National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Dear Charlie thank you for answering the code questions of the day. My question is regarding required Outlets. 210.52(2) wall outlets to be specific. Not including countertop receptacles. In reference to required wall outlets would the backside of peninsula and Island Cabinetry be considered wall space and require Outlets to be installed? I understand that door openings, fireplaces and Cabinetry is not considered wall space. But the code says fixed room dividers such as freestanding countertop bars? I understand that if a short wall or pony wall was used as part of the construction that this would require Outlets. But what about the backside of Cabinetry used for construction of Island and peninsula countertops?

Jason Anderson



Hey Jason thanks for your question and you are welcome. In the rooms included in 210.52(A) all points of the wall space, measured at the floor line, must be within 6 ft. of a receptacle outlet as stated in 210.52(A)(1). The words "that do not have countertops or similar work surfaces" were added to 210.52(A)(2)(1) for the 2017 NEC but it is not clear about which side of the cabinet the countertop serves. If the cabinet serves as a room divider, (210.52(A)(2)(3) and it is a place where furniture is likely to be place it seems logical to provide a receptacle outlet. For now, the AHJ will need to make that determination.

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ABOUT CHARLIE: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Charlie was also a member of NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting. Charlie’s experienced team of industry experts keep the CQD dialogue and discussions active and informative in the spirit of the man himself, as he wanted.

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