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I was thinking of replacing my current kitchen counter receptacles with a Hard Wired Multi-Outlet strip that would run below my cabinets. My question is How would I provide GFCI protection? Can a Multi-Strip outlet be used without GFCI protection for a kitchen counter that's near the sink?

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2 Answers 2

Ground-fault circuit interruption protection is required for all receptacles installed in a kitchen, that serve the countertop surfaces.

National Electrical Code 2014

Chapter 2 - Wiring and Protection

Article 210 - Branch Circuits

I. General Provisions

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (C). The ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A)(1) through (10) shall have ground-fault circuitinterrupter protection for personnel.

(1) Bathrooms
(2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use
(3) Outdoors

Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated to electric snow-melting, deicing, or pipeline and vessel heating equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance with 426.28 or 427.22, as applicable.

(4) Crawl spaces — at or below grade level.
(5) Unfinished basements — for purposes of this section, unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like.

Exception to (5): A receptacle supplying only a permanently installed burglar alarm system shall not be required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection.

(6) Kitchens— where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces
(7) Sinks — located in areas other than kitchens where receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink
(8) Boathouses
(9) Bathtubs or shower stalls — Where receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the bathtub or shower stall.
(10) Laundry areas

You can either provide ground-fault protection by feeding the device from the load side of a GFCI receptacle, or installing a GFCI circuit breaker on the circuit.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to replace all the receptacles in the kitchen with a single multi-receptacle unit, but may install the multi-receptacle unit in addition to, or as a substitute for the required receptacles.

National Electrical Code 2014

Chapter 2 - Wiring and Protection

Article 210 - Branch Circuits

III. Required Outlets

210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets. 210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets. This section provides requirements for 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets. The receptacles required by this section shall be in addition to any receptacle that is:

(1) Part of a luminaire or appliance, or
(2) Controlled by a wall switch in accordance with 210.70(A)(1), Exception No. 1, or
(3) Located within cabinets or cupboards, or
(4) Located more than 1.7 m (51/2 ft) above the floor

(C) Countertops. In kitchens, pantries, breakfast rooms, dining rooms, and similar areas of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for countertop spaces shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(1) through (C)(5).

(1) Wall Countertop Spaces. A receptacle outlet shall be installed at each wall countertop space that is 300 mm (12 in.) or wider. Receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 600 mm (24 in.) measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space.

Exception: Receptacle outlets shall not be required on a wall directly behind a range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink in the installation described in Figure 210.52(C)(1).

(2) Island Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle shall be installed at each island countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater.

(3) Peninsular Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connecting edge.

(4) Separate Spaces. Countertop spaces separated by rangetops, refrigerators, or sinks shall be considered as separate countertop spaces in applying the requirements of 210.52(C)(1), (C)(2), and (C)(3). If a range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is installed in an island or peninsular countertop and the depth of the countertop behind the range, countermounted cooking unit, or sink is less than 300 mm (12 in.), the range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink shall be considered to divide the countertop space into two separate countertop spaces. Each separate countertop space shall comply with the applicable requirements in 210.52(C).

(5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located above, but not more than 500 mm (20 in.) above, the countertop. Receptacle outlets rendered not readily accessible by appliances fastened in place, appliance garages, sinks, or rangetops as covered in 210.52(C)(1), Exception, or appliances occupying dedicated space shall not be considered as these required outlets.

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As long as the Plugmold strip meets spacing requirements there is no reason it cannot replace standard receptacles. Curious, what is "a combination GFCI circuit breaker"? I know of combination AFCI's, but never heard this applied to GFCI's. –  Speedy Petey Feb 18 at 15:30
    
@SpeedyPetey Fixed both points. –  Tester101 Feb 19 at 13:01

Steady, Receptacles serving kitchen counter areas MUST have GFI protection. No exceptions for Plugmold. As Tester stated, this can be accomplished by feeding from the LOAD side of a GFI receptacle somewhere else in the kitchen, or by a GFI breaker. Typically a GFI breaker is used in my installations.

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They also make blank GFCIs, basically a GFCI outlet without the outlets, which can feed your strip. This gives you access to the GFCI for resetting it without actually adding an outlet. For example, leviton.com/OA_HTML/SectionDisplay.jsp?section=42307 –  DoxyLover Feb 18 at 18:30
    
Very true, although I see no reason to use one in this installation. They cost more and there's no downside to an additional receptacle in this application. From a fellow doxie lover. :) –  Speedy Petey Feb 18 at 18:50

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