Horz. Receptacle?

This receptacle is mounted horizontally about 12” above the sink. I know it is not right but is it allowed?


Receptacles can’t be mounted face up on countertops. YMMV as to what we called this space.

406.4(E) Receptacles in Countertops and Similar Work Surfaces in Dwelling Units. Receptacles shall not be installed in a face-up position in countertops or similar work surfaces.

I would point out this could constitute a hazard if things stored in this space spilled.

I agree. Like I said, I knew it was wrong, thanks for the ref. to show it is not allowed.

The NEC is written vaguely enough that it allows for local electrical inspectors to make their own call. I’ve been in discussions on this MB before with electricians from different states and like opines, interpretations are like butts, everyone has one. In this case it comes down to 2 things:

  1. what the local EI allows
  2. what concerns you are going to report to YOUR client

I can see that you already have concerns and I agree w/ Greg

If I think it is a safety hazard, whether within “code” or not I inform my client and explain my concern.

Who knows some EI somewhere might concider that small shelf/sill a workspace.


I would not say it is written well enough that a local AHJ can make a "unwise’ call…i work with them every day…they are also still learning.

It is well known that in the dwelling many people install floor receptacles that are face up…but to be properly done they need to be the “proper” type of receptacle and if done correctly will be fine…

I agree that if this location is above the sink…it could be a rough call…if it is NOT being counted as part of the counter top space requirement ( 4’ ) and (2’ of the sink edge) then it may not be considered a countertop receptacle…BUT it can be considered similar space because of its location which would be a problem in my opinion.

Suggestion would be to replace the plug with a GFCI…or better yet if already on the GFCI…replace with a floor receptacle cover as a normal floor model that is approved for the position.

Now…you would have problems IF this receptacle is over the sink…and is wired in with the countertop…because if it is NOT part of the counter then it SHOULD NOT be wired in with the counter…but again who knows what year and when it was done…codes have changed…:slight_smile:

Now…lol…if it is a bathroom…ignore what i said…thehehe…it should be on GFCI to begin with…and It is a problem…can’t you see a cup of denture water spilling on it…ahhh…the look into the future…oh well…anyway I would most certainly note it…and it could be replaced in the same manner as the other I stated…

So…with that said…I would suggest it be protected by GFCI…and replace the receptacle with a single floor receptacle cover and inner housing that reduces the chance of anything getting into it…

key here is…

1.) Is it wired in with the Kitchen CounterTop…?
2.) Is it a Similar Space…?
3.) Since it is already their…how do we protect it…?
4.) Is it a Kitchen Sink or Bathroom Sink…lol

Answers…Read my post above the QUESTIONS…lol

lol…sorry for the kitchen space references…I never can miss a moment to add educational info…sorry…lol…I think the image is a bathroom…lol