Some time ago I added an outlet in the bottom/side of a kitchen cabinet. I took out the drawer, cut an access panel in bottom of cabinet and ran the wire up from the basement, through the floor. Used a plastic box and set it in the side of the cabinet about 4” up from the floor. Receptacle is under a shelf at end of cabinet (this was to have an outlet to plug in pet’s water dish that has a tiny pump in it.)

Is there anything about this that is not up to code? Does the rule about attaching the wire to a stud or something within 12” of a box apply here?

Is there any problem with the wire running through the floor like this? (tile over plywood). (Should I run it through conduit or some kind of shielding?)

Was it okay to put an outlet in this space in bottom of cabinet?

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  • Can the cabinet be pulled away from the wall? Jan 27, 2019 at 16:41
  • 2
    The only thing I can think of since it looks to be through the floor and not a stud bay in a wall I believe code would require conduit through the floor to protect the cable, left as a comment since I don't have my code book handy.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 27, 2019 at 18:56
  • @Harper The cabinet is attached to the wall, not moveable.
    – Schief
    Jan 27, 2019 at 22:03
  • @EdBeal The wire is inside the kickspace of the cabinet, under an access panel. Does just running through the floor require conduit? –
    – Schief
    Jan 27, 2019 at 22:06
  • Since it is protected by the millwork I doubt it needs any conduit. No one and no thing will be able to shear the cable where it passes through the flooring. Outlets within about 6 feet of the sink which run along the back wall should be protected by a GFCI receptacle or by a GFCI breaker. Since this outlet is nowhere near a sink it is likely not required to be so protected. The box must be securly fastened to the millwork, which it seems to be in the picture provided. Overall it looks fine to me the way it is. But go ahead and change it to a gfci, if you feel safer. It can't hurt. Feb 5, 2019 at 23:39

2 Answers 2


Since it is not actually serving the countertop and appears to be a reasonable distance from a sink, apparently this does not need to be GFCI protected.

However, GFCI protection may still be a good idea, either at the receptacle (which I can see it is not), at the breaker or somewhere in between. While it is unlikely that you'll be reaching down to plug/unplug appliances while your hands are wet (which can easily happen at the real countertop receptacles), kitchens get wet, especially on the floor (at least in my house) so I think it would be a good idea.

  • Actually, since it's not serving a countertop, no it doesn't.... Jan 27, 2019 at 14:54
  • @ThreePhaseEel Agree this is not to serve a countertop. But looking at other answers from the last several years, it seems there is a requirement for any kitchen outlet within several feet of a sink to be protected. There is the extensive discussion regarding receptacle for a refrigerator, and there it seems to be that to make sure everything is as-good-as-possible-for-the-confusing-code to make it a single receptacle designated for the refrigerator. This is a standard double receptacle and logically (code isn't always logic) it should be included in the GFCI requirement. But I could be wrong. Jan 27, 2019 at 15:18
  • See 210.52(C) (and in this case, 210.52(C)(5)) for the requirements for a receptacle to be considered "serving a countertop space". Jan 27, 2019 at 15:47
  • @ThreePhaseEel OK. GFCI requirements sure get confusing. I'll change my answer. Jan 27, 2019 at 15:55
  • So, sounds like a GFCI would be a safe bet? This is about 6’ from the sink.
    – Schief
    Jan 27, 2019 at 21:54

First off, I definitely would have a conduit where the Romex entered from the basement through the subflooring and tile to avoid the wire from being crimped. Also since it is located in a kitchen where water from spills, broken pipes, dishwasher mishaps can happen it should be on a GFI circuit if not a GFI plug. In Florida that connection would be a point of concern and would be flagged for home inspection.

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