• Please refer to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine for referenced illustrations.

210.8(A) Dwelling Units

Receptacles installed in certain locations must have ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection for personnel. Dwelling locations are specified in 210.8(A) and all other occupancies are stipulated in 210.8(B). Only 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles are covered in this section. Of the eight locations for dwelling units, five have been explained in the two previous columns. This month’s “In Focus” will cover the remaining three dwelling locations and also the three nondwelling locations.

210.8(A)(6) Kitchens

All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed to serve the countertop surfaces in kitchens must be GFCI protected. (See Figure 1.) Unlike some of the other locations, no exceptions are provided with this requirement. Where located in a kitchen, any receptacle installed to serve the countertop surface must have GFCI protection for personnel. For example, a receptacle has been installed on the end of a peninsular countertop in the kitchen. The receptacle is less than 12 inches below the countertop, and therefore it serves the countertop surface. Another receptacle has been installed in the back of the peninsular cabinet. This receptacle, located more than 12 inches below the countertop surface, does not serve the countertop surface. While the receptacle serving the countertop surface requires GFCI protection, the other receptacle does not. (See Figure 2.)

A receptacle located behind the refrigerator, not serving the countertop surface, is not required to be GFCI protected. A receptacle installed beside the refrigerator, serving both the refrigerator and the countertop surface, requires GFCI protection for personnel. Sometimes receptacles are installed within cabinets to supply power to appliances such as dishwashers, waste disposers, and trash compactors. Since these receptacles do not serve the countertop surface, they do not require GFCI protection.

Prior to the 1996 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC), only kitchen receptacles installed within 6 feet of the sink required GFCI protection. Receptacles within 6 feet of the sink and installed to serve the countertop surface were required to be GFCI protected. Receptacles more than 6 feet from the sink did not require GFCI protection. In the 1996 edition the 6-foot stipulation was removed. Now, regardless of the distance to the sink, receptacles serving the kitchen’s countertop surface must have GFCI protection.

Where replacing a receptacle in the kitchen, a GFCI-protected receptacle must be used if it serves the countertop surface. For example, a kitchen receptacle is broken and must be replaced. This particular receptacle, installed 10 years ago, is not GFCI protected because it is located more than 6 feet from the sink. Since the current edition of the Code requires all kitchen receptacles serving countertop surfaces to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel, the new receptacle must be a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI-protected receptacle. (See Figure 3.)

210.8(A)(7) Wet bar sinks

Receptacles installed within 6 feet (1.8 m) of a wet bar sink must be GFCI protected where installed to serve the countertop surfaces. The six foot distance is measured from the outside edge of the sink. Receptacles more than 6 feet (1.8 m) from the sink’s outside edge are not required to be GFCI protected. (See Figure 4.) Receptacles not serving the wet bar’s countertop surface do not require GFCI protection, even if they are within 6 feet (1.8 m) of the sink. (See Figure 5.)

210.8(A)(8) Boathouses

The last location covered in 210.8(A) for dwelling units is boathouses. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in boathouses must have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. There is also no exception associated with this location. A receptacle installed outside the boathouse must also be GFCI protected as covered in 210.8(A)(3).

210.8(B) Other than Dwelling Units

Locations specified for dwelling units are quite extensive and contain a number of exceptions. Locations specified for all other occupancies, besides dwelling units, are few and contain only one exception. While eight locations are listed for dwellings, only three are listed for other than dwelling units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms, on rooftops, and in kitchens must have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

Except for guestrooms in hotels, motels, and similar occupancies, it is not mandatory to install receptacles in nondwelling bathrooms. But, where 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles are installed in nondwelling bathrooms, they must be GFCI protected. (See Figure 6.)

The second location specified for other than dwelling units is rooftops. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed on nondwelling rooftops must have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. Although it is not located directly under rooftops, one exception is provided within this section. It is the same exception provided with outdoor receptacles for dwelling units. The exception pertains to receptacles installed on a dedicated branch circuit supplying power to electric snow-melting or deicing equipment. If these receptacles are not readily accessible and they are installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of Article 426, GFCI protection is not required.

A change in the 2002 edition of the NEC pertains to receptacles installed outdoors in wet locations. All 15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt receptacles installed outdoors in a wet location must have an enclosure that is weatherproof, whether or not the attachment plug is inserted. [406.8(B)(1)] This is a change from the 1999 edition. Before, if the receptacle was only in use while someone was present, the enclosure was only required to be weatherproof when the attachment plug was removed. Now, the old style or flat covers are no longer permitted in outdoor wet locations. The enclosure must be weatherproof whether the attachment plug is inserted or removed.

The last location specified for other than dwelling units is also new to the 2002 edition. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in nondwelling kitchens must be GFCI protected. Until the 2002 edition, only receptacles installed in kitchens of dwelling units were required to be GFCI protected. Now, regardless of the type of occupancy, receptacles in kitchens must have GFCI protection for personnel. EC

MILLER, owner of Lighthouse Educational Services, teaches custom-tailored classes and conducts seminars covering various aspects of the electrical industry. He is the author of Illustrated Guide to the National Electrical Code. For more information, visit his Web site at www.charlesRmiller.com. He can be reached by phone at (615) 333-3336, or via e-mail at charles@charlesRmiller.com.