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Question DetailsAsked on 8/26/2017

Are the following items needs to be on a GFCI outlet: Fridge, Range, Washing Machine, Microwave?

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1 Answer


With the exception of water-using or containing things (and related equipment) that people are IN - like saunas, hot tubs, whilepools, swimming pools and such - devices as such are not required to have GFCI protection. The determination of where GFCI protection is needed is determinated by an environment where a person or tool or piece of equipment could get wet or be in water during use - so all outdoor outlets, all outlets in "wet" environments like shower and sauna rooms and bathrooms, and kitchen sink area and counters (generally all outlets within 6 feet or sinks plus ALL outlets serving kitchen counters), etc.

Here is a copy of the applicable code section (adopted in most areas) - this is the 2011 version, some ares use a different version but gives you a non-definitive idea of the type of areas where theyt are required:

Generally, larger motor-containing devices like air conditioners, reefers, washing machines do NOT run off GFCI circuits because of the false tripping caused by some types of electric motors - but garbage disposals SHOULD because of the intimate contact with the sink water. DIshwashers there are some who say yes, others no. A common solution in iffy cases is, if tripping out might cause a hazard or significant nuisance if the entire circuit goes, is to (for new construction) but washer and dishwahser on their own circuit so if one trips out only those are affected. Another solution is to put sa GFCI only on the specific device, not protecting the entire circuit.

220V items are also generally NOT on GFCI protection - ranges, electric driers, A/C and electric furnaces, etc - though the way the code is going it will not be long before hole-house GFCI/AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) will be the standard. Hopefully by then they will have worked out the false-trip issues with them - especially with AFCI's which for my money are pretty useless for household use, though fine if mounted only on specific pieces of equipment like well pumps ande A/C's and such.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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