Does a power outlet under a kitchen sink need to be GFCI?

  • 2
    I think the rule is within six feet from water it is needed. Since sinks/pipes might leak/spray water, I imagine the six foot rule is in place.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 9 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


Yes, GFCI is required under a sink where you can measure less than 6 ft from the top inside edge of the bowl to the receptacle.

This requirement was added in 2011 NEC 210.8. There was a loophole for cabinets in the 2017 NEC, but that loophole was removed in 2020.

Discussion: Several comments related to using a GFCI elsewhere in the circuit. The receptacle under the sink must be protected, and the location of the GFCI is not specified. Similarly, AFCI protection is required since 2014 NEC, and six different configurations are specified.

  • If the undersink receptacle is fed from a receptacle above the counter, that is a better place to put the GFCI receptacle. In a modern well designed kitchen is the under sink receptacle on a dedicated circuit? Commented Jul 9 at 22:55
  • 2
    In case you ever wonder if something is six feet away, use the string rule. If you can reach between the top inside edge of the bowl and any part of the outlet or receptacle with a six foot piece of string, it needs to be a GFCI.
    – KMJ
    Commented Jul 10 at 0:15
  • 1
    Does the outlet need to be GFCI or just ground-fault protected? I.e. it's possible to buy a GFCI outlet or to protect a regular outlet by wiring it to a ground-fault protected circuit breaker or even to the load side of a GFCI outlet. Reading your answer literally, it requires a GFCI outlet, but in most cases, it just needs to be protected from ground faults. I'm not sure that's clear to the OP. And of course, I'm not a code expert.
    – mdfst13
    Commented Jul 10 at 12:12
  • @mdfst13 — the literal reading of the answer is not gfci outlet; it’s pretty obvious that it’s ’gfci protected’. Commented Jul 10 at 13:31

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