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Our new home has a dedicated shop space. I'd like to add a utility sink and the best place for it would be on a wall that has a 15a, 240v outlet on it. The outlet would be below the top of the sink by about 2-1/2' and immediately to the left of the back left leg. The wall with the outlet is actually shared by a bathroom on the other side & the toilet is right there so there's currently water plumbing in the same area (within about a foot).

Based on where the outlet is, I'm not currently planning to use it.

Is that acceptable to have the 15 amp, 240v outlet in that proximity to the sink (and if not, is it likely that the outlet proximity to the toilet on the other side of the wall is a code violation)?

If it is, I'm thinking it'd be a good idea to use an outdoor cover box over it as a splash guard; agree?

Thanks in advance!

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. If an answer is helpful, please click the large check mark next to it to accept. And, please take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. – Daniel Griscom Aug 31 '20 at 21:19
  • Since you'll be opening that wall to access water pipe work, it might be a perfect time to relocate that socket as far from the sink as you reasonably can. Also consider, take the opportunity to add the regular GFCI 120V sockets at the sink for a microwave/bar fridge/kettle etc. (assuming you're in the US) – Criggie Sep 1 '20 at 4:06
  • @Criggie I took "utility sink" to mean more like a laundry or shop cleanup sink than a kitchenette. But turning the 240V to 120V (one or two depending on what cable is currently there) would help in any case. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Sep 1 '20 at 4:30
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact You obvs don't watch Project Binky - some mancaves run on tea. youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGSOZAHg1yQHU1tc_3Y5MTQg1qjtxA_nq – Criggie Sep 1 '20 at 5:43
  • Which country? In the UK, almost certainly not. – domen Sep 1 '20 at 8:03
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GFCI

If the receptacle was installed many years ago, it might not have GFCI. If so, I highly recommend GFCI protection, even if not strictly required by code. (Code requires GFCI for any receptacles near a sink, but doesn't typically force retrofit if no changes are being made.) GFCI will provide the necessary protection. A weatherproof cover would help, but would not give you the life-safety protection of GFCI.

However, GFCI for 240V is not so easy. Very likely you would have to put GFCI at the panel. As an alternative, you may want to turn this into a generally more useful 120V receptacle (with GFCI). If the existing wiring includes neutral then you could actually turn this into an MWBC and get two separate 120V circuits out of it. If it doesn't have neutral then you can turn it into one 120V circuit.

Plumbing inside the wall and toilet on the other side of the wall should not be an issue at all. The concern about water and electricity isn't that all of a sudden your pipes will leak and get your wires wet. That can happen, but it is relatively rare - and usually part of a much bigger problem. The concern, and the reason for GFCI, is that people using water will touch something electrical and end up (through a combination of events - not every touch of everything electrical when wet is actually a problem) with some electricity flowing through people instead of wires. GFCI detects that very quickly and saves lives.

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    Good answer covering all his options.+1 – JACK Aug 31 '20 at 16:45
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    Thank you both for the great information! – Rob Sep 3 '20 at 19:03

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