Interior GFCI Poll

I know what I would do. How about you? Would you write up no GFCI on a bar wall? The outlet is not in the kitchen, but is within 6 feet of the sink.

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I would not call it out. It does not serve the counter.

With in 6 feet of a utility sink.

Yes I would call it out.

fact is, you can call out anything you want to. You would, however, have no basis in model code or rule of law on which to base your opinion.

Marc, you and I disagree on this one. The code states “All 125-volt, single-phase, 15-and 20-ampere receptacles that serve countertop surfaces shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.”

It doesn’t say the outlet has to be in the kitchen. It refers to outlets that “serve countertops”. The keyword there is “serve”. Could that outlet be used to power a radio on the countertop during a party? Then Disco Dan knocks it into the sink?

Roughly 90% of those outlets in new homes are now protected by GFCI. Those builders must interpret it as required, as I do.

Guess I better delete this chart you provided.


How do you measure 6 ft. from the edge of the sink?

I have measured it with a flexible tape. Usually I just estimate. When you have a bar wall with a sink on the other side of it, there is almost always an outlet directly in front of where the sink is, easily within 6 feet.

I would not call that out. The “countertop” above the outlet appears to taper down to no more than 8 inches wide. One outlet can be seen on the kitchen side of the wall (left side of picture). I “assume” (I know, I know) that there is another outlet to the left of the sink serving the countertop, directly above and opposite the outlet of concern. You were there, if you feel it was unsafe, regardless of code, recommend it be upgraded to GFCI for safety.

Robert I think the intent of this rule is that an average plug is 6 feet.

Place a corded appliance at the sink and you get shocked.
Make sense?

The bar wall shown is just an example illustration. I see similar setups in 3 out of 5 new homes I inspect. Here’s another one from today that I wrote up. Sink on the other side of the opening. Outlet directly below the opening.

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Ditto. . .

Joe you never did say what year or under which NEC applies to either home.

Then what does it “serve”? Almost everything you could conceive of plugging into that outlet, except for a vacuum, has to rest on the countertop!

My code quote above was from the 2006 IRC.

Vacuum cleaner, light for the hutch the new owner is going to place right there, Vanilla plug-in, etc.

One can’t assume it is for anything other than something on the counter.

Do you guys that do not call it out ever call out island counters in the kitchen.

Rethink your position.

Good point Bob. Rarely could any appliance on the island reach the sink. If you look at it strictly from a potential hazard standpoint, the bar wall is more serious.

Of course. I was just going by what I saw in the picture. The rest of my comment was that Joe was there. If he felt it was unsafe, regardless of code, write it up. Had I actually been there, I may have written it up too.

One can assume it is for the vacuum. For the counter, it would be up higher.

I’m rethinking that one, but it’s a different question. :stuck_out_tongue:

John Kogel