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Thread: Question for the electrical experts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Question for the electrical experts

    I'm in the planning stages for building a new kitchen island. I am up on the latest code governing how many receptacles are needed based on the area of the island and where they need to be, yada, yada ... my question is whether romex is permitted to be run inside the cabinets (ie., secured to the back of the cabinets; behind the drawer boxes) or is (flex) conduit required to protect the wiring.

    Thanks.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    in az you can, but we generally opt to use mc cable, just in case. i do know here if you run romex undergroun even thru a chase, i has to be for underground use.
    geography will have a say in your needs
    rj in az

  3. #3
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    Might ask the local electrical inspector.

  4. #4
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    At least in my jurisdiction (NE OH), I was allowed to run NM inside my island. Always best to check with your AHJ, of course. Most islands these days are nothing but drawers. If an island has cabinets with shelves and doors, one might argue that NM in the back of the cabinet is subject to being damaged by pots and pans or the like, in which case the NEC provision that NM be protected from damage would apply, and MC would be a better choice.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    In my area, it's perfectly acceptable. I have 3 receptacles in my kitchen island with romex inside the cabinet (retired electrician).
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Jones View Post
    in az you can, but we generally opt to use mc cable, just in case. i do know here if you run romex undergroun even thru a chase, i has to be for underground use.
    geography will have a say in your needs
    rj in az
    MC is subject to the same requirements in the NEC as NM cable "Romex®" that it be protected from physical damage. As to being used in a cabinet it would really matter on how the cable was routed, NM cable cannot ever be used underground or outdoors, only UF can.
    Last edited by Rollie Meyers; 06-26-2022 at 7:41 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Might ask the local electrical inspector.
    In all my DIY projects, this has always proven to be advantageous, whether questions about plumbing, electrical or structural!
    Ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
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    For my locations - if you can open a door , drw, ect…or remove it and touch the romex………..it has to be in conduit.

    If it’s in an inaccessible chase between cabinets or run between the legs and covered by toekick it’s fine.



    n.b. so ……….what do you think about the new outlet requirements for islands ?

  9. #9
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    The new requirements seem a bit excessive … I will need 3 receptacle outlets in the island I’m contemplating. Admittedly it’s a relatively large island, but 2 (one on each side) seems adequate to me … but I don’t write the code.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    The new requirements seem a bit excessive … I will need 3 receptacle outlets in the island I’m contemplating. Admittedly it’s a relatively large island, but 2 (one on each side) seems adequate to me … but I don’t write the code.

    Given my experience , a “relatively large” island these days requires 5-6 receptacles.

  11. #11
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    I suspect the newer requirements for more outlets on a kitchen island is to potentially reduce cords criss-crossing and other organizational problems, depending on where someone is standing/working with electric devices at the work surface. Kinda a pain when planning/building, but honestly, I'd rather have "too many" than not enough! The house we're living in now is woefully inadequate with outlets in every single room. That's how they did things in 1993 when it was built and I'm spoiled from the result of many renovations at the old property that alleviated any issue with outlets not being convenient.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    Our original kitchen was extremely small and had 2 outlets in it. When we had an addition built onto our kitchen 7 years ago, we added an island and code required an outlet on it. That outlet turns out to be the most used outlet in the entire kitchen which now has about 10 outlets.
    Ken

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