NEC 240.24 requires overcurrent devices (fuses/breakers, incl. AFCI/GFCI/DFCI breakers) to be placed so that their operating means is no more than 6'7" off the ground under most circumstances, and also imposes a few other requirements on their placement (not near easily ignitable materials, not in a dwelling unit bathroom, not over a staircase). However, it seems there is nothing in the NEC that governs the placement of receptacle-type or deadfront circuit interrupter devices, or whether their operating means must be accessible whatsoever -- apparently, even boneheadedness like wanting to put a GFCI in one's ceiling is Code-compliant.

Am I correct that there are no placement requirements for deadfront or receptacle type circuit interrupter devices? (i.e. GFCI receptacles can be placed over stairs, in a ceiling, 20' up on the wall, in a clothes closet, or in a dwelling unit bathroom, the last one being quite common practice in residential wiring.) Or am I missing some part of the Code that prohibits such boneheadedness as a GFCI receptacle that's too high up for anyone to reach, or a deadfront AFCI in the back of one's clothes closet?

If this is allowed by code, what risk would an interrupter device in a bathroom or closet or over a staircase pose, compared to that posed by a singular overcurrent device in that location?

1 Answer 1


Check 210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.

...The ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

And 210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.

...The arc-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

Then Article 100, for the definition of readily accessible.

Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.

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