Are GFCI required in kitchens?

Are you remodeling your kitchen?

Wondering which type of electrical outlet should you install in your kitchen?

If so, the primary question which you will have to find the answer to is, are GFCI required in kitchens?. Whenever you add any outlet to any part of the home, it is crucial to go what NEC mandates. Only when you do so you will be abiding by all the rules and regulations. Moreover, NEC has been designed to make your home is safer.

Today, I will answer this question. Not only that, I will go into the details of the answer as well. Once you go through the post below, it will become easy for you to choose the type of outlet which you want to install in your kitchen.

Are GFCI required in kitchens?
Yes, GFCI is required in your kitchen. In the year 1987, NEC recommended having GFCI in the vicinity of 6 feet of the sink. However, these days the rules are even more strict.

In the year 1996, NEC stated that all the countertop outlets are also required to be GFCI.

If you observe closely, both these areas can deal with water. Due to the same, a ground fault protection system is required in the outlets which are in the vicinity.

These days, homes are becoming smaller and smaller. The value of the real estate is increasing. That is why, when you mark a radius of 6 feet from the sink’s edge, in most cases, all the outlets get covered.

As it is, all the countertop outlets need to be GFCI ones.

When you follow both these criteria, you will realize that almost all the outlets in your kitchen need to be of GFCI.

Now that you know the exact answer to this question, it is essential to understand why you need GFCI protection.

Why are gfci required in kitchens?
GFCI can make any premises much safer. When it comes to the kitchen as well, it can make that premise safer as well. I will help you understand how it does so below.

1. Proximity to water:
Any outlet in the kitchen is pretty close to water. There are numerous water sources in the kitchen. Not only that, you deal with various liquids as well. Most liquids are a great conductor of electricity. Even if the outlet does not come in contact with water, it can come in contact with some or the other liquid due to splashes.

The proximity to water is one of the primary reasons why every kitchen outlet needs to be a GFCI one. With GFCI outlets, using any appliance is safe and easy.

Not only that, the GFCI outlet also means that in case of exposure to liquid, the circuit will trip itself. When that happens, the leakage current will not flow. There is no risk of shorts happening as well.

The proximity to water is one of the primary reasons why GFCI outlets are required in kitchens.

2. Appliance protection:
These days, the number of appliances in your kitchen are increasing at a rapid pace. The amount of power that such appliances need is also growing at a rapid pace.

The more the number of appliances, the more will be the wear and tear of the outlets and the wires. The insulation can get frayed as well due to the high power consumption.

Moreover, there is always the risk of leakage current when you’re using heavy-duty appliances.

Whenever there is leakage current flowing through the wires, the appliances are the first ones to get damaged. Repairing or replacing an appliance is expensive.

Instead of taking that risk, it is a good idea to use a GFCI outlet. When you use a GFCI outlet, even if the wear and tear occur and the leakage current occurs due to that, it will trip itself in case of leakage current.

When the circuit tips itself, no further loss of current flow will take place. The appliance will be safe, and there is no risk of electrocution as well.

3. Possibility of leakage:
The pipes supplying water to the taps in the kitchen almost always run through the wall. Over some time, such pipes can develop a leak.

When that happens, the wall will become wet and humid. There can even be an accumulation of water inside the wall.

When these pockets get in contact with the outlets on the inner side, they can conduct current. Consequently, the current will flow through the entire fall into the ground.

When someone comes in contact with such a world, the chances of electrocution are pretty high.

Since the pipes in the kitchen are in use day in and day out, they might develop leakage sooner than later.

If the outlet is not GFCI, leakage current might flow consistently. It will damage the appliances and pose a risk for the occupants of the home as well.

To avoid this entire situation, a GFCI outlet is a must in the kitchen.

4. Fire protection:
Whenever there is a risk of short-circuit, there is always a risk of fire as well. That is because often, when shorting happens and the current continues to flow, there can be sparks.

On the other hand, when the same situation occurs with the GFCI outlet, the current leakage will lead to circuit tripping. It means that the circuit will be broken, and the current will no longer flow. Since the current is no longer flowing, it will eliminate any risk of sparking as well. In a nutshell, the GFCI outlets can also provide you with fire protection.

The reasons why you should use a GFCI outlet in the kitchen are numerous. Instead of ignoring this need, it is a good idea to become completely safe with a GFCI outlet.

Even if you go with the NEC, you will realize those GFCI outlets are a must in most of the kitchen. Rather than installing them in the mandatory parts, installing them throughout the kitchen makes perfect sense. Doing so can make your kitchen safer. Considering all these aspects, GFCI outlets are a necessity in kitchen. To know about the necessity of a GFCI outlet in the garage, read my post here.

In case you’re looking for GFCI outlets for outdoor’s as well, you can read my post on outdoor lights with GFCI outlet.

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