GFCI under Kitchen Sink????

Separate issue.
Where do yo draw the line on cost before recommending safety upgrades?

They also see no danger in an outlet under the sink without a GFCI.

I see a potential danger in an under-the-sink outlet, and recommend accordingly.

I see no potential danger in a perfectly operating 2-wire electrical system.

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If there is no danger in perfectly operating 2-wire system, why are they not permitted in hospitals.

Certainly you are not suggesting that the building requirements for hospitals are relevant to one and two family residential dwellings.

No I am not.

But it is evident that the NEC must considers 2-wire systems a possible hazard in some locations.

I’ll keep that in mind the next time I inspect a hospital.:wink:

Does not have to be dangerous to recommend upgrade.

Code does not always address safety enough anyway.

If it did why was there no AFCI requirement for bedrooms 15 years ago.?

Because the technology did not exist or was cost prohibitive.

new guy
recently retired medical field
i am mystified as to what i should do, if anything?
i have granite kitchen counter tops
there is a pressure activated garbage disposal switch next to water faucet.
this has a plastic tube that runs down (through the granite - one inch hole) to the actual air switch, which is plugged into a non GFCI outlet under the sink. the garbage disposal is plugged into the air switch. looks like this

water runs down the plastic tube, gets the switch ? wet, and the whole system begins arcing. big 2-3 inch arcs, sound like small explosions. this is with the garbage disposal off.
it is frightening. my circuit breaker seems to ignore this (perhaps because an arc happens too quickly?)
so it could easily start a fire.
i have thought about getting a different garbage disposal that does not need a switch, but the granite will still have a hole in it, that nothing seems to bond to very well. currently i have putty and silicone around the hole, along with the button for the air switch. the electrical outlet juts out directly beneath the various holes in the granite. (about 24 inches underneath).
FYI the house was built in 2006.
my solution was to place an extension cord with a line GFCI unit on it, place the air switch in a part of the under sink area that means the water coming off the tubing will hopefully not drip onto the switch. we also place a towel on the the button for the pressure switch on the granite.
will this work? or do i need an arc detector? any better ideas?
Thank you.

I think you should stop the water intrusion . Something does not sound like it is installed correctly. If this is not stopped the cabinet will be ruined along with the floor under it.

Do not use an extension cord for permanent wiring. If needed hire an electrician to upgrade the receptacle.


It is always important to revisit old threads. Sometimes they can tell the tail oh how things change within the National Electrical Code and the HI Industry.

When this was originally asked (2009) the answer was simple because the receptacle in question did not serve the counter-top area. However, as the code changed so did the requirements.

IN the 2014 that all changed and the “other than kitchens” provision on sinks disappeared and then the rule of “within 6’ of the inside edge of the sink” expanded broadly in dwelling units. So if that receptacle under the sink is within 6’ of the edge of the sink it would be required to be GFCI protected.

Now the argument can begin on “if” the GFCI is placed in that location, is it considered readily accessible or not per 210.8. My position is it is NOT…My 78 year old mom can’t get to it…so readily accessible should not discriminate on age or ability but thats for others to debate.

ALSO…another question has surfaced by the same OP and was answered as well in regards to the laundry receptacle (circuit) and within 6’ of the laundry sink. NOW, as of the 2014 NEC it is any 125V, single phase, 15- and 20- amp receptacles in the laundry area have to be GFCI protected…bug change from only those within 6’ of a sink.

Am I a nerd because I love to watch codes progress and change…yeah probably so but you can almost watch things progress even as the NACHI boards grow and evolve.

Sorry…I was in between a meeting this morning and figured I would pop on and reflect.

Just my 2 cents, but this is one reason why 7 year old threads should be closed. The info that was germane in 2009 is not always germane two code cycles later.

That is true…but sad to say this is largly an unmoderated site (well we know who really moderates it…lol) but hard to do that with unmoderated sites and thousands of posts of content.

But I feel ya…and do agree even if i think in THIS forums case highly unlikely. So your task for today is to do deep searches and fix all the wrongs to make them right…I took the first one…:mrgreen:

And still cost prohibitive for some areas.

Los Angeles country still does not require AFCI on panel upgrades or home remodels.

AFCI’s are required if you add a bed room that was previously not there, or add a new branch circuit to a bedroom that was not previously there.

I assume the county decided to not adopt the AFCI requirement due to not wanting to burden people with the extra cost of AFCI breakers and there by discourage people from upgrading older panels.

Upgrades to panels do not require adding AFCI Devices. If the branch circuits were not being extended then it would not require the installation of the AFCI protection on existing branch circuits.

Simply swapping out an electrical panel does not kick in the requirements to add AFCI Protection. Now, move that panel more than 6’ and then have to extend all the branch circuits to the new location then YES…but otherwise it would not be an issue for a normal heavy up service change.

Seems like it provides insight to the evolution of the industry. Also have found many old threads that were helpful.

I agree it’s a great resource, but IMO instead of posting in a thread from 2009 with a new question that’s barely relevant to the original thread one should just start a new thread. The archival threads will remain for the reference purposes as you’ve mentioned.

Good Point…But it lacks Moderation or the appearance of Moderation is why it wont happen.

W. Fenton. If the air switch was installed flush on the counter top instead of on the vertical portion of the backsplash or wall it was more than likely incorrectly installed. By mounting it on the horizontal it allows water to leak into the air line. I have an identical switch mounted for our jacuzzi tub and I mounted the switch so it is vertical. No water can stay in the switch mount even if it is directly sprayed on the unit.