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Do Docking Drawer Blade Outlets Comply with NEC for Kitchen Islands & Peninsulas?Updated 9 months ago

National Electrical Code (NEC) is not black and white. So while the short answer is “YES, Docking Drawer complies with the NEC”, recent code changes created some grey area relating to AC outlets in kitchen islands & peninsulas that are worth understanding. 

Docking Drawer Blade Outlets Comply With NEC

We’ve put in the work to achieve our company’s mission of offering consumers with a smart, simple & safe solution for in-drawer power, and in the history of our company, we have never –not once– had an outlet returned because it did not comply with NEC. That said, there was a change to the 2023 NEC (Rule 210.52, Part 3, Subsection 3) specifically regarding AC outlets in kitchen islands & peninsulas, that is raising some questions about which Docking Drawer outlets are NEC-compliant for the kitchen - so we’re here to explain.

Which code does your state follow?

Keeping up with NEC is confusing. It’s important to note that not all states adopt to current NEC regulations, and some are on different versions of the code. According to NFPA.org, at the time this article was written, US states were managing 5 versions of the NEC, with:

  • 28 states following the 2020 code

  • 15 states following the 2017 code

  • 1 state following the 2014 code

  • 1 state following the 2008 code 

  • 4 states following county and municipality code


Docking Drawer offers solutions that comply with all of the above NEC versions, just be sure to check which code your state is following in order to make the most informed decisions for your project.

What has changed?

The new 2023 code (Rule 210.52, Part 3, Subsection 3) eliminates the requirement to install receptacles within kitchen islands and peninsulas. So for all our customers wishing to avoid cutting outlets into those beautiful waterfall countertops, it’s time to rejoice! 


But for the 5 states that have commenced the process to adopt to the 2023 NEC Code (that's you, Oregon, Wyoming, Minnesota, Texas, and North Carolina), you should be aware that the new requirements state that AC outlets are no longer allowed to be located below countertop height in Kitchen Islands and Peninsulas. You’re probably wondering: What about the dishwasher? How will I power my garbage displosal? Where will I plug in my air fryer, hand mixer, crock pot, laptop, and so on? Welcome to the grey area.


Navigating this new grey area requires some interpretation, though it is specific only to (1) EXPOSED (2) AC OUTLETS (3) located BELOW COUNTERTOP HEIGHT (4) in KITCHEN ISLANDS/PENINSULAS (5) THAT SERVE A WORKSPACE. Furthermore, the code specifies 3 categories of AC outlets that are allowable in a kitchen island or peninsula:

Why the NEC change for kitchen islands?

The Consumer Products Safety (CPSC) Division reported that, between 1991 to 2020, people were getting hurt as a result of exposed kitchen island & peninsula outlets that were “serving work surfaces”. In fact, 9,700 people, many of them children, were treated in United States emergency departments for burns and other injuries after instances such as pulling on or running into power cords plugged into outlets located below kitchen island countertops. As a direct response to this CPSC data, the NEC updated the 2023 code as detailed in the section above.

How do we interpret the code?

After reading the 2023 code forwards and backwards, our collective interpretation at Docking Drawer can be summarized as follows (REMINDER: if your state is following any version of code prior to 2023, no action is needed, as our solutions comply with all prior NEC versions for any application including kitchen islands/peninsulas):


  1. Docking Drawer in-drawer outlets with AC configurations are NOT ALLOWABLE below countertop height in kitchen islands/peninsulas because they can serve a work surface.

  2. Docking Drawer in-drawer outlets with AC configurations are ALLOWABLE anywhere else in the kitchen.

  3. Docking Drawer in-drawer outlets with USB-only configurations are ALLOWABLE in the kitchen island or peninsula, because they would not have an application to serve a work surface.

  4. Docking Drawer pop-up outlets with both AC & USB configurations, which install directly into the worktop surface, are ALLOWABLE in kitchen islands/peninsulas.

  5. The in-cabinet power source that would be used to connect your Docking Drawer outlet is ALLOWABLE, as it is not an “exposed” outlet that will “serve a workspace”.

Which Docking Drawer outlet should I choose for my kitchen?

NEC-Compliant Outlets for Kitchen Islands & Peninsulas

15amp Blade Duo (8 USB-A)

$344




15amp Blade (4 USB-A)

$244


Learn More

15amp Blade Duo (4 USB-A, 4 USB-C)

Coming soon!



Pop-Up Outlets (AC/USB)

Coming soon!




If you’re looking to add in-drawer power anywhere else in the kitchen (or home), check out our top-selling collection of Blade Series in-drawer outlets, available in a variety of configurations featuring AC, USB-A and fast-charging USB-C.

Shop Top-Selling In-Drawer Outlets

Is there an alternative solution for kitchen islands?

Yes—if you still have concerns over NEC compliance, our new 120v Hubbell pop-up outlets are an alternative hidden power source for your kitchen island. Hubbell pop-up outlets offer a seamless integration with your countertop's aesthetics. These outlets are incredibly compact and shallow, measuring just a few inches in depth, which optimizes placement flexibility, especially on kitchen islands, without occupying excess space. They not only meet our rigorous testing criteria but also outperform all other pop-up outlet alternatives. 


Questions?

Reach out to our team of experts by phone, email, SMS, or live chat. We are always available and eager to help.

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