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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, shown below at left). So, a GFCI receptacle is not the only way to provide protection for a circuit.

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

    Visit our AFCI AND GFCI 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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