I just purchased a new house that has the oven in the island in the middle of the kitchen. Not the stove, just the oven. But there are no electrical outlets on the island. Can the oven electrical be tapped to supply power to an outlet or will I have to run a new electrical line to its own breaker?

  • What voltages, what wattage, gas or just electric? The oven was already there but not connected? Without more info, I'm guessing you need a 240 dedicated circuit. – noybman Jan 14 '20 at 3:34
  • Can you post a photo of the inside of the junction box for the oven? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 14 '20 at 5:38
  • I missed it was new construction so it should be 4 wire and a tap would be very easy and code compliant, I think 4 wire was mandated 96 after reading some old code books today , in my state I know it was adopted in 99 as I got a hit on a very large job that I had to change a major feeder. So 4 wire has been the law of the land here in the US for a long time. What size is the island? It possibly should have had a receptacle. I will need to look that up. – Ed Beal Jan 14 '20 at 6:27
  • Assuming USA, from your profile I've suggested a tag edit. – J... Jan 14 '20 at 14:39
  • What size is the island? It possibly should have had a receptacle. Simple: It has an oven underneath it ("in the island") - "Not the stove" == "this is under the counter" == "counter is a big open space at least the size of the oven" == at least 2', my guess is at least 4'. Therefore, should have counter receptacles. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 14 '20 at 14:49

Assuming we are talking about the US/Canada, I'll make some basic assumptions:

  • Not the stove just the oven would almost always mean electric oven. That is because gas is great for a cooktop but not as useful for an oven. So typically a combination cooktop/oven will use gas but not when they are separate.
  • Electric oven typically means 30A or 40A dedicated 240V circuit.

Assuming that is the case, you can't add receptacles to the circuit because:

  • The receptacles need to be on a 15A or 20A circuit. A 30A or larger breaker is not allowed and is not safe. It turns out that in theory it is OK to tap up to 10' away using the usual 12 AWG wire to 20A receptacles. However...
  • If the manufacturer's installation instructions require a dedicated circuit then technically code would require a dedicated circuit (because code says "do what the manufacturer says as long as it doesn't conflict with the code"). But practically speaking, you are likely OK except beware - if you try to use a 1500W small appliance at the same time as your oven is the high-energy-usage part of a cycle, you risk tripping a breaker.

The whole situation is a bit strange though, as kitchens are normally (for a while now) supposed to have receptacles near all countertops for small appliances. The island should be no exception. If this is a truly new house then you may have recourse with the builder to meet code requirements. But if it is just "new to you" then it is likely grandfathered in without the extra receptacles.

Three solutions:

  • Simplest, usually: Run a new 12 AWG cable for receptacles connected to a 20A breaker.
  • Much more expensive unless running a cable = "tear up concrete": Connect the existing incoming power to a small subpanel and connect the oven (with appropriate size breakers) and new receptacles (20A) to the subpanel. Whether this is technically/code-compliant possible will depend on a number of specific details.
  • A hanging power pendant
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    Not accurate , check the 10’ tap rule. I have wired quite a few ovens / stove tops with a tapped 120v outlet, actually it was quite common in the past for a range on a 40 amp to have a 120v outlet , no additional ocpd it met the tap rules. – Ed Beal Jan 14 '20 at 4:58
  • I've seen ranges with the built-in "accessory outlet". I didn't know you could (legally) wire up an outlet separately. Is that still permitted for new installations? – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 14 '20 at 5:15
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    Check the 10 foot tap rule. – Ed Beal Jan 14 '20 at 5:20
  • Fascinating! I never knew that. That pretty clearly solves the wire size issue and presumably it is understood (somewhere) to cover the 20A receptacle (with 15A or 20A devices plugged into it) being on a 30A or 40A breaker as well. I'll update my answer. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 14 '20 at 5:29
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    If a new house it will be 4 wire if wired to code and I missed that , but it should be fine ,remover the area behind a range is not counted in the outlet spacing, this can allow 2 ‘ away on either side if there are counters there, or only 11” counter between the fridge and stove no receptacle would be required on that side , but the other side would normally have one in 2 ‘ . I don’t think I have ever seen one that did not have one on either side. Even islands usually do require them but I don’t have that in memory. But the ones I have built years ago were tapped. + – Ed Beal Jan 14 '20 at 6:19

The answer is yes. The tap rules do allow this and it is common in older homes to tap a duplex off the supply,

conduit from the tap to the outlet box is usually required and metal flex MC /AC is normally used.

The 10 foot tap rule has always been used on every example of this that I have seen. On both electric stove tops on top of the counter and single electric ovens below the counter.

Working in an area that for many years was almost exclusively electric this was quite common , maybe not as much today as “ranges” that have both oven and stove tops are no longer hard wired but I still see them.

The question since the 96 code change is the supply a 2 hot and ground or a 2 hot and neutral , it makes a difference, if 3 insulated conductors a grounding wire could be added and meet today’s code.

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    In the OP's case, the outlet would have to be a GFIC because the island is considered countertop... right? + – JACK Jan 14 '20 at 12:44
  • Yes it should be a GFCI good catch. – Ed Beal Jan 14 '20 at 15:29
  • Actually, the tap rules don't permit this -- 210.19(A)(4) exception 1 point c explicitly excludes receptacle outlets from consideration for the exception, and 210.19(A)(2) means that multiple receptacles cannot be fed from tap conductors anyway as a practical matter – ThreePhaseEel Jan 15 '20 at 2:15

I really have to disagree for the following reason.

First the tap rule is found in Article 240 Which is for overcurrent protection. More specifically 240.21(B) "Feeder Conductors" (2) "Taps not over 25 ft long" which says you can only use the tap rule if it meets all 3 requirements. Part 2 of that requirement states:

The tap conductors terminate in a single circuit breaker or a single set of fuses that limit the load to the ampacity of the tap conductors. This device shall be permitted to supply number of additional overcurrent devices on its load side.

Article 100 "Definitions" - define a feeder as circuit conductors between a power source (line side) and an overcurrent device (load side). So to start, the tap rule can only be used as on a feeder 241.21(B).

What 240.21(B)(2)(2) is telling you is that, on the load side, you must have one breaker within 25' of the tap to protect your range and one breaker to protect your receptacle.

Your better off following the Article 210 "Branch circuits" and the short version is; You cannot run conductors any smaller than the rating of the overcurrent protection.

  • Check out exhibit 210.24 minimum tap conductor size 20 amps. Can be from a 40 or 50 amp circuit. The first time I saw this I thought it was wrong for more reasons but after talking with an inspector , I have used this for remodels never on a new build it is allowed in my jurisdiction but we can use Romex in a sleeve outside and that is a no no but allowed within limits. Also since it’s a tap it has to be inspected I can not use a minor install label. – Ed Beal Jan 14 '20 at 20:44
  • @EdBeal - You are correct. My point was that using the "25' tap rule" was for feeder not branch circuits which is why I referred back to 210 Branch Circuits. Actually 210.24 refers you back to 210.19(A)(4) Exception (c) which allows you to tap to a receptacle within 18" of the tap. Also you made the right decision to consult the AHJ since they may have a different view point. – Retired Master Electrician Jan 15 '20 at 13:28

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