Kitchen Floor receptacle?


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Old 01-02-08, 06:57 AM
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Kitchen Floor receptacle?

Hi all, and Happy New Year!

My wife would like an island in our kitchen. I'm out in my shop working on it when I think of whether or not she wants a receptacle in it, which she does. Thing is, this island was going to be moveable, as in it will have feet so we can move it a few inches either way should we need to at some point. So, I'm wondering about installing a GFI receptacle in the floor, with the island over it, and a receptacle in the island that plugs into the floor receptacle. Probably totally forbidden, and I certainly don't want to electrocute my love! Any comments or suggestions??
 
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Old 01-02-08, 07:20 AM
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A fixed island (unless extremely small) needs a receptacle.

Floor receptacles require special boxes and are difficult to keep clean. Protected under an island would make it easier to keep clean. I would go with a receptacle mounted vertically in a box just off the floor if I went with anything close to what you are describing.

If all you want to do is move the island a few inched either way, you could provide enough slack in the wiring and use armored cable.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 12:02 PM
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As Bob said, any kitchen counter space wider than 12" requires a receptacle. Since this island is completely removable, the inspector may be willing to consider it furniture thus removing the receptacle requirement, although you may still want one. If you do go with a floor receptacle, you need to use a metal box and solid brass cover that are rated for in-floor use such as:



The floor receptacle is a decent idea, but still would not satisfy the code requirement of a countertop receptacle which must not exceed 20" height from the countertop I believe. You might want to build receptacles into the removable island and wire a #12 flexible cord out the bottom or side so that the island may be plugged in to the floor receptacle thus powering the countertop receptacles.

Another thing to consider is that island receptacles mounted below the countertop height are of questionable safety as children or pets may accidentally pull hot appliances off the island. Be sure to keep this and other tripping hazards in mind when determining final design. If the island is going to have some sort of backsplash, that may be the ideal location as receptacles cannot be mounted in a flat countertop surface.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 03:12 PM
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GFI floor receptacle

Thanks for the excellent answers. One more question, then concerning the pictured receptacle. Doesn't look like it is GFI, or at least, I can't see a test button. I assume I should be able to find one, though, right? Any suggestions for a specific brand?

Just so my wife and I feel comfortable about this.... Let's say we get a big spill, water runs across the floor and into the receptacle. The GFI engages instantly and nobody gets hurt, right? Is that just theoretical, or does it really work that way?

Thanks for bearing with my questions.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 03:28 PM
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A GFCI trips very quickly. Instantaneously may or may not be the right word. GFCI receptacles have saved the lives of numerous people over the years. But still, you don't intentionally pour water on the receptacle to test it, or drop your hair dryer in the bathtub to test it.

I suspect that the receptacle is sold separately from the junction box. Note that the trim ring of the box is raised. This (in theory) prevents surface water from entering the box. By that I mean normal quantities of water. If you spill a pot of water right on the box, it will get wet.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 08:19 PM
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A few years back, an island was installed in my upgraded kitchen as well. Nice little 36" deep by 6ft long island. At that time, we decided it should NOT contain any electrical outlets. That's right. NO outlets at all. Too many kids and too much risk of them pushing things into the outlet openings. All electrical appliances are used on our other couter tops (which harder for kid's fingers to get into). To this day, we don't miss outlets on our island. As a suggestion, install your island. If you still feel it needs an outlet, then install one. Screw the island in place, run protected wire up (from its lower basement) within its insides and install the outlet on its outer facing island cabinet side. If water might be a concern, install a CFCI outlet. Otherwise, install normal outlets - and use those plastic push-ins for child protection.

.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 08:34 PM
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Unfortunately, not having any receptacles is not allowed if you want to be code compliant. And not being code compliant could make it difficult to sell the house.

However, with certain restrictions, the receptacles are allowed to be on the side of the island rather than the top if you prefer. As pointed out, these have problems of their own.

I'm not exactly sure how the inspector would treat this slightly-moveable island. If it was me, I think I'd treat it just like a fixed island.

Receptacles such as the one pictures are almost no hazard if GFCI protected, and if kept recessed when not in use. And GFCI is not optional, water or not. It's an absolute requirement.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 05:33 AM
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AFAIK the only boxes which are code for a kitchen counter-top are "nozzle" style floor boxes:

http://www.lewelectric.com/cfm/comm_nozzle.cfm

as water spilled on the counter will not enter the receptacles.

Lew Electric used to have an extensive line of these in brass, aluminum and stainless steel (I have a brass vertical style in a large copper island in my kitchen), but it looks like the few styles above are all they still make. Too bad, IMO.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 08:07 AM
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One other option is to use a GFCI breaker instead of a GFCI receptacle. It's a little more expensive but will protect against shock in any scenario where the floor box may become entirely filled with water from a spilled mop bucket or something like that.

With GFCI protection, I really wouldn't worry about the safety of a floor box. These things are installed in all types of commercial and industrial buildings, schools, malls, etc. The covers provide a good seal against liquids and they are heavy enough to withstand serious abuse without breaking.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Unfortunately, not having any receptacles is not allowed if you want to be code compliant. And not being code compliant could make it difficult to sell the house ...
Every Kitchen island must have an outlet???? This is news to me. Didn't know is was a building code in my area (or in all areas). Building Inspector passed our new kitchen light, new Kitchen outlets but didn't say a word about lack of outlet on our island. Are you sure its a building code in all areas???

.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 10:01 AM
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It is NOT a building code requirement. It is a requirement of the NEC. As long as there is enough counter space, a receptacle is required, based on the normal receptacle requirements (within two feet of the edge and every four feet).
 
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Old 01-03-08, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Spike99 View Post
Every Kitchen island must have an outlet???? This is news to me. Didn't know is was a building code in my area (or in all areas). Building Inspector passed our new kitchen light, new Kitchen outlets but didn't say a word about lack of outlet on our island. Are you sure its a building code in all areas???

.
NEC NEC 210-52(c), See here:

http://www.codecheck.com/schwan.htm
 
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Old 01-03-08, 03:47 PM
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IMO Best ones mentioned about are the "dog house" mentioned by Michael Thomas or just leave slack in the wire/flex.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 08:50 PM
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From the 2005 NEC, "(2) Island Counter Spaces. At least one receptacle shall be installed at each island counter space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater. Where a rangetop or sink is installed in an island counter and the width of the counter behind the rangetop or sink is less than 300 mm (12 in.), the rangetop or sink is considered to divide the island into two separate countertop spaces as defined in 210.52(C)(4)."

And elsewhere, "receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 300 mm (12 in.) below the countertop. Receptacles mounted below a countertop in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop extends more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond its support base. [This applies only to] island and peninsular countertops where the countertop is flat across its entire surface (no back-splashes, dividers, etc.) and there are no means to mount a receptacle within 500 mm (20 in.) above the countertop, such as an overhead cabinet."
 
 

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