210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets

This section is split into the following first level sub-divisions:
(A) General Provisions
(B) Small Appliances
(C) Countertops and Work Surfaces
(D) Bathrooms
(E) Outdoor Outlets
(F) Laundry Areas
(G) Basements, Garages, and Accessory Buildings
(H) Hallways
(I) Foyers

NFPA 70-2023 Changes

Within 210.52(C) the following are key changes for NFPA 70-2023 

  1. 210.52(C): In the parent text of 210.52(C), the text focusing on multioutlet assemblies may appear to be modified but in reality the changes in the first draft were only modified placing the language back to what is currently in the 2020 version of the NEC. 
  2. 210.52(C)(1) focusing on Wall Spaces was slightly modified to reference 210.52(C)(3) for the location of the receptacles.  210.52(C)(3) was significantly modified.  In addition a new exception is added that permits the receptacle to be installed as close as practicable to the countertop area to be served.  
  3. 210.52(C)(2) focusing on islands and peninsular countertops and work surfaces was significantly modified to permit the installation of receptacle outlets to serve an island or peninsular countertop or work surface but not require those receptacle outlets.  In addition, the requirement includes provisions for future addition of a receptacle outlet to serve this location should that be desired at a later date.  The measurement requirements were removed.
  4. 210.52(C)(3) addresses receptacle outlet location.  This change no longer permits installation of a receptacle outlet below the countertop or work surface.  

Impact of change

  • Receptacle on the island or peninsula countertop is optional but if placed must be in a specific location which is not on the face of the cabinet below the countertop.
  • If a receptacle outlet is not provided to serve an island or peninsular countertop or work surface, provisions shall be provided at the island or peninsula for future addition of a receptacle outlet to serve the island or peninsular countertop or work surface.

The gray area still exists between what is a wall countertop space and what is a peninsular countertop space when determining whether you need a receptacle for a space on the wall to serve the countertop portion of the peninsular.[1]

NFPA 70-2020 Changes

The listed wall mounted control device was introduced to replace previous language of “wall switch”.  slight changes to Exception No. 1 for 210.52(B)(1).Clarification made in 210.52(C) that the receptacle outlets installed for the counterop or work surfaces are not permitted to satisfy the requirement for receptacle outlet placement as required in 210.52(A).  There were considerable changes in peninsular and island receptacle placements.  This section now goes by square footage with guidance on placement of one receptacle but open to the designer on the remainder.

NFPA 70-2017 Changes

There are a few significant changes to this section during the 2017 cycle.  The first is the introduction of “and work surfaces” to help address the issue of receptacles for these areas in a dwelling unit.  References to work surfaces was peppered through 210.52.  Next we have a change to Exception No. 2 of 210.52(B)(1) that let’s the installer pull a 15A circuit dedicated to any appliance in the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit.  Finally we have some changes to Peninsular Countertop spaces in 210.52(C)(3) where we tried to address issues on Peninsular Counterop Spaces but didn’t quite hit the mark.  You’ll see we fixed the issue there in the 2020 version of the Code.  Some minor tweaks in garages moved from car spaces to vehicle bays to address the concerns about types of vehicles.