In progress remodeling a basement kitchen in a home built 2003.

Current NEC Code for my area is NEC 2017.

When I pulled out the old base cabinet I found an live extension cord coming out of the base of the drywall. ExtensionCord_From_Wall

Further investigation and I found there was a single standard 20 amp breaker feeding the circuit with 12/2 romex and everything wired in parrallel.

First single gang box on circuit has 3 12/2 romex cables pigtailed going to a GCFI outlet.

One extention from the pigtail in the box is connected to the cord coming out of the bottom of the wall and the other feeds a double gang on other side of the former sink.

The double gang box has 2 12/2 romex pigtailed to GFCI outlet and a sink lighting fixture switch with everything connect per this diagram.


I have had luck looking up specific case requirements in the NEC but I am not an electrician and not familar enough to say if something is just a voilation or not.

So many questions but the short list:

  1. Would this extension cord be against either past NEC code or NEC 2017 currently enforced in my area?
  2. If this extension cord thing is not considered against NEC code it doesn't seem safe or wise as it is next to a the plumbing for the sink and directly in contact with the floor.
  3. Should these GFCI outlets and light switch be in parrallel like currently installed or should they be wired in series off the first GFCI outlet protecting everything down stream of it so the switch would also be protected by the GFCI?

Thanks in advance for any advice and references provided.

  • 6
    Someone will come along with a code reference for you, but cordage (your extension cord) is a guaranteed, 100% violation of code and has been for a very long time. I'd treat the rest of the wiring in the house with extreme caution and deep skepticism until you've had a chance to go over it with a fine tooth comb.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 21 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


Extension cords have never been legal as installed wiring.

(Sort of) good news, though. From the picture that doesn't appear to be an extension cord. Rather, it's a receptacle installed on the end of a piece of NM cable. You could make the visible part of this installation code-compliant by removing the receptacle and replacing it with a handy box with proper strain relief and an outlet. That doesn't mean the rest of the installation is proper. Oh, and if it's within six feet of the sink, that receptacle gets to be a GFCI.

As to your GFCI question, connecting them in parallel is fine. It's even desirable in some cases, as a trip on one GFCI won't lose power to the others. The downside is that it costs more because you have to buy multiple GFCI outlets instead of a single one. So long as everything that is within six feet of a sink is GFCI protected, this part of the installation is actually OK.

And I agree with the comment: this would light up my suspicions, and I wouldn't trust any of the work done by whoever did this. I strongly suggest given the 2003 construction date that this was a 'homeowner special' build out with no permits. Double-check the framing, plumbing, everything.

  • You mentioned everything that is within six feet of a sink is GFCI protected does everything include just outlets or also light switches as well? It is indeed NM Cable. I like the idea of a handy box instead of just ripping out the cable. Also definately have alarm bells going off as I also found improper open venting for this kitchen sink.
    – DVS
    Commented Feb 21 at 20:54
  • 1
    Anything electrical with open connections you can reach with a six foot piece of string from any part of the sink needs GFCI protection. Receptacles, light fixtures with replaceable bulbs, USB chargers, etc. Switches don't need the protection.
    – KMJ
    Commented Feb 21 at 21:29

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