1

As we redo our kitchen we have an existing outlet that will end up in a "void" of about 2 feet behind a cabinet. Specifically we are putting our new cabinets about 2 feet from the existing wall. There is an outlet and I am thinking of just leaving it where it is located. But when everything is completed that space (what I am calling a void) will no longer be reachable. So, this will not be a box behind a wall but will be tough to reach (would have to pull out refrigerator, cut through space in side to get into the void).

Just validating whether this is an issue. Thoughts how to resolve if it is. The wire is too short to run further out unless I use the splice fitting that I have seen at Home Depot (this might work to put the outlet in a more convenient accessible location). The wire goes into an area that I cannot, easily, access so removing the circuit back to the other room is not an option (although I will check if I can find the outlet from which this was connected).

5
  • 1
    My understanding is that there are connectors designed for permanent inaccessible situations, but were this my home I'd 1) remove the outlet and securely nut the wires together by color, 2) put a blank plate over it, 3) install my cabinets and not think about it again.
    – isherwood
    Oct 12 '16 at 19:21
  • 3
    By code splices Shall be accessible. I would remove the outlet and install a blank plate and make a small opening in the back of the cabinet that can be covered. Some years ago I was the 3rd electrician called to find a wiring problem with dead outlets. There was a covered box in the wall the owner forgot about. The owner said the first electrician took over 3 hours and the second wanted to tear all the sheet rock out. I mention this because when I showed him the location using a scanner he then remembered that he had covered a box. Not all electricians have scanners.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 12 '16 at 19:44
  • 2
    What do you mean by "will no longer be reachable" and please clarify "cut through space in side to get into"... You'll have to cut into what? Having to pull the fridge out is fine; having to cut anything to find it later is not. - "will not be a box behind a wall but will be tough to reach" because there's going to be, like, a counter top covering the void and an end panel? yeah, that's no good. accessible is open to interpretation (2 feet is fine for me), but buried behind permanently installed cabinetry is a no-no.
    – Mazura
    Oct 12 '16 at 22:07
  • @isherwood even capping the wires and covering with a blank plate would be a code violation, if the box is not "accessible". Also, those "connectors designed for permanent inaccessible situations", are only appropriate in very limited situations, and this is not one of them.
    – Tester101
    Oct 13 '16 at 10:43
  • Thank you for the updates. The space will be between the wall at the end of the counter and the wall of the other room. The way our kitchen design is going we will not use the full length of the room (only giving up about 2 feet). I will investigate finding the outlet from which this branches. Fortunately it is a terminus (last outlet on the run) so once I figure out where it connects (assuming I am able) I can remove it. What a pain... If I can't find the connection point I guess I could put an access panel in the wall behind the refrigerator to make it, technically, accessible.
    – efultz
    Oct 13 '16 at 17:10
2

There's no easy fix here. The electrical code is quite clear on this, and the box must be "accessible". Hiding the box behind permanently installed cabinets is a clear code violation, even if you cap the wires and install a blank plate.

You'll have to find where the wiring for this receptacle originates, and disconnect it at that point. Cap those wires together and label them as abandoned, or pull them out of the box so they can't be reconnected. Once that's done, you can leave the unused cable in the wall and abandon the box.

If the abandoned box was used to feed outlets further along the circuit, you're going to have to find a way to run new cable to supply the rest of the circuit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.