OK – Today I’m going to slam out a bunch of dates. These dates are going to be the year and location that GFCI became required. To preface this, GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and it’s a device that when installed in your electrical system can prevent electrical shock. I’ve included a photo of a GFCI here:


Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor


GFCIs work by constantly monitoring the current flowing through a circuit. When the difference in current going into a circuit is different than the current going out, the GFCI steps in and interrupts the power, before any damage can be done by electrical shock. What’s so great about GFCIs is that they can interrupt the power when the difference in current is as little as .006 amperes. That’s pretty cool!!! You can find information on other problems I find in electrical panel boxes here: Electrical Problems

But in this blog post we’re only going to talk about Ground fault circuit interruptors.

So what year were GFCIs required in different parts of your house? 1973 was the first year GFCIs were required and this was on the exterior of the home. Since then, they began to be required in new locations every couple of years. In 1975 they became required in bathrooms and in 1978 they became required in garages. Have you ever wondered why the requirement to have them in the garages came before the kitchens? They actually weren’t required in kitchens till 1987. That same year, they also became required in unfinished basements and whirlpool tubs. In 1990, any receptacle in a crawlspace was required to be GFCI protected.   This was the year that all bathrooms were required to also have a dedicated circuit. In 1993, wet bars were added to the list, followed by utility sinks in 2002.   2011 rounded out the list with GFCIs being required for all sinks.

One thing that many people fail to understand about GFCIs is that they don’t protect against surges. It should also be noted that while GFCIs are designed to protect against severe or fatal electrical shock, they can also prevent electrical fires by interrupting the flow of electrical current. This can also help limit the severity other fires my cause.

Well, that’s all for that one. If you have any questions about GFCIs, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email.


Be Happy and Be Kind,


T.J. Thorne