GFCI Circuits in your Kitchen
Our last blog on kitchen remodeling covered electrical issues that might occur.
In my case, I had an older house with appliances (refrigerator and built-in micro-hood) each wired on circuits with other electrical outlets rather than on separate circuits. It was not practical to add separate circuits for these two appliances, but we were able to move the microwave to a different circuit with lower total power demand which resolved any power shortage issues. Also, It was not necessary to to move the refrigerator to another circuit.
Now, we’re going to cover the issues regarding GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) in an older house.
Originally, the NEC code required GFCI receptacles only in the garage and bathrooms. Over the years, the code has been regularly amended, to include kitchens, and laundry areas. What is a GFCI receptacle?
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. In brief, a GFCI receptacle monitors electricity passing through any plugged in device for an imbalance. The GFCI receptacle breaks the circuit if there is more than a 5 milliamp difference between the electrical current entering and the current leaving. The result is that any device plugged into a GFCI receptacle with a short or a wiring issue will be disconnected in about .025 seconds.
In my particular instance, for some reason we had no GFCI receptacles in the house. So I had the electrician add GFCI receptacles to the bathrooms and the kitchen areas so we’d be up to code. However, I’ve just learned that the latest revision to the code now has added a GFCI requirement for dishwashers. It’s easy to get frustrated over changing regulations, but when you consider that spending a few bucks on having the proper electrical outlet might save a life, it makes sense to be protected from electrical hazards.
For more information on GFCI or other remodeling or building issues contact your remodeling professional or homebuilder.
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