Code question: Visible GFCI for undersink device

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Old 01-02-14, 04:04 PM
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Code question: Visible GFCI for undersink device

I'm looking for ideas on code-compliant way to GFCI protect an under-kitchen-sink receptacle but have that GFCI be visible so the trip light is easily seen.

This is for a fastened-in-place (sorta, only due to the PEX lines) UV sterilizer which is for the kitchen drinking water faucet. If the associated GFCI trips I absolutely need to know about it before I turn that faucet on. What I'd like to do is mount the GFCI right above the sink near the faucet so it's easily seen. Unfortunately that's not allowed because then the circuit is a small appliance circuit and the fastened-in-place device (the whole point) now can't be on it. Catch 22.

Here are the ideas I've come up with so far, and the problems with each:

- Feed the kitchen lights through a GFCI installed under the sink. Not acceptable because the kitchen lights aren't always on.

- Mount the GFCI above the sink at least 5.5' off the floor which I _think_ should get me out of the requirement that it be on a small appliance circuit. That would look kinda funny but it may be my best option.

- Some sort of pilot light deal in the wall. I'd rather have to look at a strangely-placed receptacle instead, I think.

Any other ideas?
 
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Old 01-02-14, 04:17 PM
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You could use a faceless GFI device. The one in the pic is from Hubbell.Model # GFBF20IL

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Old 01-02-14, 04:25 PM
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According to 2011 code, an under sink receptacle is not required for GFCI protection. However, 2014 code will require this. (In MN the 2014 code does not go in effect until July) The other issue is the GFCI is required to be "readily accessible". This means a person will need to get to it without needing to move things and the use of tools.

Why do you need to see this GFCI? Wouldn't the fact that the appliance is not working be an indication that the GFCI is tripped?
 
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Old 01-02-14, 04:45 PM
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You could use a faceless GFI device. The one in the pic is from Hubbell.Model # GFBF20IL
I completely forgot about those. Or rather, I never thought to use one in this situation (for some silly reason). That seems to be the perfect solution. Thanks!

Just for the sake of argument (and depending on what I find in the wall)... would the alternative, 5.5' off the floor deal be legal for a regular GFCI? If I'm to make another hole in the wall maybe I'd like to get some utility out of it, at least. Might be a good place for a holiday wreath or emergency lighting or something, some day. But the faceless GFCI certainly is the cleanest approach; I like it.

According to 2011 code, an under sink receptacle is not required for GFCI protection. However, 2014 code will require this.
Although not code-required, I'm putting it on a GFCI because the undersink area has been flooded at least 4 times that I can count in the last 2 years, right where all the wiring is for this UV deal. Non-sheathed wiring going to a molex type connector. And the cat likes to crawl around in there.

Why do you need to see this GFCI? Wouldn't the fact that the appliance is not working be an indication that the GFCI is tripped?
No, everything would appear to work fine if you weren't paying attention. This is basically just a UV bulb in a large tube. The faucet will work fine without power because it has a pressurized tank. But if that bulb isn't on, the water coming out of the faucet is unsterilized and possibly filled with nasty microscopic critters.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 05:15 PM
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would the alternative, 5.5' off the floor deal be legal for a regular GFCI?
No, for the reason I mentioned. GFCI's need to be readily accessible. I would agree that the blank faced GFCI is your best option.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 05:25 PM
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No, for the reason I mentioned. GFCI's need to be readily accessible.
I was thinking that more than 5-1/2' (210.52) but less than 6'7" (404.8(A)) might qualify. In fact after re-reading it I don't see why less than 6'7" wouldn't be legal everywhere. Unfortunately I'm still fuzzy on whether being 5-1/2' off the floor takes it out of the small appliance requirement. If you had a non-GFCI, non-switched receptacle on the ceiling of a kitchen or dining room, would that still have to be on one of the small appliance circuits?
 
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Old 01-02-14, 05:44 PM
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If you had a non-GFCI, non-switched receptacle on the ceiling of a kitchen or dining room, would that still have to be on one of the small appliance circuits?
I would say no just like the refrigerator or built-in microwave don't have to be on the SABCs. I haven't checked the code book, but I don't believe a GFCI receptacle mounted at 5 1/2 feet would be a violation. You could even install a small battery backed up emergency light to it. The emergency light coming on would be your indication that the GFCI has tripped. I think I might want to install it even higher, maybe close to 7 feet.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 08:29 PM
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Receptacles more than 20 inches above the counter do not count towards the required receptacles.
 
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