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Kitchen island outlets


Bain
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Do these island outlets require GFCI protection? And if not, what's the reasoning behind the code(Asked because these outlets, and most I find like them, have no GFCI protection)? The outlets are within six feet of the sink, and something plugged into them could easily topple into the sink.

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Originally posted by Bain

Do these island outlets require GFCI protection?

No.

And if not, what's the reasoning behind the code(Asked because these outlets, and most I find like them, have no GFCI protection)? The outlets are within six feet of the sink, and something plugged into them could easily topple into the sink.

The rules for GFCI protection of kitchen-counter receptacles no longer have anything to do with proximity to the sink. This has been the case for over ten years now.

The only receptacles in a kitchen that require GFCI protection are those that serve the countertop. And *all* receptacles that serve the countertop must be GFCI protected.

The receptacles in your picture don't require GFCI protection because they don't meet the criteria for countertop receptacles. In order to qualify to serve the countertop, the receptacles would need to be less than 12 inches below the countertop. Even then, they couldn't be mounted on this one because the countertop extends more than six inches beyond its support base. In fact, it would be a bad idea to plug a countertop appliance into one of those receptacles because there'd be a great risk that someone could inadvertently snag the cord and pull the appliance off the counter. Many electricians resist putting receptacles in this location because of this risk.

Also consider this: newer kitchen appliances come with short cords. They couldn't reach those receptacles anyway.

The reason that the receptacles are there is that someone is considering this island to comprise "wall space." They need the receptacles there to meet the general requirement for wall outlets. You may protect them with GFCIs but you aren't required to.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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