Kitchen electrical question?

WHy is it that the kitchen outlets must be gfci protected, but the disposal under the draining sink never is?

The NEC requires receptacles that serve the countertop to have GFI protection.

The receptacle for the DW and/or GD does not serve the countertop, therefore no need for GFI.

What do you think would be gained by having GFI on a receptacle under the counter?

I tend to agree with Sean on this.
If you are unplugging the disposal it is because you may be working on it and water tends to be associated with sink disposal does it not?
The odds are there is an issue that involves your hands and possibly the floor being wet.
The work area when facing upside down with back to the cabinet base is certainly much smaller than what is required for a panel.
Stating that it is an area that is not supposed to be wet is like saying traffic lights are no longer needed if we follow rules of the road.

If this area is so wet why would it not be made out of non-absorbent plastic and have a drip edge to contain spills or a built-in drain? Are you really seeing sink bases that need to be replaced on a frequent basis due to delamination from water damage?

I would certainly get tired of using the sink and getting wet feet, not to mention the mess all over the floor.

If I were working on the GD I would either unplug it, tape the switch off or turn the breaker off.

Its not just the fact of the plugs in general.

There is water running through an appliance that has a live electrical wire inside.

Then according to this, a dishwasher should be GFCI protected as well as a fridge.


Using that logic, there should be GFI protection for the water heater and washer too.

You can’t knock the garbage disposal into the sink. You can’t knock the dishwasher into the sink.

You can however, knock the coffee pot, coffee grinder, mixer, radio or any other counter-top appliance into a sink full of water. Thus the need. Just because the appliance has water as one of its functions does not mean it needs to be gfci protected.

GFCI in the garage; exterior, sump pump, baths, kitchen, heck just replace the main breaker with a GFCI main???

Sort of like a sump pump, dishwasher, refrigerator or a washing machine? And those devices do not require a GFCI (that I’m aware of). The equipment itself is grounded to provide a path for stray current.

GFCIs are for personnel protection where the person may reasonably be expected to become the path to ground.

Hey, I just asked a simple question…Spa tubs are required. I just wondered why disposals, and all other appliances that have water traveling through them, are also not required…

no but i had one where the seal failed and water was running through the motor luckily no one turned it on, might have energized the sink and who ever was touching it

You got to admit it is a good question.

If anyone is interested here’s some background info from a NEC CMP regarding a proposal to change the 2008 code regarding GFCI protection for any receptacle within 6’ of a sink. Although it may not directly address the question is does provide some insight.

Scary. But then again, you could get rid of your toaster.:shock:

Blah,blah,blah,code is not a discussion since it changes all the time with the weather and we are not code inspectors.
Sean raises a good point.
Why are spa tubs required to have GFCI?
Nobody answered that question.

Well i guess it is one of those questions that can not be clearly answered. a great question though.
One could point it out as a concern

I wonder if anyone has contacted a manufacture and asked?

Thas easy Bob. If the spa tub leaks into the electrical while your in it, your screwed…:ack!:

I see them all the time just lying on the floor under the tub. No cover plate and no securement. At least they could secure it above the floor on a stud.

I personally think it should not be allowed in the vacinity of the tub period. It should be installed downstream or in the panel. Even if the outlet trips. The wire is still live.

GFCI’s seem to get me in trouble.

Old refrigerators, nuscience tripping or being downstream of another and people calling becuase there beer is warm.

Sumps being required for GFCI protection, so if the GFCI trips the pump does not operate.

People hardly ever test, I go to test, fails to respond and I am the one that broke the device.

Finding the downstream GFCI in homes is fun, double protecting GFCI and the downstream one does not reset until the other one is.

One time I had a hell of time finding the downstream GFCI, I heard it trip and it was behind cabinets and I had to take out utensils and shelves to find.

Having the below sink outlet GFCI protected would not be a bad idea. Your right, usually wet, damp around there.

Good thread Sean!!

Unless it is in the panel.:slight_smile: hmmm.