

Our new neighbor has purchased the home next door. Built 1940's. The kitchen has beautiful knotty pine cabinets that the original owner has obviously built on the spot. Receptacles were added (3) on the bottom underside of the cabinets so that counter top appliances would have their cords going up to the receptacle. My neighbor asked if I would give them a quick look, since she did not have a home inspection upon purchase. First, the receptacles are not GFCI. So, I informed her I can change those out for her. She does have 12/2 coming from inside corners of cabinet, stapled very neatly to the inside corner of the cabinet and then connected to blue plastic boxes for her receptacles. I traced the line and it makes a home run to a 20amp breaker into a fairly updated panel. These 3 are all that is on that circuit. My question before I switch out her receptacles to at least the first (the one closest to the sink) being a GFCI is this (sorry for being long winded guys) Are her feeds going to the blue boxes ok to remain stapled to the inside corners of her cabinets? And if the stapled lines are ok stapled, then are the blue plastic boxes ok, or should those be changed out also? Thanks so much. You're all great help for us DIY'S.
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Old 06-27-05, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
The receptacles should of course be GFCI protected, but that doesn't mean they must be GFCI receptacles. A simple outlet tester can confirm whether or not they are GFCI protected.

NM cable (Romex) should not be unprotected inside a cabinet where the contents of the cabinet might bump into it. The blue boxes are probably okay, but you should slip some sort of conduit over the cable if it is vulnerable.
Old 06-29-05, 06:09 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744

When we are cutting boxes in cabinets that are island and so on type we sleeve the wire in " Carflex " which a form of liquid tight but has no metal in it and works fine. Another product you can use to protect the wire inside the cabinet is ENT which is sold at most Major Supply Houses.

As John said already , yes you can use the standard blue boxes ( plastic ) and you can also do this if you are quite handy.

Would it be better to remove the wire and sleeve it in the above mentioned style of conduit..sure....but if you are quite handy and possibly have a band saw you can a 3/4" piece of PVC down the middle and strap over the half piece over the wires subject to damage....

Now for an electrician would do that...heck it is just as fast for us to simply disconnect once side of each box and sleeve the carflex over it and strap it back...but it does give you an option if you do not wish to pull the circuit loose.....

My choice would be to protect it in Carflex....as it is flexible.
Old 06-29-05, 09:13 AM
Bob53's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Derry, New Hampshire
Posts: 291

I have seen the Carflex in the stores. You are right, this cabinet work would be the perfect application for the wires passing inside the cabinets. I always looked at it but was embarrassed to ask the clerk what applications it was used in. Now I know. thanks!

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