I am having trouble trying to understand new code.

It says (or so I understand) that a GD, DW and refrigerator now be on AFCI and GFCI RECEPTACLES. Is GFCI required if those appliances (GD - DW) are hard-wired?

Does refrigerator need to be GFCI if it has a dedicated 15A duplex receptacle (surge protection) that is not readily accessible?

Microwave- Does it require GFCI if on a dedicated 20A AFCI breaker with simplex receptacle enclosed in a kitchen cabinet?

GFCI and AFCI receptacles must have really improved in dependability in the last few years.

Sorry, I did not make myself clear.

Not AFCI/GFCI receptacles themselves, but if the GD (disposal) and DW (dishwasher) are not powered though an appliance cord and receptacle, is GFCI protection on those circuits required (I understand the AFCI need)? I will hard-wire both components (GD and DW) as I have doubts as to having plug-ins under the sink cabinet and their possibly being hit and loosened or pulled entirely.

Also, does the dedicated 20A MW (microwave) circuit require GFCI if the receptacle is mounted in an upper cabinet (over MW and range):

...and is GFCI needed on a dedicated refrigerator 15A circuit, the receptacle being behind the refrigerator and non-accessible?

I guess what I am asking in short is if GFCI is needed on a GD and DW separate circuits if they are hard-wired with no dedicated receptacle(s) for them @ or under the sink cabinet and is GFCI needed on hidden dedicated appliance receptacles, these being separate from the SABC(s)? Neither appliance will have an accessible receptacle above or below the sink.

  • Can you cite the code sections you're referring to?
    – Tester101
    May 17, 2015 at 16:32
  • 2
    You provided an answer, instead you should have edit-ed your question. We are not a forum with a threaded discussion.
    – rene
    May 18, 2015 at 12:04

3 Answers 3


No, Code says nowhere that a receptacle-type AFCI or GFCI is required; breaker-type GFCIs and AFCIs are also usable whenever AFCI or GFCI protection is called for by the NEC or otherwise desirable. In fact, circuit breaker manufacturers now offer a device that's both a GFCI and a CAFCI in the same package -- look for a DFCI (Dual-Function Circuit Interruptor) breaker.

As to your clarified question (cites from the 2014 NEC):

The refrigerator receptacle and the dedicated microwave receptacle do not require GFCI protection, as those receptacles are not installed to serve the kitchen countertop surfaces, and likely are more than 6' from the edge of your kitchen sink as well.

The DW circuit, however, does require a GFCI, even though it is hardwired, as per 210.8(D):

(D) Kitchen Dishwasher Branch Circuit. GFCI protection shall be provided for outlets that supply dishwashers installed in dwelling unit locations.

Note the word "outlets" in this passage, vs. the use of the term "receptacles" in 210.8(A) -- in Code parlance, an "outlet" is a place where power is tapped from a circuit to serve a utilization device, whether it be a hardwired device, a luminaire, or a cord-and-plug connected device, while a "receptacle" is what you plug cords into.

The disposal does not require GFCI protection either, unless its receptacle is within six feet of the top inside edge of the sink bowl "as the cord flies". (In other words, the receptacle, while not covered by 210.8(A) point 6, may fall under 210.8(A) point 7.)


First of all, you must understand the meaning use of GFCI AND AFCI. GFCI is to protect self from electrical shock/electrocute,AFCI is to protect the cable/wire from catch on fire. Every branch circuits should be protected by AFCI BREAKERS if it is 120v 15 amp and 20 amp,and it doesn't matter if the appliances is hard wire or on the receptacles since is 120v 15 amp and 20 amp if it locate near the sink within 6' it should be GFCI protected. GD, DW should be on GFCI since within 6'of sink and these appliances itself involved with water(anything appliances or equipments involves with water such as Jacuzzi,swimming pool pump and lightning,hot tub,cloth washer,disposal,dishwasher,instant hot water,etc,.. should be on GFCI protected )


As the microwave is not involved with water and it is in the on shelve or cabinet it doesn't have to be on GFCI, Refrigerator can not be on the GFCI at all period cause it to keep the food and poultry to certain temperature and power can not be interrupted,this GFCI will always tripped.

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