What is the rule for GFI's and kichen sinks. I read on one web sit you
need one if you are w/in 6 feed of the tap. But the reality is that in
the dozens of houses I have been in the kitchen never has a GFI,s in
them. and I have seen outlets 2-3 feet from tap. I will most likely put
in a GFI but Im just wondering why no one seems to have them in their
professionally build and wired kitchens. (and they are not at the fuse
box). And by the way Is there distance that the out let must be from
If the houses were older, then the electical setup probably doesn't
meet current code.
If the houses are newer, the GFI protection may be run off a single GFI
to other receptacles, or a GFI breaker in the panel can do the job.
Current NEC requirements are that every countertop space of 12 inches or
greater must have a GFCI protected outlet above it and no wall space above
the countertop can be more than two feet from a GFCI protected outlet. It
also requires a minimum of two 20 amp circuits for these outlets
Just for reference, the CEC has a few differences...
All counter space cannot be more than 3' from an outlet behind it.
Outlets may be either 5-15R split on a 15A double-pole breaker (3000
watts), or 5-20RA on a 20A single-pole breaker (2000 watts)
Outlets within 3' of a sink must be GFCI protected. Since split GFCI
outlets do not exist, either a standard outlet that is split fed from
a 15A GFCI double-pole breaker (expensive option) or a 5-20RA GFCI
outlet on a 20A single-pole breaker may be used.
Not more than two counter outlets may be on one branch circuit.
Notwithstanding the last rule, outlets installed on the front of lower
cabinets for access by disabled persons may be on the same circuit as
the nearest outlet behind the counter (it is seen as an "extension" of
that outlet, not an additional outlet).
Outlets on the same branch circuit may not be adjacent to each other
along the counter top.
Other kitchen outlets requirements: there must be one outlet near a
table/seating area on its own 15A circuit (non-split). Refrigerators
must be on their own circuit (though, a clock outlet may be placed on
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
Thanks certainly you have given a very detailed list. It appears as
other have said that the rules have changed over the years, thus
everyone's kitchen is different. Certainly in the past they didn t seem
to worry about GFI's in kitchens. They now seem to have changed their
minds on this. Like for example the new rules for bedrooms, that they
are suppose to have the anti arcing fuses. Perhaps as houses get more
expensive it really doesnt add that much more to the cost.
An interesting thing I read on a Canadian Hydro web site. Is that you
are not suppose to wire up under the counter lights to outlets on the
wall behind the counter. This is a common thing that homeowners add but
is not actually not proper according the the code.
Based on the info I have gathered from the advice on this newsgroup,
some outlets I will GFI from the fuse box others I will just put GFI
Thanks again all.
Many kitchen appliances have metal covers. A metal kitchen sink will be
grounded. If you touch a malfunctioning appliance with one hand and the
metal sink with the other at the same time, ZAP! Or kid sticks knife in
toaster while he has one hand on sink - ZAP
A GFI will quickly turn off power before any harm can be done.
These codes are there to protect *you*, your family, and someone who may buy
your house at some later time. And the codes are there because of something
which has happened to someone in the past.
Bill, I don't disagree with your advice, but I think you need to
modify your thoughts on kitchen sinks. I would suggest that the
majority of them are not grounded. PVC waste lines and PEX supply
lines have just about done away with the sink being grounded.
(top posted for your convenience)
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
Maybe not directly grounded through a metallic path, but what say you
about the water in those supply lines and the faucets being in
electrical contact with the sink? That water probably contacts ground
somewhere upstream in the plumbing, 'eh?
The conductivity of typical city water likely wouldn't be low enough to
avoid 120 volts pushing a nasty current through it and someone's chest.
I wouldn't volunteer to test out the thesis.
Steve, honestly it really depends on where you are located and what
your electrical authority will require.
I strongly urge you to contact your authority directly to ask any of
these questions, and review if any electrical permits are required.
Skimming through the CSA Canadian Electrical Code 2002; I can only find
reference to GFI plugs required in restrooms:
26-700 (11) Receptacles located in bathrooms or washrooms and installed
within 3 m of washbasins, bathtubs, or shower stalls shall be
protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type.
However, within the CSA simplified guide (see below for full title of
publication) I see the following:
"Another important consideration is whether or not the receptacle needs
to be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). The code
requires that any receptacle within 3 m (10 ft.) of a sink, bathtub, or
shower stall be protected by a Class A GFCI, and in some parts of
Canada, ground fault protection is also required for any receptacle
located on a kitchen counter work surface that contans a sink (check
with local inspection authorities). ..."
Here are some other excerpts according to the 2002 CSA Canadian
Receptacles in Residential Occupancies
c) Receptacles shall not be mounted facing up in the work surfaces or
counters in the kitchen or dining area and
d) Where split receptacles are installed on a side of a counter work
surface in a kitchen designed for use by persons with disabilities,
such receptacles shall not be considered as substituting for the
receptacles required by Rule 26-712(d)
If you reside in Canada you may want to obtain a copy of CSA's "Do it
right - Wiring for Canadian homes and cottages - a guide to the CSA
Canadian Electrical Code." This guide simplifies information for
Canadian residential electrical installation requirements.
Hope this is of some assistance,
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