Personnel Protection

All receptacles listed below must be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter.
a. Sheds
b. Garage receptacles that are readily accessible
c. All receptacles in an unfinished basement or crawl space at or below grade,
d. Bathroom receptacles
e. All outdoor receptacles
f. Kitchen receptacles that serve counter tops
g. All temporary construction power
h. Laundry, utility and wet bar sinks. Where the receptacles are installed within 6 feet of the outside edge of the sink.
NOTE: 15 and 20 amp 125 and 250 volt receptacles in wet locations shall have in-use covers.

with these exceptions:
1. A laundry receptacle, that is not easily accessible.
2. Single receptacles not duplex type on a dedicated circuit located and
identified for specific use by a cord and plug connected appliance such as
A freezer or refrigerator.

In the early 1880’s a patent was applied for the use of electricity to execute criminals condemned to death. In 1888, New York passed a law allowing for the electrocution of criminals, and in 1890 the first electrocution as a form of capital punishment took place. While public opinion and debate continued back then on the use of electricity for this purpose, accidental electrocutions became even more of a concern with the growing use of electricity in the home. 

By 1970, accidental electrocutions in the U.S. were exceeding 1100 per year. 

The ground-fault circuit-interrutper (GFCI) was developed in the 1960’s based on a concept by Professor Charles Dalziel of the University of California at Berkeley. The GFCI became a success soon after it was developed into a commercial product by a handful of companies, including several circuit breaker manufacturers. The GFCI was first required by the Code in 1968 for underwater swimming pool lighting fixtures. Backyard swimming pools were becoming popular at that time as more and more city dwellers were moving to the more spacious suburbs. In subsequent years the Code was revised to add the required use of GFCIs to other areas of the house, especially locations where people would be standing on earth or cement ground, or near water. 

By the 1980’s, receptacle type GFCIs were also becoming popular. Just 25 years after the GFCI was first introduced, the number of accidental electrocutions in the U.S. had dropped in half, even though the use of electricity had more than doubled in that same time period. 

 These are the locations in and around the home when GFCIs were first required: 
  • 1968 - Swimming Pool Underwater Lighting 
  • 1971 - Receptacles Near Swimming Pools 
  • 1973 - Outdoor Receptacles 
  • 1975 - Bathroom Receptacles 
  • 1978 - Garage Receptacles 
  • 1981 - Whirlpools and Tubs 
  • 1987 - Receptacles Near Kitchen Sinks 
  • 1990 - Receptacles in Unfinished Basements and Crawl Spaces 
  • 1993 - Receptacles Near Wet Bar Sinks 
  • 1996 - All Kitchen Counter-Top Receptacles 
  • 2005 - Receptacles Near Laundry and Utility Sinks