We just got our final inspection. Inspector says we need a few duplex
outlets in a couple places. We don't want them there. We don't want
to rip out the wall to put them. We don't want to have our marble
countertops cut (back splash) to put them.
Is there an appeals process? If its not a safety related issue (these
are just convenience issues) then how can we be forced to do so?
p.s. I'm in Tennessee.
Code requires receptacles in certain locations and within a specified
distance from each other. The requirement is intended to minimize
overloaded receptacles and extension cords running all over thre place.
It is a safety issue whether you agree with the logic or not.
Can you fight the electrical inspector? Very doubtful. You've
violated code. Your opinion doesn't offset that fact. Sorry.
Who designed the house and who did the electrical work? Both people
should have known the code and prevented this situation from happening.
... Your opinion doesn't offset that fact. Sorry.
: Who designed the house and who did the electrical work? Both
: should have known the code and prevented this situation from
True. Sometimes waivers can be gotten before the work is done so
a good justification (not a preference) exists, but once the code
is violated, it's violated.
You can argue it, but you won't win. See your yellow pages
for gvt numbers.
Convenience is your definition, safety is the code definition.
Having recepticals spaced at shorter intervals helps to avoid the use of
extension cords on appliances such as waffle makers or electric fry pans
that can pull a lot of juice. Before you say you promise never to use and
extention cord, some day the house will be sold and the new occupant will.
If it is a blatant code violation you wouldn't stand much of a chance with
an appeal. If it is a matter of code interpretation, you might have a shot.
Did the inspector cite the section of the electrical code that your kitchen
is not in compliance with? I'm surprised that the violations were not
picked up during the rough inspection.
There are other ways to satisfy the code requirements for countertop
receptacles. You can put receptacles on the cabinets. You can install
Wiremold Plugmold strips underneath the upper cabinets.
If you care to post some pictures maybe someone can come up with a viable
I doubt if they would wave the requirements (they ARE safety
requirements) even in Tennessee.
If you ever go to sell the home, you might well find that trying to sell
a home that does not conform to code could be a real problem.
In most places, (maybe every place) your house only has to meet the
code for when it was built. I.E. - my 1950 house really only has to
meet the 1950 code unless I do some remodeling. However, it sounds
like whomever did your kitchen remodeling doesn't know the electrical
You need minimum outlets per code at certain height and distance. Many
times some outlets are covered by furniture, etc. Code is code and it's
there for a reason. If you did something against code is appeal going to
do? If one exception is made for some, then the purpose of code becomes
lame. Whoever did the wiring, made bad mistake.
Your wants are not relavant to the issue. I have never done work in
Tennessee but all of the jurisiditctions I work in would NEVER give you a
inch when it comes to residential electrical requirements. They will
staunchly stand by the mininium code and that is final. The very fact that
you had an inspection indicates that there should have been plans submitted
Are you the one that decided not to install the outlets? If so set an
appointment for the walls to be opened up. If not then the contractor(S)
might be on the hook for the omissions.
There is nothing that says the outlets can not be above the back splash.
If you don't have duplex outlets within two feet of every point
on the countertops, you're not meeting code, and you'll fail an
appeal, anyway. (And it is a safety issue, it's just a stupid
safety issue.) How high is the backsplash? You could probably
put the outlets above them, and thus avoid having to cut the marble.
Roughly translated Stupid safety issue = a safety issue the speaker does
not understand, which is why there are codes in the first place and why they
should be adhered to even if you don't understand why. In fact I would say
it is even more important to follow a code you don't understand because you
are less likely to take the measures to protect against the hazard you don't
Had you noticed that you cannot buy a small kitchen appliance with a cord
longer than 24". This is a counterpart spec to the building code applied to
consumer goods. If you violate the 2'/4' rule you will have counter space
dead to appliances or need an extension cord for some.
FYI: In addition to eliminating the need for extension cords, it prevents
long lengths of cord from being on the counter which is a hazard if
something gets pulled down (I think that was the primary justification for
the rule in the kitchen). It also has other side effects like allowing
manufacturers to use lighter more flexible gauge wire in the cords and
making it easier for us to store our gadgets in the cabinet.
Doubt you will get anywhere, even though the code does not always make
I have a large dining room. In order to meet (but not exceed) the
code the builder spaced two duplex outlets on each wall. Eight in the
room. Now think about it. In a formal dining room you generally have
a China Cab centered on one wall and it will need an outlet for its
light. You will place a server/buffet/sideboard centered on another
wall and maybe you occaisonally use a chafing dish on it or have a
lamp sitting on top of it. Rarely, if ever will you have any other
So guess where the cords for these devices end up. Hidden behind the
piece of furniture? No, dangling out the side and looking like hell
to get to the outlet that is off center in the room to meet the code
I'm getting ready to wainscoat the room. Guess where the outlets will
end up and how many there will be.
You can always have them closer. To get a receptacle at a point on a wall
where it really makes sense you may have to install another on the same or
adjascent wall to keep the spacing less than 6 feet. Only if you are trying
to install the minimum code do you get poorly placed plugs.
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