2023 NEC changes: GFCI protection (210.8)

A new you-tube video entitled 2023 NEC changes: GFCI protection (210.8) (32 mins long) goes over the upcoming changes for GFCI protection in the 2023 NEC.

The presenter, Ryan Jackson, is a highly qualified electrical inspector who has published books on the NEC, along with guides and training materials related to the subject.

The changes he outlines include clarifications to the definitions already in the NEC, as well as incorporation of the TIA issued in 2021 that requires GFCI protection for mini-split HVAC units, effective Jan 1st, 2023. I’m not about to type the whole thing out here, but this video certainly answers some of the GFCI questions that have come up in recent forum posts.



Here is a list of all the proposed changes listed in this article;

Proposed Changes to the 2023 NEC — What does the future hold for the next edition of the NEC - IAEI Magazine

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The item Ryan missed in that video was the refrigerator. Sure you could say if the range/cooktop needs one then the fridge must too. The problem with the fridge though, specifically for Home Inspectors, is food spoilage. If you trip the range and forget or can’t reset it no food is spoiled. Client may be unhappy but if you spoil their food storage they will sue. Then the question arises how do you test the GFCI’s behind large appliances if they are not OCPD GFCI’s? Do they need to have readily accessible test functions like the garage door opener?

Pretty interesting video, but it didn’t cover all the bases for me.

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A GFCI receptacle is no longer permitted behind an appliance like the refrigerator. As you’ve mentioned they are required to be readily accessible for periodic testing. Here’s the NEC definition:

Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to take actions such as to use tools (other than keys), to climb over or under, to remove obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders,
and so forth.

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That concurs with what the video said for the garage door operator. Being accessible however means that it can be tested from a wall location (some whirlpool tubs are configured thus) or an OCPD GFCI. So does that require the fridge to be the same? The video said all kitchen outlets and included the oven/range (which then must be a either a dual OCPD GFCI (for 240v) or a single OCPD GFCI for a 120v gas range.

Good information. Thanks guys.

The problem, as I see it, is that the NEC calls for a dedicated circuit for such appliances. This means that the GFCI must now be relegated to the panel, where it is “out of sight, out of mind”. The NEC obviously don’t eat at home much! :wink:

Watch the video and you will see it different!

Actually the GFCI is required to be readily accessible which means that it cannot be behind the appliance. This was a code change a few cycles ago. Prior to that they were only required to be accessible.

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The NEC does not call for a dedicated refrigerator circuit. It is allowed by an exception to be on a dedicated circuit.

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Jim, you are correct in that the NEC doesn’t specify a dedicated circuit for a refrigerator, but it does specify that the manufacturer’s installation instructions be followed. That’s where I got my wires crossed (pun intended), so sorry about that!

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Since I posted the original link to the video, I believe it stands to reason that I have already watched it.

Perhaps you could elucidate on your remark, consider it a teaching moment, since I’m still studying to get my license, get my certification, and provide the best possible service for my future customers. It is entirely possible that I missed something that your more experienced eye has picked out, so please be a little more specific.


That’s correct. If the instructions are part of the listing of the appliance then that must be followed even if it exceeds the requirement of the NEC.