The Dangers of Countertop Outlets

Island Outlets are Dangerous & New Code says No More
Island Outlets are Dangerous & New Code says No More

Outlets Not Allowed

Side Mounted Island Countertop Outlets, like in the image above, are No Longer Required or Allowed as of the 2023 NEC Code. Read how the Code May or May Not Apply in your Jurisdiction.

Are Electrical Outlets Mounted on the side of your Kitchen Island, an Accident waiting to happen?

Yes, The CPSC, Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in the years 1991 - 2020 a yearly average of 335 Children and Adults were treated in Emergency Rooms for Burns and other Injuries resulting from Power Cords Hanging over the Edge of Countertops.


Outlets located somewhere within the Island for Appliances like a Blender, Mixer or even a Slow Cooking Crock Pot are very Convenient. This Convenience is going away when the NEC 2023 Code is Implemented in your Jurisdiction. See the new Options below.

Electrical Codes

Code or Codes that Govern the placement of Electrical Outlets in the Kitchen on the Wall Space under the Cabinets above the Countertop, including the Island and Peninsula are set forth in the National Electrical Code (NEC).

2023 Code Changes

Be sure to read "About NEC" below because the New Code may not apply in your area. I personally think the New Requirements are well worth the increased costs.

The Previous Code or Codes required 1 or more Outlets at the Island or Peninsula, depending on the Size of the Countertop. That has changed, now the Code has removed that requirement basically saying there is No Requirement to have an Outlet, but there are other requirements.

3 NEC Code Options for Island or Peninsula Outlets

1. Installation of a Listed (approved) Pop-Up Outlet mounted on the Countertop Surface

2. With a Raised Backsplash the Outlet can be installed on the Backsplash but no more than 20 inches above the Countertop

3. If No Outlet is installed there must be a Provision for a Future Outlet. This would include a Powered Junction Box within an Island Cabinet in case a Future Outlet is Wanted

About NEC

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is not a United States Law or Government Agency. The NEC is part of the National Fire Codes published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The Electrical Code is written by the NEC and is adopted by States, Municipalities and County Governments that include and enforce these codes in their own Building Codes.

The NEC Updates or Rewrites the Electrical Code every three years. An update may not be adapted by a State or Local Government immediately.

It can be confusing as to what Year NEC Code a State, Municipality or local Jurisdiction has adopted or is Enforcing. As a DIYer you should check with your Local Government Agency that will be issuing a Permit to verify what year NEC Code is being used.

Personal Thought

I have never been a Proponent of Outlets mounted on the side of the Island in a High Traffic Area. Cell Phone charging or powering a Laptop on the Island is very common in Today's Kitchen. At the very least take Every Possible Precautions when a Cord is hanging over the Countertop. We use a Kitchen Aid Mixer on the Island, the Cord is Un-Plugged and wrapped up even if it is for a short time.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Benjamin Franklin

The Quote in 1736 by Ben Franklin was Advise to the Philadelphia Fire Department saying that Preventing Fires was better than Fighting them.

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