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kitchen counter receptacles

ICE

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The situation it thus: The work was done without a permit. The kitchen was remodeled. A building permit was obtained and mep as well. The kitchen has 20' of newly installed counter and only two countertop receptacles. The inspector wrote a correction for the 24" distance to a receptacle. The contractor appealed the correction with the office manager. The following is the policy for a kitchen remodel.

Unless the the drywall above the kitchen counter has been removed or there is new counter space that was not present prior to the remodel, no additional receptacles are required. The removing of drywall to install receptacle outlets is deemed to be a hardship. The conundrum that the inspector faces is that he/she/undecided has no proof of what the configuration was prior to the remodel.

Quite often the only inspection is the final unless the sink has been relocated in which case a rough plumbing inspection is performed. As such, the contractor can claim that the counter layout/island placement is identical to the prior layout and no drywall has been removed.
 

Pcinspector1

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IRC105 (6) creates a loophole for the flippers, cuz it has tile work, cabinets and countertops exempt from permit. When they hear that they don't follow code. One way to determine receptacle placement is at rough-in and sometimes you get to see cabinet locations drawn on the floor and sometimes not.

Does policy change with a new office boy after the old office boy leaves. Sometimes policy is good and sometimes policy bites.
 

e hilton

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If you see new tile on the wall over the new counters, probably a good bet they had the opportunity to open the wall for electrical. Did they install new under-cabinet lighting?
 

e hilton

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And i would ask to see the demo plan and/or pictures to determine if new counterspace was added.
 

teej

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Are you asking if it is OK to lie to AHJ? (In an online public forum made up of AHJ's.)
I don't see the "conundrum" but I do see an opportunity to commit fraud.
It must be rental property. I can't imagine an owner being happy with only two kitchen plugs.
These days too many modern appliances and too many of them requiring more electricity.
The renters will have plug strips and extension cords running across the sink, etc.
Continuous overloading of c. breakers could lead to a fire.
I've never seen a contractor argue against a change order. Is that what they call brain fog.
 

ICE

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R105.2 Work exempt from permit.
Exemption from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:

6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.

Many times there is a building permit for a kitchen remodel. There will be an electrical permit for lights and a few receptacles...perhaps a fan. Sometimes there is a complete rewiring of the kitchen and sometimes not much at all. The cabinets and counters can be ignored except for the related electrical code. It matters not if the configuration has been altered or not. When the CRC states that cabinets and counters are exempt from a permit but you have to comply with all other codes....the clear indication is that even when just replacing the counter the recaptacle spacing found in the CEC applies.
 

e hilton

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Require a pre-permit inspection or "existing" pictures? Shirley there is not that will from above.....
Probably not. But when you see a total of 2 receptacles and the contractor is claiming exemption because the amount of counter didn’t change, and the backsplash wasn’t opened up … red flags.
 

Pcinspector1

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The qualification is hard to identify but the authority is obvious.
I have one of those, the authority can wire a horse barn, so that makes "em" an electrician with all the answers.

I told "em" that a good electrician needs to knows code, doesn't have romex on his truck and usually wears one black sock, it's a "sparky thing?"

Now that's an electrician that knows stuff!
 

ICE

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The policy has changed. The drywall above the counter is not an issue. The hardship idea behind removing drywall has gone away. It now stands with just the replacement of the kitchen counter. If the counter is new and the receptacles do not meet CEC for spacing, the contractor shall prove that the counter has not changed in configuration. That proof shall be physical proof such as pictures.

A verbal testament from an owner, contractor or probation officer shall not count as evidence as to the configuration of the kitchen counters prior to the work. While this is an improvement, there is an opening for contentious dialogue. The concept of existing non conforming construction is the motivation for allowing a lessor application of the code. When thinking of the motivation behind current code, I am conflicted as we know the code came in after scaldings of small children.

So I argued the issue to where it is now.
 
Last edited:

tbz

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The policy has changed. The drywall above the counter is not an issue. The hardship idea behind removing drywall has gone away. It now stands with just the replacement of the kitchen counter. If the counter is new and the receptacles do not meet CEC for spacing, the contractor shall prove that the counter has not changed in configuration. That proof shall be physical proof such as pictures.

A verbal testament from an owner, contractor or probation officer shall not count as evidence as to the configuration of the kitchen counters prior to the work. While this is an improvement, there is an opening for contentious dialogue. The concept of existing non conforming construction is the motivation for allowing a lessor application of the code. When thinking of the motivation behind current code, I am conflicted as we know the code came in after scaldings of small children.

So I argued the issue to where it is now.
Sounds extremely reasonably to me, and should be easy to document with the way people take pictures with phones over the last 7 years.
 

bill1952

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I am a little conflicted that the owner and contractor are assumed untruthful and a photograph, which is easy to manipulate, is required. A little like being guilty till proven innocent.
 

e hilton

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I am a little conflicted that the owner and contractor are assumed untruthful
yes, but its because money is involved and both parties are trying to not spend it. Also the factor of “doesn’t look good in my design” and “they can’t tell me how to build my house”.
 

ICE

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I am a little conflicted that the owner and contractor are assumed untruthful and a photograph, which is easy to manipulate, is required. A little like being guilty till proven innocent.
That's the contentious dialogue that I referred to. I can hear it now, "Are you calling me a liar?" That is why I did not wholeheartedly endorse the policy. It is not likely to be an issue often. I have been there a few dozen times. I always write the correction for counter spacing of receptacles at the first inspection. That has upset more than a few contractors that assume I have assumed that they don't know the code.

I have prepared a document labeled EL 101. Depending on the scope of work, I might drop it on them at the footing inspection. Later, when there is a violation, I can tell them that I forewarned them. That serves two purposes....it helps me at the end and it helps them at the beginning. I am a proponent of providing as much information as possible before the work starts.
 

bill1952

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No time or money but maybe remodel would be well served by a before inspection. Just a good idea that can't be paid for. In a small rural town - one person building and zoning department for 2 villages and 2 towns - I got a pre-remidel visit. And when I wanted 2-3 inches relaxed for counter receptacle spacing before I started, texted electrical inspector for permission and was granted it.

There must have been something that made you think perhaps the counters were not a same size replacement and honestly, if work was done before permit (I think that's what you said) more cause.
 

tbz

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I have always questioned how they got to that point to begin with.

In states that are more recent to state wide code enforcement it seems reasonable, but in states like CA, I would tend to question it.

As for asking for the picture, simply ask tell them I can't put their verbal words in the file, so for your protection so this does not come up again at a future inspection for another of your projects, please provide a picture.

How unreasonable is asking for a picture for your files that shows it pre-existed that way.

Heck they can even text it to you, pretty sure they have it in the phone....

I guess if they don't want to provide a picture, you can ask them for a notarized letter stating it was that way?

Which is simpler..................................................................
 
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