I've seen these small round popup outlets. popup kitchen counter outlet

I spoke with a contractor we have doing a remodel of our kitchen and he said it would violate building codes. Didn't even give me a chance to show him what I was talking about. So I was just hoping to get a 2nd opinion with someone who's knowledgeable about california building codes (specifically san mateo county) as to if something like this is ok or violates some code?


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    Have you contacted your local building department? They will be able to tell you if they'll allow it. – Tester101 Oct 9 '15 at 20:54
  • FWIW, certain models of pop-up receptacles with the correct markings are accepted for installation in kitchen countertops by BC's electrical safety regulator. – alx9r Oct 12 '15 at 14:21

This would not violate the NEC, which I think Ca uses. Your building dept can tell you what electrical codes your area follows.

Possibly your contractor thought you were referring to the receptacles being face-up. That would be a violation of the NEC for a kitchen counter receptacle.

The main stipulation would be that they would need to be GFI protected by an upstream GFI device or breaker, and that it is hard wired.

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Indeed, provided the assembly is UL listed for the purpose, there are no Code issues involved. The applicable passages are 210.52(C)(5) (emphasis mine):

(5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located on or above, but not more than 500 mm (20 in.) above, the countertop. Receptacle outlet assemblies listed for the application shall be permitted to be installed in countertops. Receptacle outlets rendered not readily accessible by appliances fastened in place, appliance garages, sinks, or rangetops as covered in 210.52(C)(1), Exception, or appliances occupying dedicated space shall not be considered as these required outlets.

and 406.5(E):

(E) Receptacles in Countertops and Similar Work Surfaces. Receptacles, unless listed as receptacle assemblies for countertop applications, shall not be installed in a face-up position in countertops or similar work surfaces.

Where receptacle assemblies for countertop applications are required to provide ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel in accordance with 210.8, such assemblies shall be permitted to be listed as GFCI receptacle assemblies for countertop applications.

Unfortunately, the T&B KPR-15G is on "permanent engineering hold", don't ask me why -- otherwise, it seems to be the finest example out there of such an assembly. If you don't mind the difference in appearance, though, you can use the Lew PUFP series (they pop out at a "sideways angle" vs the vertical pop-up on the T&B and Mockett units, as shown in this PDF). Unfortunately, the image in the question depicts the Mockett version of this concept, which is sigh listed as a portable power tap, and thus not Code-compliant in this application.

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Popups like that are available with a cord and plug, just a special kind of outlet strip, I don't know if they are listed as a "relocatable power tap" or what. If there is an outlet inside the cabinet where you can plug in the popup, that outlet will need to be GFCI protected etc. in line with codes. I'd get the pertinent info from the popup manufacturer and run it by the inspector.

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  • A plug in power strip as you say would not be code complaint. You CANNOT use a plug-in strip like that in place of permanent wiring, and for counter receptacles like this, unless they are in addition to required receptacles, would not be complaint. – Speedy Petey Oct 9 '15 at 23:10
  • It is of course an addition to, not a replacement for, the permanent wiring required by the code. – batsplatsterson Oct 9 '15 at 23:44
  • @batsplatsterson -- Speedy is dead on the money here -- a relocatable power tap is the wrong listing for the job. – ThreePhaseEel Oct 10 '15 at 1:45
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    @batsplatsterson, you are misunderstanding my point. Something that plugs in with a cord CANNOT be used for permanent wiring. The only way that pop-up thing would be code legal in a kitchen counter would be if it were hard wired. An item like that that plugs in would only be legal on a piece of movable furniture, like a desk. – Speedy Petey Oct 10 '15 at 15:04
  • Are you absolutely sure about that? If it's like others I have seen for conference tables, it isn't permanent wiring at all, it isn't permanent in any sense of the word. It doesn't fasten to the tabletop. It can be pulled all the way out any time without tools. It is less fastened to the structure than a surge strip wall mounted with keyholes. – batsplatsterson Oct 13 '15 at 13:42

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