GFCI Protection Standards Raised by NEC 2020 Code
The approved National Electrical Code (NEC) revisions to GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection significantly reduced the risk of electrical hazards and shocks. GFCI protection was expanded, improving basement protection and raising outdoor outlet safety.
The NEC 2020 Code GFCI updates increase the electrical safety of homeowners and their families significantly. We recommend always working with a licensed electrician for the installation of GFCI outlets wherever they are required at your house. A great first step is having a professional conduct an electrical safety inspection.
Expanding GFCI Protection
Revisions of the 2020 edition concerning GFCI were greatly influenced by the large number of deadly electrocutions involving children at home. It was determined the 2017 Code was inadequate because it was only applicable to “125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20- ampere receptacles.”
In order to expand GFCI protection, NEC 2020 states: “All 125-volt through 250-volt receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A) (1) through (11) and supplied by single-phase branch circuits rated 150 volts or less to ground shall have ground fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.”
Increased Basement Protection
Notably, GFCI protection for dwellings with finished and unfinished basements was increased. Other home areas are usually better maintained than basements. Moreover, basements are often wet and damp. A moisture-filled environment is much more likely to be a hazardous conductor of electricity. NEC 2020 updates reduce or eliminate major factors of accidents, including contact water and leakage current.
Improved Outdoor Outlet Safety
The NEC 2020 update improves the safety of outdoor outlets powered by single-phase branch circuits rated 150 volts to ground or below and 50 amps or below. This update’s importance is due to the fact that the GFCI requirement now goes beyond requiring outdoor receptacle outlets by including all outlets. As a result, the revision addresses all hard-wired equipment located outdoors.
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