GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Before installing GFCI receptacles or replacing a regular outlet receptacle, always check with your local code enforcement division, there may be some additional regulations applied, sometimes over-ruling what’s below. Many jurisdictions do not immediately adopt the new edition of the National Electrical Code.
GFCI history has been updated again and it seems that the main thing many are not happy about is deletion of exceptions concerning GFCI outlets installation in residential buildings.
According to the latest 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code), ALL of the 125 volt, single phase, 15 & 20 amp receptacles in residential building basements, garages and accessory buildings are required to be GFCI protected. That means dedicated outlets serving: sump pumps, freezers / other permanently located equipment (which is not easily movable), laundry appliances, garage ceiling outlets used for the garage door opener, and anything else previously excluded from this requirement is now included and has to be GFCI protected.
2008 NEC kept an exception allowing fire alarm and / or burglar alarm systems to remain on NON-GFCI protected circuits. The items below are linked to other posts explaining GFCI installation in particular locations in detail. So just click around.
GFCI protection is required for receptacles installed in any of the following areas of a dwelling unit:
2. Garages and accessory buildings
3. All exterior receptacles except for deicing equipment
4. Crawl spaces – at or below grade level
5. Unfinished basements
7. Laundry, Utility, Wet Bar Sinks Areas
8. Boathouses – if you have a receptacle there, it must be GFCI protected
Dwelling Unit (NEC definition): A single unit, providing complete and independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking, and sanitation.
If you have an older property, there might be no easy way to ground your new GFCI outlet receptacle. Find out NEC Requirement for installing GFCI without ground.
The list of major changes in the 2008 National Electrical Code concerning new residential construction, new additions and alterations – 2008 NEC Residential Changes
This article was written by Dariusz Rudnicki
I'm a retired Illinois home inspector, founder and editor of checkthishouse.com, a blog which attracts around 2 thousand readers daily and is dedicated to answering the many questions of home owners and home buyers. Connect with me on Google+ Find me on Google+ Local