UPDATE 5/25/2016: We've received several comments and concerns about the safety of this setup since its publication. Please check out all of the reader responses here.
As part of some of his vanity designs, Charleston, S.C., remodeler Bob Fleming includes a much appreciated feature: a hairdryer drawer. The drawer has an outlet in the back, so homeowners can use the dryer and tuck it away in a drawer — all without unplugging it. To do this, Fleming shortens a standard drawer box to leave 2 inches between the back of the box and the back of the cabinet. So for a 21-inch drawer, he builds a custom 18-inch box to allow for clearance for the plug. The electrician must provide a wall outlet located approximately even with the opening in the rear of the drawer box.
“Then we use an SO Cord — a flat extension cord with prongs at a 90-degree angle. We cut it to 3½ feet long, with the molded end wired into the outlet box. We place another outlet behind the drawer, mounted on the wall,” says the owner of Classic Remodeling.
Contractors should speak to their inspectors before building this. “The outlet in the drawer meets the requirement of having outlets along the counter, but they need to be flexible in their interpretation,” Fleming says.
- Finished drawer box, ready to be installed
- SurgeMaster surge protector.
- Fleming cuts the surge protector off and uses the plug-end, because it is offset at a 90-degree angle (allowing the best clearance) and because the plug-end swivels
- Plastic outlet box 1¼ inches deep by 2 3/8 inches wide by 3½ inches long
- Receptacle and receptacle cover