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I have the 2 circuits in the kitchen with GFCI outlets, but I'm not quite sure which other ones do NOT need GFCI. Other circuits in the kitchen include Microwave, Fridge, and Dishwasher. It makes sense to me to not have the fridge on GFCI though.

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At one point, only outdoor outlets needed GFCI protection. Over the years, the NEC has required protection at more and more locations. So whether your installation meets the requirements depends on which version of the NEC was in effect when the work was initiated. –  bcworkz Aug 17 '12 at 23:14

3 Answers 3

All outlets that support convenience plug in items within 8 feet of a water source must be GFI protected. However, the new NEC calls for a separate non GFI circuit (home run) for the fridge or other fixed appliances. These non protected circuits must be single purpose and wired to a single outlet or direct wired and dedicated to the appliance. This can include dishwashers, garbage diposers, vent fans, most permanent motor loads.

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Any guess why the NEC requires them each to have a dedicated circuit? –  Jay Bazuzi Oct 6 '11 at 1:41
My "guess" is that motor loads often trip GFI's on start up and shut down, due to inductive kick. This nuisance tripping was a constant source of consumer complaints. Since the cases of these fixed appliances are almost always metal and grounded, there was no reason to protect them in the first place. The NEC didn't consult with me personally, but I figure this may have been some of the reasoning. lol. –  shirlock homes Oct 6 '11 at 9:52
Does there need to be a seperate circuit for each appliacnce, or could the dishwasher and disposer, for instance, be on the same circuit? –  KeithB Oct 6 '11 at 15:15
Except for a fridge, range and ovens, I believe you can group other appliances such as a dishwasher and disposer. Hoping one of the Code Book guys can give a reference. Guess I better go buy my own copy. Haven't consulted with my electrician on those details. I am trying to get him on here to handle these questions. –  shirlock homes Oct 6 '11 at 23:18
It's actually six feet (which covers the arm span of most adults that don't play professional basketball). If you can hold on to a sink and touch it, it needs to be GFCI protected. Overkill here, however, is never a bad thing :) –  Tim Post Oct 25 '11 at 7:23

The NEC (NFPA 70 2011 edition) requires GFCI receptacles in kitchens of dwelling units where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces. It does not mention a distance requirement in kitchens.

The distance requirement of 1.8 meters (6 feet) is for sinks located in areas other than kitchens.

Section 210.8 A of NFPA 70 2011 Edition deals with GFCI protection in dwelling units (see below).

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.

Ground-fault circuit-interruption 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. Informational Note: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel on feeders.

(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A)(1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter 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 fire alarm or burglar alarm system shall not be required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection.

Informational Note: See 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) for power supply requirements for fire alarm systems.

Receptacles installed under the exception to 210.8(A)(5) shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of 210.52(G).

(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

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Can you find the section that address this? It seems like you might have a copy and I could not find a free one online easily. +1 anyway. –  auujay Oct 6 '11 at 20:29
@auujay Added Reference section to the answer. –  RSMoser Oct 6 '11 at 20:44

Another reason the NEC probably didn't require GFCI on dedicated appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers is that many manufacturers had previously connected the neutral and ground wire together in which some electrical current may return to the source through the ground wire tripping GFCIs. I believed UL required this at one point. I don't know if newer appliances still have this.

Most electrical fixtures and appliances these days are double insulated and usually don’t have a problem. Just be aware that not all 3-wire appliances will work properly when directly plugged into a GFCI circuit.

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