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Is it code-compliant to install a GFCI receptacle inside a kitchen cabinet above the range hood, and if so, does the outlet require any sort of special enclosure, and can the appliance power cord just sit there, bare, at the back of the cabinet, plugged into the GFCI outlet?

We bought an undercabinet range hood online; it was advertised as "must be hard wired". We were replacing one that was hard-wired. However, when it arrived, instead of 12ga braided wire connectors that could be connected to the 12/2 supply line with wire nuts, it had a cord terminated with three-prong plug. The cord has fairly thin gauge insulated wire inside the sheathing, two conductors and a ground.

Turns out the model now comes with a cord, and the company no longer has models that require hard-wiring. The wiring terminals inside the range hood are inaccessible to the customer, at least not without nearly complete disassembly of the unit. So I cannot simply remove the cord and attach thicker gauge braided wire.

I have the option of

a) returning it for a refund or b) running the cord up into the cabinet above through a 1" hole drilled through the cabinet base above the range hood's punchout hole, and plugging it into a GFCI outlet that would be installed in the cabinet directly above. The 12/2 supply line would enter the cabinet through a hole drilled into the back panel of the cabinet.

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    Many range hoods, especially those including a microwave, have a plug connector. The standard approach is to have a hole drilled in the bottom of the overhead cabinet to allow the hood to plug into an outlet inside that cabinet. – bib Jan 10 '17 at 17:52
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    @isherwood: I understand the basic policy of not asking multiple unrelated questions, since I contribute extensively to other forums here on SE where the rule is in effect for good reason. So I've edited the question accordingly. These questions are really a single question with several pieces to it. The forum would not be well served to have me repeat the question for each of the related parts. – TRomano Jan 10 '17 at 18:31
  • I've eliminated the splice issue. It's not a microwave, BTW, but an undercabinet range hood. Draws far less power. Now these issues are intimately related, really a part of the same question. – TRomano Jan 10 '17 at 18:36
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Is it code-compliant to install a GFCI receptacle inside a kitchen cabinet above the range hood?
Yes. It's commonplace for over-the-range microwave range hoods, and by extension would be acceptable for more conventional range hoods as well.

Does the outlet require any sort of special enclosure?
No. A standard electrical box and trim plate will do.

Can the appliance power cord just sit there, bare, at the back of the cabinet, plugged into the GFCI outlet?
Yes. The kit will often include a D-loop and screw for mounting the extra cord against the wall.

  • Thanks for the tip about the kit. Didn't know they existed. I'm from the past. – TRomano Jan 10 '17 at 18:43
  • @gregmac, I rolled back your edit. I'm not sure where surface-mount boxes come in, but all I've seen are standard flush-mounted boxes like you'd use in any wall situation. – isherwood Jan 11 '17 at 3:17
  • Hmm, well I assumed retrofit situation based on the question. I've done this myself and used a surface box. But I guess if you cut a hole in the cabinet and wall you can use a regular retrofit box, or for new work just use a standard box. – gregmac Jan 11 '17 at 5:17
  • Fair enough. I've installed old work boxes on several projects. The screws for the tabs are sometimes borderline too short, but otherwise they work well. – isherwood Jan 11 '17 at 14:31

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