We removed a small old island and are planning on replacing it with a new, slightly larger one. The old one had two outlets on either side that we've left completely intact (wiring, receptacles, and all). We're planning on just popping them into the new island and won't be touching the wiring/circuitry at all. My worry is that they'll have to be in slightly different locations relative to where they were before - they used to be on each end of the old island but with the new one they would have to both be on the back (just a few inches from the ends with maybe two feet between them).

Would a home inspector flag this/does any of this require a permit?

  • 3
    Without knowing what jurisdiction the island is in we can't offer much aid. Some locales may require that protective devices be brought up to current code, e.g. GFCI or AFCI. Others may not care in the least. Receptacle type, spacing, number of circuits, ... all change as NEC is updated. And NEC might not apply to your island's N.
    – HABO
    Feb 18, 2023 at 3:00
  • If it is in the kitchen it would need GFCI
    – Traveler
    Feb 18, 2023 at 3:03
  • 2
    It is in the kitchen and we're in Seattle - I called the local permit office and they were fine with popping them in/out when replacing the island, but I forgot to mention that the spacing/location might be different so I wanted to double check before the weekend.
    – user163181
    Feb 18, 2023 at 4:01
  • Thanks for the location - more and more, there are questions which are unanswerable due to lack of this useful information.
    – Tim
    Feb 18, 2023 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


The question is whether a home inspector will notice and flag a new kitchen island that replaces an existing island (even if they are in slightly different locations). Based on my experience with inspectors and the process (in Pennsylvania and Florida), I doubt they would flag you for no permits. If you did a bad job, they would flag that. If your buyer gets a pernicious inspector, they might mention in the report that the number and location of outlets in the island doesn't meet current code. But I'd give a very low likelihood of them flagging no permits. If you took out a permit and did not properly close it out, that would be flagged almost 100% of the time.


Based on a comment, it appears that your local jurisdiction is OK with simple remove/replace. That is typical, and I wouldn't expect any problem. However, I would consider two things:

  • GFCI

If your kitchen is old enough to have not required GFCI receptacles (~ 1987) then adding GFCI makes sense, even if not strictly required. You also may not be required to have GFCI protection if the receptacles are > 6' from the nearest sink. However, I recommend GFCI protection for all receptacles used in food preparation areas as your hands and small appliances can get wet even if you are not next to a sink. At $20 or so for each receptacle (really for each circuit if you wire it correctly), the cost is minimal.

  • Distance

The current code is basically every 4' with each spot on the counter no more than 2' along the wall from the nearest receptacle. Based on the description in the question, that should be fine. But for others with bigger islands, this can be a factor in placement. Also note that (according to a quick search) receptacles should be within 20" above the counter or, particularly with islands, within 12" below the counter.

  • 1
    I'm local to Seattle and this is on point. Upvoted.
    – KMJ
    Feb 19, 2023 at 5:02

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