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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacles and circuit breakers
Monday, December 16, 2019
The National Electrical Code (NEC) began in 1971 by requiring GFCI-protection for only outdoor and pool area receptacles, then added new locations gradually over the years until all wet areas of a home are now required to be GFCI-protected. This has dramatically reduced the number of electrocutions in the home. Here’s answers to the questions we get about GFCI circuit protection.
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?
• What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?
• Are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) really necessary and worth the trouble?
• 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?
• Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?
• My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?
• What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) NOT protect against?
• What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?
• Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?
• What happens when you press the "TEST" button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?
• What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)?
• 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 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?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required in the garage?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required in bathrooms?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required in the kitchen?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required near bathtubs and showers?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required in balconies, decks, and porches?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required in a laundry room?
• When were exterior (outdoor) receptacle outlets first required to be GFCI?
• When were receptacle outlets near a pool first required to be GFCI?
• Does a septic pump or sump pump require a GFCI-receptacle?
• When were receptacle outlets in the crawlspace under a home first required to be GFCI?
• When was a kitchen refrigerator receptacle outlet first required to be GFCI-protected?
• A receptacle outlet is dead and I think I tripped a GFCI, but can't locate it. Where do I find the GFCI reset?
• Why type of circuit breaker has a red test button?
• When are the "GFCI PROTECTED" and "NO EQUIPMENT GROUND" stickers required on receptacle outlets?
• Are dining room, breakfast room, and pantry receptacles required to be GFCI protected?
• Is a ceiling receptacle outlet for a garage door opener required to be GFCI protected?
• What is a "dead front GFCI" or "blank face GFCI”?
• Does a garage door opener require GFCI protection by code?
• What is the average life expectancy of a GFCI circuit breaker?
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