Dishwasher outlet

Reading the post about the outlet on the other side of a bar sink below 18 inches not being GFCI’d but people writing up anyway for safety reasons, got me thinking about the dishwasher outlet. Just curious if anybody has called this out.

NEC is somewhat vague.
422.16(B)2…Receptacle shall be located to avoid physical damage to the flexible cord…The receptacle shall be located in the space occupied by the appliance or ADJACENT thereto…The receptacle shall be ACCESSIBLE.

90% of the time here in North Texas the outlet is in the cut out of the dishwasher. Here is a Whirlpool brand spec.
[FONT=Univers][size=1][FONT=Univers][size=1][FONT=Univers][size=1]• Power supply cord must plug into a mating three prong,
grounded outlet, located in the cabinet next to the
dishwasher opening. Outlet must meet all local codes and


When it is under the cabinet it does not serve the countertop therefore it does not need to be GFCI protected. Some local codes may require the dishwasher to be hardwired as I remember seeing posted on here before.

The dishwasher is usualy pluged in behind it and reset would need to be at the panel.

The fridge is not on GFCI either remember.

Tom’s question is not whether the outlet should be GFCI protected but rather should it be ‘accessible’ since many of them are under the enclosed cabinet and behind the dishwasher. The IRC (and I suspect the NEC) defines Accessible as:

Since the dishwasher can be slid out from under the cabinet then I consider that outlet ‘accessible’. I do not write up outlets hidden behind a dishwasher as deficient.

Thanks Mike!!

The majority of dishwashers here in Texas have cords on them. NEC says outlet can be in cut out and manufacturer says not to. Not sure who supersedes. I would have a HARD time calling this out myself, but it came up and got stuck in my head needing an answer. Wasn’t sure if the dishwasher being considered built-in would change the accessible status.

Well, my first thought is that if the manufacturer says that then so be it…they override code. I’ll go look at that Whirlpool reference. I’d like to use that for an RFI to TREC maybe.

I just went to and selected a dishwasher and pulled the installations instructions to get the info. They seem to be the same instructions for most of the models.

Yeah, I see that although those instructions are a little vague regarding the outlet, i.e. like you said in your 1st post…“located in the cabinet next to the dishwasher”.

Sorry my first post was a quick read through.

In the situation of the plug being accessible it is still not required to be gfci if down in the cabinet.

You could make the same argument for the micro hood plug too, otherwise.

[FONT=GEInspira][size=2]GE has a little more detail than Whirlpool. Here’s GE’s

“For power cord connections, install a 3-prong grounding
type receptacle in the adjacent cabinet rear wall, 6” min.
or 18" max. from the opening, 6" to 18" above the floor.
The receptacle must be accessible and therefore cannot
be installed in the back wall of the dishwasher enclosure"

To help you on the RFI, I called 3 builder friends. (1)Centex homes, (1) Gehan and the other MHI homes. They all buy direct from Whirlpool and Whirlpool will refuse to install unless outlets are in adjacent cabinet.

I called a local Whirlpool Salesman and he said about 10 years ago alot of the builders here got away from the direct connect due to theft. To get the electrical final/meter the dishwasher had to be installed, which put the appliances in the house to early and were getting stolen. Put the outlet in and get the meter and appliances could come in closer to the end. (makes sense). He also said the electricians would put the outlet to high. The plug and back of dishwasher would come into contact and create a SAFETY issue from vibration and jamming the dishwasher back to far, therefore changing the rule to be cabinet adjacent. Not sure of these facts, but sounded good.[/size][/FONT]

I’m sure this might be overkill but just trying to help.

Remember, the whole idea of the cord & plug/outlet is for the repairman who can unplug it while working on the unit. What I do and is acceptable is hard wire the unit and install a lockout/ tag out device on the breaker. The repairman can turn off the breaker and place a lock on it in the off position. This saves me time and money. Thanks Rick