National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Wednesday, September 9, 2020



I read the Code Question of the Day every morning. Never stop learning. The 2020 NEC section 210.52(C)2 requires receptacle outlets for an island to be based on square feet. In our jurisdiction, we deal with expensive custom homes with a lot of granite countertops and interior designers that don’t want receptacles, so this is not a hypothetical question. If an island requires 3 receptacle outlets, and the interior designer wants the 3 receptacles in one location, may a 3-gang box be used or do 3 separate single gang boxes be required? The definition of outlet is not clear and if 3 pigtails are used to feed the 3 receptacles’, each pigtail is taking power to supply utilization equipment. What is the requirement? If a 3 gang box is allowed, can a 20 amp duplex receptacle be split (The clips sniped between each receptacle.) be counted as 2 receptacle outlets?

Mike Bressler


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the comments. True we are always learning. The definitions in Article 100 can help a lot with your question. First, this section uses the term receptacle outlet, which is defined in Article 100 as an outlet where one or more receptacles are installed. The three gang box in your question would appear to be one outlet. It sounds like the dimensions of the island require three receptacle outlets, so it appears you need three receptacle outlets (separate boxes and receptacles. This section also specifies at least one be located within two feet of the end of the peninsular. The other receptacles can be located as determined by the installer, designer, or building owner and must meet the requirements in 210.52(C)(3). Review the definition of the terms, receptacle, receptacle outlet and outlet in Article 100. Hope this information is helpful.

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