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I'm planning to install some plugmold multi-outlet strips hidden under my kitchen cabinets like this:

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However, I'm trying to figure out how to hardwire these in a way that passes code. Looking at another similar product from legrand, the instructions are to just drill two holes in the wall and pass Romex wires through. Then the wire-nut connections are made in the outlet strip itself.

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I always thought wire nut connections need to be made inside an electrical box-is that right? For my install I'll need the holes to be behind the cabinets, and the romex will run down through a hole in the bottom of the cabinet to the power strip: enter image description here

Do I need the electrical box in my drawing? Or can I just pass the romex cables through the wall with no box and make the connection in the outlet strip?

Thanks!

  • Is the raceway plastic or metal? With metal wiremold they usually have entrance kits, or I believe in many cases you can make your own hole and use a romex connector that hides in the wall with the strip attached. Plastic raceway, yes I believe they allow just a hole, similar to a fiber box. – Tyson Mar 30 '18 at 19:43
  • "I always thought wire nut connections need to be made inside an electrical box-is that right?" Well not exactly. Your fluorescent fixture is not an electrical box and that is acceptable to wire nut. FYI: You should have this strip on a GFCI breaker circuit. The romex running through your cabinet is an issue - don't do that. – Ken Mar 31 '18 at 7:59
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    @Ken -- I can't figure out what he's supposed to do instead, other than simply not routing the cable through the cabinet to begin with -- there are no flexible wiring methods rated for exposure to physical damage, and I'm not sure if you can include a conduit body in a protective sleeve assembly, either.... – ThreePhaseEel Apr 4 '18 at 3:01
  • @ThreePhaseEel - by code if we are to follow it to the letter - the only way he can is to enclose the wiring with in the wall like the example pictures reveal. That said however I think an inspector will not ding him on it unless the inspector really wanted to be a problem child - I am just pointing out he should not do it as a matter of proper practice. – Ken Apr 4 '18 at 10:45
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Plugmold or similar products are marked for use as a wireway and you can make joints inside them as long as they are accessible after they are installed.

Meaning you need to be able to take the cover off and access the connections.

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Multioutlet assemblies can contain splices

Your Plugmold is a type of thing called a "multioutlet assembly" in the NEC. As a result, this installation is governed under 300.15(A), just like a wireway, surface raceway, or auxiliary gutter:

(A) Wiring Methods with Interior Access. A box or conduit body shall not be required for each splice, junction, switch, pull, termination, or outlet points in wiring methods with removable covers, such as wireways, multioutlet assemblies, auxiliary gutters, and surface raceways. The covers shall be accessible after installation.

So, go ahead and make the splice inside the plugmold -- just make sure you can get the cover back off in the future to get at those connections again.

  • @ThreePhaseEel, is there not a concern with the unprotected NM sheathed cable running through the cabinet (see OP drawing)? – Jimmy Fix-it Mar 30 '18 at 21:22
  • As I read the code as long is the cables are not subject to physical abuse they do not necessarily need to be covered. My position: any self respecting electrician would not leave NM in a kitchen cabinet uncovered. – Paul Logan Mar 31 '18 at 17:01

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