It is my understanding that most (if not all?) receptacles near wet locations (e.g. kitchens, bathrooms, etc...) need to be "GFCI" per the NEC... does this just mean GFCI protected? In other words, can all of my outlets in my kitchen be standard outlets IF the breakers in the panel for those circuits are GFCI-rated? And, if so, will this pass inspection or are do inspectors tend to prefer one way over the other?

Specifically, my use case here requires a duplex receptacle (under my kitchen sink) to be half-switched: one (always power) for my insta-hot water heater and one for my (switched) disposal... Because this outlet is 'near water', it needs to be "GFCI"... But I don't believe I can split the conduction/break the tab of a GFCI outlet (thus creating the half- perm. power; half-switched)

2 Answers 2


Code requires GFCI protection. It doesn't specify whether each outlet has to be "GFCI". In fact, you can have GFCI protection of "plain" outlets by connecting them as load to GFCI outlet.

Thus, it doesn't matter whether your outlet is GFCI or GFCI-protected at the level of breaker. The problem is that you will have to run outside / find your panel and manually reset GFCI. This is bad if your garbage disposal is tripping GFCI, someone sticks their hand in disposal, you reset GFCI at the panel, someone is losing their hand.

  • I wish down voters would explain their reasons. If we make a mistake or do not explain it well enough, we could learn to be better.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 11:21
  • 2
    If somebody sticks their hand in a switched-on, plugged in garbage disposal because the GFCI is tripped and then gets hurt because somebody else resets it, they deserve what they get. They have local disconnecting means for a reason. Your (defective) logic applies just as much to overcurrent trips of the branch-circuit breaker, and they’re not required to be local.
    – nobody
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 11:50
  • @nobody true, but when picking alternatives (both of which are Code) you gotta apply some logic... Same reason why you can but shouldn't place G Disposal switch too far away from the GD itself Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 16:25
  • @aaaaasaysreinstateMonica GFCI can't stop complete idiocy. You can give yourself a live-neutral shock and GFCI isn't going to save you. This is live-neutral shock levels of stupidity to work on a plugged in GD.
    – Nelson
    Commented Jan 22 at 1:18

If the breaker to the dedicated circuit is already a GFCI circuit breaker, the outlets should be standard outlets with Tamper Resistant protection in most cases. The outlets under the sink are likely exempt of needing tamper resistant types, but will likely need to be moisture resistant.

As for the GFCI labels, if you need labels and have a laser printer, you can use return address mailing labels to print GFCI PROTECTED CIRCUIT on multiple labels, and stick them onto the cover plates as needed. The ones supplied with GFCI outlets are small.

If your home is an older home with ungrounded outlets (early 1960s without upgraded wiring), you may need to print up "NO EQUIPMENT GROUND" stickers as well.

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