GFCI/AFCI requirements

Old 03-14-07, 06:25 AM
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GFCI/AFCI requirements


I have some questions about where GFCI's and AFCI's are required and how they're applied. I really have read the code, the NEC 2005 and the IRC 2003, both of which apply in my area. I want to make sure myunderstanding of what I need to do is correct. I really want to pass my inspection on the first shot. Sorry in advance for the lenghty post. Thanks a bunch.


AFCI Questions:

1) I understand everything in a bedroom must be on an AFCI breaker. This includes all receptacles and lights, and anything else wired in the bedroom. Is this correct?

2) I have an exterior door in the bedroom opening to a back patio. There's a light switch in the bedroom, next to the door for an outside light. Since the switch is IN the bedroom does it need to be on a AFCI?

GFCI Questions:

3) All receptacles in an unfinished basement or garage must be GFCI protected (except for single receptacles used by a refrigerator/freezer), true?

4) All receptacles in a bathroom must be GFCI protected, true?

5) Lights and exhaust fan in bathroom can be on GFCI but don't have to be, true?

6) If I have 2 bathrooms, back-to-back I can put a GFCI receptacle in one bathroom, and feed the bathroom receptacle thru it (using a regular receptacle in the second bathroom) as long as the GFCI receptacle does not feed any other items, true?

7) GFCI's are required for receptacles over the kitchen counter and this includes a island counter. True?

8) There must be 2 separate 20 amp GFCI protected circuits feeding receptacles on the kitchen counter, true?

9) This means I can do this with just 2 GFCI receptacles, chaining regular receptacles off them?

10) I can put a couple other receptacles in the breakfast area also fed off these GFCI protected circuits?

11) Is there anywhere else I need to use GFCI or AFCI? How about outside lights with the switch mounted inside? How about outside receptacles?
Old 03-14-07, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
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Everything is correct except for

2. Not sure but probably. Smokes in bedroom also must be AFCI unless local code amendments.

6. If you feed two bathrooms then the entire circuit not just the GFCI part can only feed receptacles in bathrooms.

10. Depends on what those other receptacles are for. You can operate a gas stove off them but not over the stove microwave.

11. GFCI required for outdoor receptacles also. Not required for outdoor lights. GFCI also required if receptacle is near water like a laundry sink or sump pump.

Garage receptacle are only required to be GFCI if readily accessible. Your GDO on the ceiling is not required to be GFCI. If you have plug in light fixtures on the ceiling no GFCI required.
Old 03-14-07, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
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1. Including smoke detectors too.

2. A switch is not an "outlet." No AFCI required.

3. True, or duplex receptacles serving two fixed appliances. The receptacle must be in the dedicated space of the appliance. Another exception exists for inaccessible receptacles, normally taken to mean the receptacle on the ceiling that powers the garage door opener.

4. True. No exceptions.

5. True, unless the device manufacturer specifies GFCI, in which case you must comply.

6. Only true if nothing else is on the entire circuit (i.e., nothing else powered from the same breaker).

7. True.

8. At least two. You can have more. These circuits can serve nothing else, other than kitchen countertop receptacles, the refrigerator (optional), and the dining room receptacles.

9. True.

10. Yes, you can, assuming the breakfast area would be considered a dining room. The dining room receptacles can (and must) be on a 20-amp small-appliance circuit, but need not necessarily be GFCI protected (e.g., they can be upstream of the GFCI if you want).

11. All outside recepacles must also be GFCI, but it is not required for outside lights or switches. For a complete list of all places requiring GFCI, see the code or "Wiring Simplified". Sump pumps are almost never placed on GFCI, for obvious reasons. ("Near water" is not always a requirement.) I think we've now mentioned almost everyplace except crawl spaces, utility sinks, and wet bars.

Check locally for AFCI requirements, as not all cities follow the national code.

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