GFCI outlets are becoming mandatory. Many homeowners do not know that they are mandated by NEC as well.
You might think since when are they mandated?
I will answer that question below. Not only that, I will help you understand since when they are required in different parts of your home as well.
Once you go through this article, you will know the details of NEC and when NEC has mandated GFCI outlets.
When did gfci become code?
According to NEC, GFCI outlets are required in homes since 1971. In 1971, they were required in a single part of your home. However, slowly the requirement expanded.
In subsequent code updations, they were required in other parts of your home. I will highlight them below.
When did gfci outlets become mandatory in various parts of the home?
Today, GFCI outlets are required in almost every part of your home. However, it was not always the same. I will share with you since when they are required in different parts of your home.
1. Swimming pool:
In the year 1971, NEC initially mandated that you use GFCI outlets around the swimming pool. It was the first time GFCI outlets were required in our homes.
2. Exterior outlets:
Soon after that, in the year 1975, GFCI outlets were required in exterior receptacles as well. That is why, these days, when you’re buying outdoor light fixtures, it is a good idea to buy them with GFCI fixtures. You can check my post here to find out about the best outdoor light fixtures with GFCI outlets.
In the same year that is in 1975, GFCI outlets were required in bathrooms. They were explicitly needed in the vicinity of water sources. However, since there are multiple water sources in the bathroom, they are required throughout the bathroom.
In 1978, GFCI outlets were made mandatory for the garages. The reason for the same is that garages are outside our home structure. That is why they are susceptible to leakage, humidity as well as outside weather. To prevent any untoward incident and to make garages safer, NEC initially mandated GFCI outlets in the garages.
5. Outdoor tub:
It was in the year 1981 that these were mandated for outdoor tubs. Outdoor tubs frequently consist of a vast quantity of water. Not only that, they are exposed to the elements of weather. That is why leakage current is pretty common in sockets that are associated with outdoor tubs. To prevent any accidents, NEC mandated GFCI outlets for outdoor tubs.
The boathouse is another part of the home which is outdoors. Moreover, it is in the vicinity of water.
Keeping these things in mind, NEC mandated that boathouse outlets have GFCI functionality. It was mandated in 1987. Since then, if you’re installing any outlets in the boathouse, you have to ensure that they are of the GFCI type.
In the year 1987, it was also required that the kitchen outlet, specially those in the vicinity of the sink, should be of GFCI type. It is to ensure that if there is any leakage current, the kitchen walls and the countertop do not electrocute anyone.
Moreover, there are quite a few plumbing fixtures in the walls of the kitchens. They can also increase the humidity and short-circuit the outlet as well as the appliances.
When you go with a GFCI outlet, it becomes easy to avoid this problem. Since 1987, GFCI outlets are mandatory in the kitchens.
8. Bathroom tub:
Bathroom tubs once again have water and humidity in their vicinity. Not only that, there is a drainage pipe as well as of water source associated with the tub. Consequently, it becomes risky to have outlets in the vicinity of the bathroom tub.
This was why in the year 1987, NEC mandated GFCI outlets in the vicinity of the bathroom tub.
In the same year that is in 1987, NEC mandated that basements also have GFCI outlets.
The reason for the same is that if there is leakage anywhere in the home, the basement suffers from high humidity.
Moreover, the basement consists of fixtures like heaters, drainage systems, and so on. That is why the walls can be moist. When that is the case, there is always a risk of leakage current.
To avoid the same, NEC mandated that the basement consists of only GFCI outlets.
10. Wet Bar:
A wet bar consists of water sources, liquor, and so on. That is why there is a high risk of leakage current in the outlets near the wet bar. These outlets are in constant use as well as the mixer, blender, etc.
In the year 1993, NEC mandated that all the outlets in the wet bar and around its vicinity should be of GFCI type. These outlets will trip in case of leakage current and therefore prevent any electrocution.
11. Kitchen dishwasher:
The kitchen dishwasher has become a prevalent fixture in most kitchens since the turn of the century. However, NEC was a bit delayed in mandating the GFCI outlets for the kitchen dishwasher.
In 2014, NEC mandated that all outlets associated with the kitchen dishwasher or in its vicinity should be of GFCI type.
12. Laundry area:
The laundry area of your home is another area where there is always a risk of water and wet walls. That is due to the leakage or breaking of a pipe or spillover.
Any of these problems can easily lead to leakage current and electrocution.
To avoid the same, NEC mandated that the laundry area should have GFCI outlets. This was included in NEC in 2014. It was the last change by NEC. Since the last few years there have been no additions.
Thus, NEC mandated GFCI outlets in various parts of the home over a while. My guide above can help you know about the same.
The 1st time NEC mandated GFCI outlets was in 1971. Over the years since then, NEC has mandated GFCI outlets in different parts of the home. My guide covers all these instances. Once you go through my article, it is easy to understand how GFCI outlets have become widespread and mandatory over some time.