I'm adding a kitchenette to my basement and am in WA state. My plan right now is to run one 20 amp circuit for the fridge, two 20 amp circuits with GFCI outlets above the counters, one 50 amp circuit for the electric stove, and one 15 amp circuit for the overhead lights.

I'm a little confused as to which breakers need to be arc fault. I think the outlets circuit do, but I'm not sure about the others and or if I should use dual-function breakers? It seems easier to reset the kitchen outlets from the kitchen with a GFCI outlet than putting the protection in the breaker box.

From what I've read, it sounds like the dedicated fridge circuit does not require arc fault and the outlet should NOT be GFCI?

  • 1
    this depends what revision of the NEC you're under; each newer revision requires more AFCI. didn't you have to submit plans with your permit request?
    – ickybus
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 19:16
  • 1
    It also depends on local rules, (modifications to National code before adoption) and the relationship of the fridge receptacle to the sink. If it's more than 6 feet from the sink and well behind the fridge so nothing else is easily plugged into it non-GFCI stands better odds of passing; that's not actually an exception in National code as far as I recall, but it's a common local revision to grant the exception for fridges. But if the receptacle is less than 6 feet from the sink you run up against the sink GFCI rule.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 19:30
  • Neither NEC 210.8(A) or WAC 296-46B-210-008(A) give an exception to GFCI requirement for fridge in a kitchen. Also if the most recent NEC has locally been adopted the GFCI requirement now covers all kitchen receptacles, not just those with 6' of a sink. I think WA still has some cities that adopt the Code rather slowly. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


The clearest way to comply is as you noted AFCI breakers in panel, GFCI in kitchen.

The locations required are pretty straight forward, the last "similar areas" pretty much catch all:

210.12(B) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single-phase, 10-, 15-, and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in the following locations shall be protected by any of the means described in 210.12(A)(1) through (A)(6):
(1) Kitchens
(2) Family rooms
(3) Dining rooms
(4) Living rooms
(5) Parlors
(6) Libraries
(7) Dens
(8) Bedrooms
(9) Sunrooms
(10) Recreation rooms
(11) Closets
(12) Hallways
(13) Laundry areas
(14) Similar areas

Also note the NEC definition of "outlet" includes hard wired connections like light fixtures.

You can read the full AFCI requirement here.

  • Basically, EVERY circuit in the house must now be protected by AFCI in some way, shape or form. I wonder how many arc fault issues there are with newer, more modern NM-B type wiring vs older wiring of prior types. (Not attempting to get you or anyone else to comment or justify, just idle musings...)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 13:44
  • @FreeMan thanks for the edit, for some reason I just couldn't make it work and Parkinson's was frustrating me so I gave up. Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 13:55
  • No problem my friend! That's a vile, evil affliction. :(
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 13:58

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