Required Locations

SAM in Bathroom Graphic Most people have seen GFCI outlets before in bathrooms. or on the outlet for the office coffee maker. In newer homes, these outlets are commonly seen near kitchen and bar sinks, garages, basements, and outdoors near patios and swimming pools. The one thing all these areas have in common is a damp or wet location. Since electricity and water are a dangerous combination, the GFCI outlets provide an added measure of safety protection in these wet and damp places.

The 1996 National Electrical Code requires GFCI's in all bathroom outlets, all kitchen and bar outlets within 6 feet of a sink, all outdoor outlets that serve patios or decks within 8 feet of the ground, one in the garage, one in a basement, and any outlet within 10 feet of a swimming pool. There are additional requirements in commercial and industrial buildings, primarily on rooftops or other areas where maintenance people have to perform service work in wet or damp areas.