GFCI's in the Kitchen

This home was built in 2002. There are 4 outlet’s tied to this 1 GFCI outlet. All of the outlets are on the counter space.

It is my recommendation that all outlet’s be upgraded to GFCI outlet’s. Even though the outlets are working when the GFCI is tripped.

Can anyone explain why you don’t want standard outlets downstream from a GFCI circuit? Could this result in a fire eventually? I realize it may be related to code.

Thank you,

Stephen Rager


I’m confused by what you are saying. One GFCI device protects all outlets downstream or on the load side of it. Not every receptacle in the kitchen needs a button on it.

Nothing wrong with the way it is setup.

There are multiple ways of accomplishing the same objective. You could use a gfci breaker and no gfci receptacle.One gfci and multiple receptacles tied to it, or multiple gfci receptacles without anything else tied to it where each outlet has its own reset button.

The only fair reason i can think of as to why you wouldnt want all receptacles downstream to be tied to a gfci is if its not at all obvious. Like bedroom outlets tied to that darn gfci outlet outside for some dumb reason.

What you describe is standard and typical,
No fire risk at all. Not sure why you’re worried about this.

You would have to explain where you got this idea from in the first place.

Perhaps you meant to say something else.

This means they weren’t “tied” (connected) to the load side of the GFCI. They should** not** be working when the GFCI is tripped.

You would have to check your local codes… I only am familiar with Canadian code. But there is nothing wrong with additional receptacle on load side of GFCI receptacle as a general statement.

However, if the NEC is similar to our code… you can not supply more than one receptacle (outlets) on a branch circuit that feeds outlet kitchen counter top. And you must have minimum of two 20 amp receptacles in the smallest kitchen.

Originally, I thought the set up was correct because all outlets down stream of the GFCI are protected. But then I read in the course study material for how to perform Residential Electrical Inspections, the statement above.

So, I thought I would consult all of you for verification. Note, the emphasis on the word all.

The standard in the book indicates to a new inspector, ie me, that each receptacle should be a GFCI not just upstream of a series of standard receptacles.

While, I may sound nit picky or uneducated it’s me wanting to do the job right and have a proper understanding of what’s in the course material. I have a tendency to ferret out all issues with a matter before moving on.

Sorry that was a typo, I missed a word. The other four outlets will not work when the GFCI is tripped.

Thank you,

Stephen Rager

The GFI protection can be from a GFI breaker or just wired from the load terminals of a GFI receptacle. Each device does not need to be a GFI.

Interesting quote, i,ve always thought gfci were only required if within 5 feet from a water source or outside or garage, this is the first time I am hearing ALL counter top outlets need gfci protection. Has opinions changed recently, is this a jurisdictional variation?

The GFI protection for all countertop receptacles has been a NEC requirement for many years.

It’s not an opinion, Frank, it’s NEC code.

Thanks! That’s what I was looking to verify.

GFCI protection is required for all 15A and 20A, 125V receptacles that serve kitchen countertop surfaces in a dwelling unit. GFCI protection is not required for receptacles serving appliances like dishwashers, or convenience receptacles that do not supply countertop surfaces. Receptacles installed within 6 ft of the outside edge of a wet bar sink must also be GFCI-protected. However, GFCI protection is not required for receptacles not intended to serve wet bar countertop surfaces, such as refrigerators, ice makers, water heaters, or convenience receptacles that do not supply counter-top surfaces.

Just a side note that GFI protection for dishwashers was added to the 2014 NEC.

Didn’t know that. Thanks

The requirements for ground-fault circuit interrupter protection (GFCI) have been expanded for dwelling units. GFCI protection is now required for receptacles installed within 6 feet of a bathtub or shower stall. Note that this requirement applies to bathtubs or shower stalls, regardless of whether they are in a bathroom or not. In addition, all 125-volt (V), single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere (A) receptacles installed in laundry areas must be GFCI-protected. [ROP 2-46, 2-47; ROC 2-23]

Section 210.8(D) Kitchen Dishwasher
Branch Circuit

Requirements for GFCI protection in dwelling unit kitchens have been expanded. A new subdivision (D), “Kitchen Dishwasher Branch Circuit,” has been added to 210.8. Outlets supplying dishwashers are required to be GFCI-protected, which requires a GFCI-protective device installed at the origin of the branch circuit. The reason is related to different end-of-life failure modes and behavior of newer generation dishwashers as compared to the electromechanical units in the past. [ROP 2-5; ROC 2-29]

Section 210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit
Interrupter Protection

This section has been revised to require arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) to be installed in readily accessible locations. Subdivision (A) now recognizes AFCI protection requirements, which have been expanded to kitchens and laundry areas. This expansion of AFCI requirements continues the long-range objective of whole-house AFCI protection in dwelling units that was sought in the original proposals by Consumer Product Safety Commission in the mid-1990s. [ROP 2-80, 2-82a, 2-116, 2-122, 2-124; ROC 2-59]

Section 210.12(A) Dwelling Units

I’ve started coming across GFCI receptacles installed at the refrigerator niche in new construction homes. I’m wondering whether the 2014 NEC now require this.

If so, can you (or anyone else reading this) post a reference to the actual code for the refrigerator requirement?


History lesson.

The gfi should not be installed behind the refrigerator. It needs to be accessible without pulling the appliance out.