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Old 02-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


I'm looking to add some lighting underneath my bathroom vanity (ie. LED rope lights). The lights will need to plug into an outlet. To keep things as neat as possible, I will install the outlet inside the vanity cabinet. If I understand correctly, this is allowed by code so long as the outlet is within 12" of the vanity top.

The lights/outlet will be controlled by a wall switch as I don't always want them on. However, I'd also like one of the outlet receptacles to maintain constant power so that I can plug in a rechargeable razor or something. This split cannot be done if the outlet is a GFCI and it seems possible that turning on and off the entire outlet each time may result unnecessary trips of the GFCI breaker.

So, my question is whether this outlet needs to a GFCI? I can't find any direction on the issue one way or another.

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Old 02-03-2012, 11:44 PM   #2
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


All receptacle outlets in bathrooms must be protected by a listed GFCI device...

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Old 02-03-2012, 11:53 PM   #3
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


^

Thanks. I just found that statement in the code as well. Kind of sucks.

Any suggestions for doing what I'm looking to accomplish - short of adding yet another outlet? Should I be concerned about tripping the breaker by constantly turning off an on the outlet?

I suppose having use of the second receptacle is more of a "nice to have" than anything else...yet, at the same time, if it's there, I'd like to use it.

Any other concerns I should be aware of with the outlet in the cabinet?

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Old 02-04-2012, 12:25 AM   #4
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


You could use a GFCI breaker for those outlets, and replace all on the circuit with regular receptacles. Then you could split the outlet and still be code compliant.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:11 AM   #5
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Another option you might want to consider would be a direct wire mini-fluorescent under-cabinet fixture. I know home-depot has some that are only 1.5" tall. They also have some plug in ones that might be smaller, which can use a special transformer that allows them to be hardwired.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:45 AM   #6
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
You could use a GFCI breaker for those outlets, and replace all on the circuit with regular receptacles. Then you could split the outlet and still be code compliant.
I'm not sure this is correct based on the wording of the code.
Quote:
GFCI protection is required for all receptacles in:
Bathrooms


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Old 02-04-2012, 07:54 AM   #7
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LowlyDIYer
I'm not sure this is correct based on the wording of the code.
I'm not sure why that would be true (no expert here). If the breaker is gfci and is feeding the outlets in the bathroom, split one included, the bathroom is gfci protected. There is no criteria for using a gfci outlet vs a breaker that I am aware of.
Not arguing with you just trying to learn if I am misunderstanding something.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:23 AM   #8
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LowlyDIYer View Post
So, my question is whether this outlet needs to a GFCI? I can't find any direction on the issue one way or another.

You could probably configure a switch on the load side of the existing GFCI then an outlet after the switch. You just need to feed it from the load side neutral and hot and not comingle the load side neutral with other neutrals. The GFCI would always be on, just (part of) the load is switched. This would get you GFCI compliance.

I don't think you can put an outlet in the cabinet though. Isn't there something about not enclosing outlets in cabinets per NEC?
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


I don't think you can put an outlet in the cabinet though. Isn't there something about not enclosing outlets in cabinets per NEC?[/quote]

Totally false.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #10
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


You can put a receptacle in a cabinet. It depends on the situation as to whether it qualifies as one of the required receptacles for that particular room. In the case of a bathroom, a receptacle can be put almost anywhere in any cabinet (within or directly over showers and tubs excluded), as long as it’s done correctly and is accessible, and is GFCI protected. If it’s installed outside the perimeter as specified in 210.52(D), then it wouldn’t qualify as the required receptacle, and another receptacle would have to be installed that does meet the criteria.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #11
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikenra View Post
I'm not sure why that would be true (no expert here). If the breaker is gfci and is feeding the outlets in the bathroom, split one included, the bathroom is gfci protected. There is no criteria for using a gfci outlet vs a breaker that I am aware of.
Not arguing with you just trying to learn if I am misunderstanding something.
No worries. I don't know either, which is why I'm asking the question. You may very well be right.

My immediate thought went to a garbage disposal/dishwasher set up in the kitchen. That is NOT a GFCI receptacle. However, in looking at NEC, it doesn't need to be; only outlets above the counter need to be GFCI. They make no such provision for bathrooms; they simply say all must be GFCI protected.

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Old 02-04-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


bathrooms; they simply say all must be GFCI protected

Which part of ALL is so hard to understand?
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #13
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LowlyDIYer View Post
^


Any suggestions for doing what I'm looking to accomplish - short of adding yet another outlet? Should I be concerned about tripping the breaker by constantly turning off an on the outlet?
Micro switch installed on the cabinet door so the lights go on when the door is opened. Wired after the GFCI and before the light. Something like this: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5239 though I am sure there are several switches that would work. I am planning on doing that in my closet.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #14
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LowlyDIYer View Post
I'm not sure this is correct based on the wording of the code.

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"GFCI protected" means just that. It doesn't say (or mean) that the receptacle itself has to be a GFCI receptacle. That is never required anywhere. The NEC only ever requires GFCI protection, which can be provided by any means you want: breaker, receptacle, dead-front device, whatever.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #15
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Outlet Inside Vanity Cabinet - Does It Need To Be GFCI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric

Which part of ALL is so hard to understand?
Which part of rude and condescending is hard to understand?

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