Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required by NEC?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

This listing of required locations where receptacles must be GFCI-protected is based on the 2017 NEC (National Electrical Code). The code is updated every three years and, because some jurisdictions take several years to adopt the most recent edition, a few of the newer requirements may not yet be enforced in your area. The NEC began by specifying GFCI-protection for only outdoor and pool area receptacles in 1971, then added new wet locations gradually over the years. To find out when each one was added to the NEC, go to our blog post “When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?”  

  •  Bathrooms
  • Bathtubs or Shower Stalls (all receptacles within 6 feet, even if not in bathroom)
  •  Boathouses
  •  Crawl Spaces
  •  Dishwasher (if receptacle, must be accessible)
  •  Garages
  •  Kitchen counter receptacles
  •  Sinks (all receptacles within 6 feet of edge of top of bowl)
  •  Outdoors
  •  Pool (within 20 feet of edge, but no receptacles within 10 feet)
  •  Spa Tubs (within 10 feet of edge, but no receptacles within 6 feet)
  •  Unfinished Accessory Buildings
  •  Unfinished Basements

One last note: GFCI-protection can be provided by a GFCI receptacle (one receptacle will protect others downstream in the circuit, and the other protected receptacles should be marked as GFCI-protected), a GFCI circuit breaker in the electric panel, or a GFCI dead front (often used for indoor spa tubs and mounted on the wall in the bathroom or near the electric panel, it is essentially a GFCI-device without the receptacle slots).

    Also, see our blog post Are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) really necessary and worth the trouble?

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about AFCI and GFCI RECEPTACLES AND CIRCUIT BREAKERS:

Does a septic pump or sump pump require a GFCI-receptacle?

 • What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker? 

What is the code requirement for GFCI protection for receptacles near a wet bar sink?

When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?

Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?

My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?  

How do I identify a combination AFCI (CAFCI) circuit breaker? 

What does "listed and labeled" mean for an electrical component? 

What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) NOT protect against?  

What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers? 

What happens when you press the "TEST" button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?

What is the difference between the electric service to a mobile home and a site built home? 

Why is there a wall switch next to the furnace or indoor unit of the air conditioner in the garage?

What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)? 

How I can tell if a receptacle outlet is tamper resistant?

What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?  

What is the difference between "grounded" and "grounding" electrical conductors? 

What does it mean when a wire is "overstripped" at a circuit breaker?

Why is there a GFCI breaker in the electric panel for the bathroom shower light and exhaust fan?

What is the switch on the wall with two pushbuttons? 

How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?  

How far above a kitchen countertop do electrical outlets have to be? 

How is it possible to provide both GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) and CAFCI (Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection for kitchen and laundry circuits?

My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead and there are no tripped breakers in the electric panel. What's wrong?  

My GFCI reset button is hard to push and won't reset. What's wrong?

• Why do some breakers in my electric panel have a "TEST" button on them?

    Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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