Sink to GFCI distance, not in kitchen or bath

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Old 09-06-11, 06:03 PM
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Sink to GFCI distance, not in kitchen or bath

Does the NEC permit this?

I want to replace the left-most GFCI with a standard receptacle that can have one outlet switched and one outlet hot all the time. The distance from the edge of that receptacle to the edge of the countertop is 49 inches.

I found a 2002 reference to 210.8(a)(7) for wet bars that seems it might apply, but I have no idea if this might have changed in later code cycles: Electrical Contractor: Article 210 ... Receptacles not serving the wet barís countertop surface do not require GFCI protection, even if they are within 6 feet (1.8 m) of the sink.

Also can I get opinions or citations on whether the right-hand GFCI is serving the countertop? My inclination is to leave that one as a GFCI; I'm just curious about what the 2-3 inches of countertop to the left of the sink count for.



History: The sink was formerly located between the pictured GFCIs. I moved the sink over to the right about four years ago without changing the electrical at all. And yes, there is a GFCI within about a foot of the right edge of the sink.
 
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Old 09-06-11, 06:30 PM
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As long as this is not a kitchen or bathroom, you should be ok on the one receptacle to the left. Leave the one adjacent to the sink.
The 2 or 3" of countertop to the left of the sink is to hold up the sink, and to allow the countertop to lap over the cabinet for support. Not sure if that answered your question or not.
 
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Old 09-06-11, 06:36 PM
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In no particular order; only countertop areas 12" or greater would require a receptacle. This means the one to the right in the pic is not even required. I also do not see how you could utilize that sliver of counter with an appliance. IMO it does not serve a countertop.

I guess it would help to know if that is a wet bar or is it part of the kitchen. Again without a countertop in a kitchen it would not require GFI protection. I would need to check if it were a wet bar.IIRC within 6' of the wet bar does require GFI protection.
 
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Old 09-06-11, 07:43 PM
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In no particular order; only countertop areas 12" or greater would require a receptacle. This means the one to the right in the pic is not even required. I also do not see how you could utilize that sliver of counter with an appliance. IMO it does not serve a countertop.
I agree that no receptacle is required in that location and that it does not serve the countertop, but my opinion is, since it is there and that close to the sink, it should be GFI protected.
 
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Old 09-06-11, 08:52 PM
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I would probably leave it since it is already installed.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
I guess it would help to know if that is a wet bar or is it part of the kitchen. Again without a countertop in a kitchen it would not require GFI protection. I would need to check if it were a wet bar.IIRC within 6' of the wet bar does require GFI protection.
I don't know the NEC definition of a wet bar, but this room is more or less an upstairs bedroom without a closet. The sink is for cleaning up artist's painting supplies. My wife uses this room as her office and art studio. So she's got the desk there with a lamp on it and wants the desk lamp on the switched outlet. She may get a glass of water from the sink every so often, but that's about it. If we sold the house I would see the new owners using this room as a nursery or bedroom, or removing the sink altogether.

Regarding the right-hand GFCI, I think we're on the same page that somebody could try to balance something electrical on that little sliver of countertop. Better to leave it as a GFCI to be safe rather than sorry.

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 08:18 AM
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In my opinion the sink would be considered a utility sink, and receptacles would require GFCI protection if within 6 feet of the outside edge of the sink. The requirement has been in place since at least the 2005 code cycle (donít have the 2002 book). IIRC Wisconsin is on either the 2008 or the 2011 code cycle.

That said, you could use a split receptacle if you changed the breaker controlling the circuit to a GFCI breaker.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
That said, you could use a split receptacle if you changed the breaker controlling the circuit to a GFCI breaker.
This is a multiwire branch circuit. I don't even recall if the breakers are in adjacent slots, but it's probably not worth that much trouble.

To do that I would rather swap out the Decora paddle with a switch/recep combo on the same yoke, and put the switch on the load side of the GFCI.

I should have put in a 4-gang ... three large devices and 12 AWG makes it a challenge to work on. I just hate to add more pigtails in that box.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
In my opinion the sink would be considered a utility sink, and receptacles would require GFCI protection if within 6 feet of the outside edge of the sink.
Would it help if I put a bottle of tequila and a shot glass, maybe some highball glasses next to the sink?
 
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Old 09-07-11, 10:22 AM
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Then it would truly be considered a wet bar sink
 
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Old 09-07-11, 11:05 AM
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Only if you're buying. It's a bit of a drive, but I could make it by dinner.

I agree it should remain GFCI protected within 6' of the utility sink. If there's room in the stud bay you could cut out the three gang box and put in a four gang box. It's not that much work -- pry it a little loose and slip a hacksaw blade in to cut off the nails.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 12:49 PM
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You could also cut in an old work box and run a jumper between the two boxes.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 04:47 PM
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This is a multiwire branch circuit. I don't even recall if the breakers are in adjacent slots, but it's probably not worth that much trouble.
They better be. It actually needs to be a double-pole breaker.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
They better be. It actually needs to be a double-pole breaker.
The requirement for a double pole breaker may post-date this install. Prior to the latest change a double pole breaker was only required if both hots landed on the same yoke.
 
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Old 09-08-11, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
The requirement for a double pole breaker may post-date this install. Prior to the latest change a double pole breaker was only required if both hots landed on the same yoke.
Correct. The applicable code was 1999, and I know there are a number of multiwire breakers that are not in adjacent spaces. I have always wondered why the electrician did it that way, because I had clearly marked and bundled the conductors for him.

But anyway, thanks for all the opinions.
 
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