A hazardous ground fault occurs when an unintended electrical path between an electrical current source and a grounded surface forms. If a person touches a part that is energized, electrical shock can result. GFCIs or ground fault circuit interrupters, significantly decrease the chances of shock by instantly shutting down an electrical circuit when it represents a shock hazard. The information below summarizes the updated GFCI requirements of the NEC (National Electrical Code) 2017 edition. For safety and the best results, rely on an experienced and licensed electrician.
For the locations below, GFCI protection is required according to the 2017 NEC Code.
Bathroom Area – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles.
Bathtubs and Shower Stalls – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles located within 6 feet of the outside edge of a bathtub or shower stall.
Crawl spaces at or below Grade Level – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles. However, receptacles aren’t required inside a crawlspace, except if HVAC equipment is installed inside.
Garages and Accessory Buildings – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles in garages and within grade-level portions of accessory buildings utilized as work areas or storage.
Kitchen Countertop Surfaces – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles.
Laundry Areas – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles.
Outdoors – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles installed in the exteriors of dwelling units, as well as under the eaves of roofs.
Sinks – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles installed within 6 feet from a bowl or sink’s top inside edge.
Unfinished Portions of Basements – Required for 15A and 20A 125V receptacles inside unfinished portions or basement areas that are not intended for habitation. However, a receptacle powering just a permanently installed fire alarm or burglar alarm system does not require GFCI protection.
Part 2 will discuss GFCI protection for areas Other than Dwelling Units and Miscellaneous.
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