National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Monday, March 2, 2020


In response to your answer to the Code Question of the Day for 02/07/2020, while I totally agree with your answer that a duplex receptacle is two receptacles, I suspect greatly that the argument that generated the question involved a “receptacle outlet” rather than a “receptacle.” For example, 210.52(C)(2)(a) calls for at least one “receptacle outlet” to be installed for the first 9 sq. ft., or fraction thereof, of a residential island or peninsular counter-top or work surface. An island with 10 sq. ft. would call for a minimum of two receptacle outlets. In the seminar setting, I get ask a lot if a duplex receptacle would satisfy this “two receptacle outlet” requirement. The answer to that question is NO based on the definitions of “receptacle” and “receptacle outlet” in Article 100. A “receptacle” is just as you described in your answer and could be one, two, three, four, etc. receptacles mounded on the same yoke (or two yokes). However, a “receptacle outlet” (which is what is called for at places like island and peninsular counter-tops) is defined as “an outlet where one or more receptacles are installed.” To satisfy the requirements for two “receptacle outlets” at a dwelling unit kitchen island, it would call for two separate outlets (or boxes) installed even if both receptacle outlets contained a duplex receptacle (total four receptacles).
L. Keith Lofland
IAEI Director of Education 



Hi Keith, Thanks for the follow up and detailed response. Yes, the NEC definitions certainly provide the needed clarity relative to this question.

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