Chicago GFCI question

Kitchen sink, counter w/ required GFIC outlets on other side.

Does Chicago require a GFCI here as well:


Above all kitchen counters and receptacles on islands. I don’t care what Chicago requires or not (except when a chicago requirement exceeds that of the NEC), if it is wrong, it is wrong.

Explain things as a matter of safety rather than as a matter of code. This helps keep the client safe and helps them to see safety not as a matter of code.

Hope this helps;


Yes… but I have more ammunition if Chicago requires that those be GFCI.

Yes… but the clients have more leverage with the developer if it’s the case that Chicago ***requires ***that those be GFCI protected. And as we both know, trying to discover what Chicago actually requires can be a real challenge…

True, but in a new installation the code minimum IS “safe”. That is the point of codes.

I don’t know about Chicago, but anywhere else NO GFI would be required there.

Chicago requires many things that the NEC does not (No mini breakers, conduit around everything, including low voltage wire, etc.) but has no state licensing of electricians. There are some things that the national codes requires that Chicago does not that Chicago does not.

Local codes are not primarily concerned with safety (at least in Chicago) but are more political compromises between the unions, the builders, the public and the politicians.

Around here, houses can be code compliant, but not be safe.

Different areas, different standards.

Different professions (electricians vs. HIs), different standards of liability.

I have never heard of an electrician being held liable for defects in a job, at least around here. And, I have seen plenty of really messed up instals (including new construction) that passed code inspection and were done by union sparkys.

That is why we have home inspectors. To keep all sides honest and protect the public.

GFCI protection is required for receptacles serving the countertop.

Or on the top or sides of islands.

BTW: CHicago code still says GFCIs only withing 6’ of the sink. If there is a countertop on the other side of the room, Chicago does not require GFCI (got that straight from an inspector who thought I was a jerk who couldn’t get an apprecticeship).

Remember, NAIONAL v.s. LOCAL.

v.s. SAFE.

“Or on the top or sides of islands”. Only if they serve the island countertop. The one in the picture is too low to serve the countertop. It must be not more than 12 inches below the countertop to qualify as the required countertop receptacle.

Now as far as Cook county, I can’t say, I left there when I was 12.

The receptacle in the picture was not on an island nor was it within 6’ of the sink.

You know what? You are right.

I stand corrected.

Umm…the receptacle shown in the image is not serving the counter top…so it is not required to be GFCI ( I believe that was covered already )