Where are GFCI outlets required?

A residential electrician in MA can easily tell you is you have a GFCI outlet. These outlets are a part of the National Electric Code which requires certain outlets to be placed in certain parts of your home. While it seems a bit redundant, for 50 years these special outlets have been required in the home. It is important that if you have not updated your outlets in an old house, that you talk to your electrician to see if you have you GFCI outlets installed. Every time we come out, we will check for code, so don’t be afraid to give us a call.

GFCI stands for Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption. How these outlets work is that they can sense when there is a problem that could potentially lead to electric shock. They can then cut the power to the outlet and the device to protect from any dangerous issues in the home. These outlets did not gain their name until 1975, but they idea has been around for years before that.

Since 1962 there have been certain requirements about the underwater lighting associated with swimming pools. The NEC Article 680 applies specifically to this because the risk of shock when electricity and water meet had been a well-known issue. This requirement called for what they called a “fail safe ground” which would automatically turn off if it received amperage over 30 V.

As the years went on, these fail safe had become an accepted form of protection for electrical issues. In 1971 they actually became a required method for protection. These requirements called for protection from a failed grounding, recognizing it as an electrical hazard. In 1971 these circuits were required for what was known as “single phase receptacles” which received 15-20 ampere. This was mainly in construction sites at first, but as new requirements were constantly being added since 1971, the home had requirements for 120 V for outdoor outlets and 15-20 ampere objects inside the home.NH electrician from ChamberlinConcern for safety continued with the NEC as they included any kitchens, wet bars and made hotels and motels follow the regulations as well. It was required that any bathroom, in any occupancy have the GFCI outlets. This was a positive thing as a study from 2000-2012 showed that the most common categories for electrocution were appliances, large and small, and power tools.

Come 1975, the termed name for GFCI outlets became the common term with the creation of Article 210-8. This made these special outlets required for residencies and construction sites because of the risk of bathroom shock. It didn’t take long for any other area that could be susceptible to being wet in the presence of electricity to be added. With the amendment of 210-8 A, they added garages first.


Due to this finding any exceptions that may have been in the articles completely became non-existent and the Ground-Fault Circuit Protection outlets were needed within 6 feet of any sink, in all units, residential or not. In 2011 all wet locations needed these outlets and in 2014, even the laundry areas were required to have them, whether it was a separate mud room or not.

These requirements have helped protect many individuals, and in order for you home to be up to code, these special outlets should be installed. Many new construction homes have them in nearly every room now. Your residential electrician in MA can help upgrade your home if you do not have the required outlets or is you want to make sure that you do.

Do you need to upgrade or want to make sure that your outlets are the correct ones? If so call
Chamberlin Electric today at 603-595- 9473.