Outlet in Cabinet: Code Question

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Old 10-08-14, 12:06 PM
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Outlet in Cabinet: Code Question

Have a question about electrical code in Indiana. We are having a double vanity put in our bathroom and on top of the vanity dividing the sinks is another cabinet. Would it be to code to place an electrical outlet inside of that top cabinet? Not on the side sticking out of the cabinet but actually in the cabinet. There is an electrical outlet on the wall for the sink on the left.

Thanks,
Tim
 
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Old 10-08-14, 12:50 PM
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334.15 Exposed Work.

In exposed work, except as provided in 300.11(A), cable shall be installed as specified in 334.15(A) through (C).

(A) To Follow Surface. Cable shall closely follow the surface of the building finish or of running boards.

(B) Protection from Physical Damage. Cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or other approved means. Where passing through a floor, the cable shall be enclosed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or other approved means extending at least 150 mm (6 in.) above the floor.
 
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Old 10-08-14, 01:04 PM
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It is common practice to put receptacles in cabinets. While usually it for a fixed in place appliances such as a vent hood nothing says it can't be for general purpose receptacles also. As stated by Xsleeper the cable must be protected. Easiest is run it in the wall. Just be sure the box will be flush with the cabinet.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-08-14 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 10-08-14, 01:44 PM
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Our builder ran it through the wall then drilled a hole through the cabinet and put an electrical box inside the cabinet with the outlets accessible from the outside. They are now trying to say that they have to for code reasons but it sounds like they just don't want to fix what they messed up. We told them from the beginning we wanted it inside the cabinet to charge things without having to leave it on the counter and they never mentioned it being a problem before.
 
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Old 10-08-14, 01:52 PM
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What does the local electrical inspector say?
 
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Old 10-08-14, 02:24 PM
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Certain Code Articles state what you can't do ; apparently the builder's argument is based on a "can't do " Article, such as you can't set a counter-top receptacle in a "face-up" position.

Since he is relying on the Code to justify what he did, ask him to cite the "can't-do" Article that would apply to this situation.
 
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Old 10-08-14, 02:43 PM
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I'll for sure try and find out who the local electrical inspector is and try and ask. I'll also ask about the article they might be referring to.

The thing that makes it hard to believe is in the kitchen they put an outlet in one cabinet for the microwave. It's not even needed as we got a oven/microwave combo that doesn't use an outlet and it's up in a different part of the cabinet but yet they left it there.
 
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Old 10-08-14, 03:10 PM
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Sounds normal to me.................
 
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Old 10-08-14, 04:54 PM
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The thing that makes it hard to believe is in the kitchen they put an outlet in one cabinet for the microwave.
And that is an example of why I said it was done all the time. Tell him to put it there or cite exact code that says he can't.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 10:32 AM
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I talked to one person that said it wouldn't pass inspection because it's not obvious that an outlet is inside the cabinet so wouldn't meet the within three feet rule. Sadly the other outlet is ~3'2" from the sink in question.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 10:46 AM
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inside the cabinet so wouldn't meet the within three feet rule
But that is not a reason to not put a receptacle inside the cabinet. So if the inspector won't allow an exception move the receptacle. Or if stud allows switch to a two gang box bringing one receptacle within code. Or put a second receptacle on the other side of the vanity.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-10-14 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 10-10-14, 11:52 AM
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I talked to one person that said inside the cabinet so wouldn't meet the within three feet rule
But that is not a reason to not put a receptacle inside the cabinet. So if the inspector won't allow an exception move the receptacle. Or if stud allows switch to a to gang box bringing one receptacle within code. Or put a second receptacle on the other side of the vanity.
Definitely not a reason to not put a receptacle inside the cabinet. It would have to be GFCI protected though like the other receptacles in the bathroom. Unless that random person was an inspector, his opinion doesn't count. If he is an inspector, I'd ask him where in the code this would be prohibited.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 12:17 PM
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Prohibited is different than counting as the required receptacle. This is no different than a receptacle in an appliance garage in the kitchen. It does not count as a countertop receptacle but is allowed.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 12:41 PM
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electrical box inside the cabinet with the outlets accessible from the outside
It sounds like the side of cabinet was cut out for an outlet box. It also sounds like it was installed properly. That's no excuse. Contractor probably doesn't want to pay for new cabinet, as it's going to be hard or impossible to cover the mistake.
Outlet should have been installed at the inside back as you requested and agreed on.
Cabinet should be replaced at his expense and wiring redone as agreed upon.

After installing outlet in back of cabinet as you requested, the inspector will still insist on a counter outlet that meets code. That's another issue and easily addressed. I think contractor tried to address both issues at once and was wrong in his thinking.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 01:08 PM
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AS regards this issue, it's important to distinguish between a "required" receptacle outlets and receptacle outlets not required.

The fact there may be a spacing problem with the "required" B-R outlet has absolutely no association on effect on the non-required outlet. The sole determinant on the Right/Wrong issue as regards the location of the non-required receptacle outlet is the NEC.
 
 

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