Recently renovated a kitchen, including adding 2 GFI outlets: one by the sink and one on the opposite wall near stove. City inspector ordered that the one by the sink be removed. What reason would the city have to require the expense of removing a GFI outlet?

  • 2
    Did he mean remove it completely, or just replace it with a non-GFCI outlet? My guess is it's too close to the sink for any outlet. Apr 17, 2016 at 0:29
  • 1
    @SomeoneSomewhere, it could be behind the sink and still be code compliant. Apr 17, 2016 at 1:09
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    He should have given you the reason. "Just do it" is NOT a valid request by an inspector, especially when his request makes absolutely NO sense. .......... Your question needs to be posed to the inspector, NOT us or some internet forum. Apr 17, 2016 at 1:10
  • Possible duplicate of Which Kitchen outlets do NOT need GFCI?
    – Mazura
    Apr 17, 2016 at 1:56
  • 1
    Can you post a photo of the device in question?
    – Tester101
    Apr 17, 2016 at 3:50

1 Answer 1


2011 code has nothing on the subject. However it is clear the purpose of the rules therein is to keep you from draping cords across sinks. That seems like a very good idea.

Code requires outlets anywhere there's a 12" or wider section of countertop - because that space will inevitably draw a coffeemaker or George Foreman. It's possible the inspector is seeing an outlet over a space less than 12" wide, and saying "Well, you'll never put anything there, you'll end up draping cords across the sink to another place (which might be shy of outlets)."

Code also requires a GFCI for any countertop outlet (210.8a6), and near any sink anywhere (210.8a7). That means he definitely does NOT mean to have an unprotected outlet there. If an outlet is allowed at all, it must be GFCI protected, whether by GFCI outlet, being daisy-chained from the LOAD terminals of another GFCI outlet, or a GFCI breaker in your service panel.

It's also possible he's telling you "dummy, this outlet feeds from the other one, just daisy chain it off the LOAD terminals of the first GFCI and no need for this one." But that is merely economy, and the inspector wouldn't have a stake in that.

  • If I were told that the countertop was too small for an outlet, I'd make the argument that the narrow counter space is where I'd charge my phone.
    – Johnny
    Apr 17, 2016 at 1:35
  • @Johnny and there's a product for that. amzn.to/1XCBiSC Apr 17, 2016 at 9:24
  • @EdBeal, code requires a receptacle within 2' of a sink, and ALL receptacles serving counter areas must be GFI protected. ....... Where are you getting your code facts from? Apr 17, 2016 at 12:16
  • I originally had 2' , then remembered 4' between. Code requires any outlet within 6' of a sink to be GFCI. My state only holds that requirement. Thanks for the correction my code book is at work.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 17, 2016 at 14:45

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