According to the titled part of NEC, "(4)Receptacles shall be located to protect against physical damage to the flexible cord."

I have installed a dishwasher recently, but the plugged to a receptacle newly installed right next to a base cabinet. I know the receptacle is usually under sinks, and in that situation, we may be able to say that the cabinet is protecting the cord from damage. Is my situation violate the code since technically the code is exposed to a traffic area. See the picture below. Thank you for your advice. enter image description here enter image description here

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    Um, wait. In one picture I see nothing to the right of the receptacle. In the next picture, I see a small cabinet there, and there's about 3" of airspace under the cabinet. Is that on wheels? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 11 '19 at 0:15
  • Yes, is the cabinet on the right of the receptacle mobile? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 11 '19 at 0:27
  • Yes, the cabinet on the right has wheels and mobile. I just nudged when I take a picture. – M1985 Feb 11 '19 at 3:06
  • With the wheely-cabinet pushed back as far as it will go, how much space is there between the wheely-cabinet's back and the wall behind it? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 12 '19 at 1:29
  • It is less than 2 inches... – M1985 Feb 12 '19 at 3:31

NEC 422.16(B)(2) is pretty much a repeat of NEC 400.12 Flexible Cords and Cables Uses Not Permitted. (7) Where subject to physical damage. In review of this Article 400.12(3) also says where run though holes in walls ... or 400.12(4) where run through doorways, windows or similar openings.

First I would say I don't think the location of the receptacle and cord pose a threat to physical damage, but I do think it at least violates the intent of parts (3) and (4).

I will say that there has been plenty of debate among the electrical inspection community on whether a cabinet side is really a wall or a partition and is it allowed to be penetrated. I suspect a clearer definition will come out in later Code publications but right know everyone is stuck with the ones we have.

As I have said before, I have an opinion but it doesn't matter. These debates have pretty much left the decision up to the AHJ (electrical inspector in your area). You should probably check with your municipality on their opinion.

  • Yes, the flex code come out from the hole punched out the side of the cabinet wall/partition... Perhaps, I should move the receptacle under the sink while I will definitely ask to AHJ. – M1985 Feb 12 '19 at 3:36
  • Also, Regarding 400.12, I am curious about "(4)Where attached to building surfaces"(2017 ver.). Does this mean that I cannot fix soft cables on walls, even with wiremold or something? So, is wiremold only permitted for Romex? – M1985 Feb 12 '19 at 3:42
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    @M1985 - Article 400.12 Forbids the use of flexible cords for use as a substitute for fixed wiring. The confusion starts with where these rules are located. Chapter 300 is for wiring methods and Chapter 400 is for Equipment. So there is a defining line in the NEC as to what things actually are and how they are to be classified and used under the code. In your case the receptacle and a flexible cord are the demark of these two chapters. Did this help or is it as clear as mud? – Retired Master Electrician Feb 12 '19 at 13:43

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