I watching Kitchen Renovations today and the host was installing a
small central vac unit in a closet converted into a pantry. The unit
had a 3 prong cord.
The host cut a hole in the wall to recess the unit and also cut the
plug off the cord, fed it through a hole in a stud and said "We could
plug the unit into an outlet, but we'll let the electrician wire it
into the existing outlet on the other side of this wall."
Is it code compliant to wire a small appliance in this manner? Can I
cut the plugs off my toaster oven, coffee maker, etc. and hardwire
them onto a junction box?
No, it is not code compliant. Flexible cord (article 400 of the NEC)
is not to be used as a substitute for permanent premises wiring. If
the appliance has a junction box where the internal wiring is
connected to the cord, then you could remove the whole cord and use an
appropriate wiring method (as from Chapter 3 of the NEC) to connect
the appliance junction box to your household junction box. I'm not
100% sure that would even be OK, as you might be violating the UL
listing of the appliance.
Uh, NO! Not code compliant, and a bad idea even if it was. The whole
idea of using convenience outlets and pigtails for stuff that dies, is
to make it easier to work on or replace. The only things that should be
hardwired are things that will last 20-30 years, IOW till the house is
likely to get a major refresh anyway. Even most bathroom fart fans sold
in last 20-odd years have a single outlet and itty-bitty pigtail in
them, to make it easy to swap out the motor if it craps out.
Sounds like a show to avoid if they spout crap like that. Stuff from a
'designer' should always be checked by a qualified tradesman or engineer
before it is inflicted on the clueless customer or audience.
While I agree with most of what you say, Paul Ryan, of Kitchen
Renovations and many other DIY shows over the years, isn't a
'designer'. You can access his bio here:
He's been a host of various renovation shows for many years, which is
why I was extremely surprised when he cut the plug off the cord and
fed it through the wall. It sure didn't seem right to me, even though
the central vac unit was designed to be recessed into the wall.
Article 400.8 says you cannot run flexible cord through holes in
walls, strutural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or
If he was going to punch a hole through the wall, he may as well have
run Romex or surface mount conduit back into the closet and installed
a regular outlet box there with a standard receptacle in it.
Well, if he's true to his word and leaves all the electrical work to a
licensed electrician (like he says he does on all his projects)
hopefully the electrician won't use the cord that Paul cut and
threaded though the stud.
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