Laundry GFCI Receptacles and Utility / Wet Bar Sinks Areas

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Laundry GFCI receptacles

Installation of laundry GFCI receptacles and GFCI protection for utility / wet bar sink areas where the electrical outlets are installed within 6ft from the outside edge of the sink is required by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code).

GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

Remember to always upgrade to the latest code requirement, if making any modifications of an older electrical installation (i.e. if replacing and old, regular / not GFCI type electrical outlet in the area where GFCI is currently required, make your life safer – install GFCI receptacle).

Learn How to Install GFCI Receptacle

Laundry GFCI receptacles:

Laundry GFCI receptacle or GFCI breaker protection is required within 6' from the sink edgeLaundry GFCI receptacles -area without the sink doesn't require GFCI but receptacle must be 20amp rated on a 20amp rated dedicated circuit

You should have a minimum of one dedicated 20-amper rated branch circuit supplying power to the laundry room outlet(s). Dedicated means that there should be no other receptacle outlets supplied by the same circuit (for ironing, switched lighting in the laundry room, or other rooms)

Laundry equipment outlet should be located within 6ft from the appliances. This is very important, so you are not going to use any extension cords for that purpose. Extension cords might have lower ratings than the appliance requirement – your washer or dryer might need more current than the extension cord can carry, which condition could overheat the cord and create a fire.

Utility room GFCI - receptacles installed in a utility area within 6' from the sink edge require GFCI protectionIf you have a sink in a laundry room and its outside edge is within 6ft from any receptacle in this room – that receptacle must be GFCI protected.

Receptacles installed in a laundry room without the sink do not require GFCI protection.

Utility area GFCI receptacles:

If you have a sink in a utility area, any receptacle outlet within 6ft from the sink outside edge must be GFCI protected

Wet bar sink GFCI receptacles:

It doesn’t matter where the bar sink is (basement, bedroom, living room, etc.) if you have an electrical outlet within 6ft from the wet bar sink outside edge, it must be GFCI protected.

Unfinished basement laundry GFCI receptacles:

Washing machine installed in an unfinished basement area without a sink requires GFCI protection (to comply with an unfinished basement outlet GFCI protection requirement)


Besides the laundry GFCI receptacles requirements there are many more in 2008 NEC GFCI locations requirements in residential buildings.

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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

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