Kitchen Countertop Outlets 

How many outlets do you need for your countertop workspaces? This electrical inspector has the answer.

Installing an outlet near a countertop | Construction Pro Tips

Question: What are the receptacle outlet spacing rules for kitchen countertops?


Here are the basics: A receptacle outlet needs to be installed on each wall where the countertop or work space that is 12 inches or wider. This makes sense because even a 12-in. space can accommodate a toaster, coffeemaker or other small appliance.

Receptacle outlets need to be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 24-inches (measured horizontally) from a receptacle outlet in that space. In other words, an appliance with a 24-in. cord could be placed anywhere along the countertop, and the supply cord could reach a receptacle outlet in either direction. Countertop spaces interrupted or separated by built-in rangetops, sinks, refrigerators, etc. are considered separate countertop spaces and require a receptacle outlet.

Always check with your local electrical inspector about the specific code requirements in your area.

Question Answered by John Williamson, Chief Electrical Inspector, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

John Williamson has been in the electrical industry for 40 years and is a licensed master electrician and certified building official. John has worked for the state of Minnesota for over 23 years and is the Chief Electrical Inspector. For the past 25 years John has also provided electrical code consultation to various book and magazine publishers

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