I bought a "fixer upper" and I'm remolding the kitchen.

The previous "hack & wack" investor added a dishwasher but to power the DW they installed an outlet box and powered that box by cutting the power cable to the outside outlet and left that outlet unconnected.

My question is it ok or a bad idea to power that outside outlet by "tapping" back into the DW box?

Thanks, Mitchenter image description here


The 2014 NEC now requires the dishwasher to be on GFCI.

The 2014 NEC does not require the dishwasher to be on an individual circuit (it never has). So, you could feed either receptacle on the load side of the other with a GFCI. Or you could put the whole circuit on a GFCI breaker.

If your locality is still on the 2011 NEC the GFCI requirement was not in there for the dishwasher then but it was for the outside receptacle. So, as Isherwood points out, you could feed the outside from the DW receptacle as long as it is a GFCI receptacle.

Additionally, all residential receptacles have to be tamper resistant. Outdoor receptacles have to be TR and weather resistant with an in-use cover that is rated "extra duty".

Gets complicated eh?

Good luck!


I'd have no concerns about doing so assuming the exterior outlet is a GFCI and it's fairly well protected from the elements. Even if it does get wet and trip the dishwasher will remain in service.

I'm not aware of any codes that this would violate, but I'm not a NEC encyclopedia like some of our members.


Others have discussed the code requirements, so I'll answer from a physics point of view: The only real concern is that some models of dishwasher use a significant amount of power. As such, if you're planning to use the outdoor socket for more than light-duty work when the washer is running, the circuit may not have enough capacity for your needs.

If it's something you're going to use only occasionally when the dishwasher is off there shouldn't be any problem.

  • I would be particularly concerned about, say, the dishwasher pump and a lawnmower starting up at the same time. Big inductive loads equal big inrush currents. May 23 '16 at 22:14
  • Somebody needs to invent a "smart outlet" that reads out the power being used by all devices on the same circuit on a convenient display of some kind so you can know when plugging in one more device is a bad idea...
    – Perkins
    May 24 '16 at 20:59

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