406.15 Dimmer-Controlled Receptacles.

The bottom receptacle in the duplex requires a special plug cap that mates with the receptacle that will be controlled by the dimmer.
Click to Enlarge
The bottom receptacle in the duplex requires a special plug cap that mates with the receptacle that will be controlled by the dimmer.

Code Change Summary: A new code section was added to address receptacles controlled by a dimmer.

It has become quite common to see undercabinet lighting in the kitchen and even antique or other novelty lighting fixtures set on top of the cabinets or pot shelfs and plugged into a receptacle located near the ceiling.

Often these receptacles have been installed for the sole purpose of plugging in special light fixtures and a dimmer switch is installed to control them. All is good as long as nothing else is plugged in besides a light fixture. Plugging in an old antique radio or something else that requires a straight voltage might cause things to malfunction or even burn up.

In the 2014 NEC, a new code section allows for dimmer controlled receptacles but only under certain conditions:

Below is a preview of the NEC.  See the actual NEC text at NFPA.ORG for the complete code section. Once there, click on the “free access” tab and select the applicable year of NFPA 70 (National Electrical code).

2014 Code Language:

406.15 Dimmer-Controlled Receptacles. A receptacle supplying lighting loads shall not be connected to a dimmer unless the plug/receptacle combination is a nonstandard configuration type that is specifically listed and identified for each such unique combination.

Did You Like This? Let Us Know With A Like! Thanks!

406.15 Dimmer-Controlled Receptacles.

Below is a Real Question from our Electrical Continuing Education Courses for Electrical License Renewal:

Which of the following is true of dimmer controlled receptacles?

A: Dimmer controlled receptacles are only permitted in dwellings.
B: They are not permitted under any circumstance.
C: Dimmer controlled receptacles are only permitted for lighting loads and only if the plug/receptacle combination is a nonstandard configuration type that is specifically listed and identified for each unique combination.
D: They are required for lighting loads.
Please register or sign in for electrical continuing education courses.

If you were already signed in, your session probably expired, please sign back in.