By Garth Stevens, PE

Up through the 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC), there were requirements for “at least one receptacle outlet” for any island or peninsular counter larger than the prescribed minimum sizes [2017 NEC Sec. 210.52(C)(2) and (3)]. In the 2020 NEC, however, this was significantly expanded. Both the island and peninsular counters are combined in Sec. 210.52(C)(2), and additional receptacles are now required based on the square footage of the countertop work surface.

When a counter is located adjacent to the wall, receptacles are required so that “. . . no point along the wall line is more than 24 in. measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space ” [Sec. 210.52(C)(1)]. But other than a receptacle outlet required within 2 feet of the outer end of the peninsular work surface, the location of the additional receptacles along the horizontal work surface is not specified. Therefore, depending on how the island is constructed, many of us now wonder, “Where do we put all these receptacles?”

This article originally appeared in EC&M. Please click this link to read the remainder of this article.