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AFCI and GFCI requirements


Have a question about GFCI & AFCI requirements?

Electrical safety at home

Help create safer living spaces and provide valuable electrical safety and protection by understanding the requirements for AFCI and GFCI protection. Eaton offers code-compliant electrical safety devices including Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters that reduce the risk of fire to Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter cable assemblies, receptacles, and portable GFCI kits that help protect against electrical shock, as well as circuit breakers.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection

Outlet Branch-Circuit (OBC) AFCI receptacles can contribute to overall homeowner safety by monitoring the electrical circuits for the presence of dangerous arcing conditions. AFCI receptacles are designed to recognize an arc fault and quickly trip to stop the flow of electricity to prevent the electrical system from being an ignition source of a fire.

Eaton now offers a system combination-type AFCI. This new solution consists of a (1) UL 489 circuit breaker and (1) AFCI or Dual Function (AF/GF) Outlet Branch-Circuit receptacle, which has been tested and listed as a system to provide complete AFCI protection within the home.


AFCI current requirements in the NEC 2020 code:

  • Finished basements
  • Bedrooms
  • Common rooms
  • Hallways and closets
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry areas

Ground Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection

GFCI breakers & GFCI receptacles provide superior safety and ensure electric shock protection in areas where electricity may come into contact with water such as kitchen countertops, bathrooms, swimming pools, hot tubs and out­door receptacles. GFCI breakers immediately break the circuit when electrical current leakage is being detected, reducing the risk of shock and electrocution. GFCI receptacles will render itself inoperable if no GFCI protection is present and a red indicator light will blink notifying the user there is no power and the device must be replaced.

Learn more about GFCI protection installation tips and NEC 2020 updates

GFCI current requirements in the NEC 2020 code

  • Bathrooms
  • Garages
  • Outdoors
  • Balconies, decks and porches
  • Kitchen countertops and dishwashers
  • Within 6 feet of sink
  • Laundry areas
  • Within 6 feet of bathroom or shower

Understand the updated NEC 2020 code requirements for AFCI and GFCI

Every three years, members of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) meet to review, modify and add new National Electrical Code (NEC), or NFPA 70, requirements to enhance electrical safety in the workplace and the home.

The NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, creates the foundation for electrical safety.  The updated 2020 version of this reliable code echoes the evolution of the industry, resulting in several updates and four new articles related to the pressing issues of emergency disconnects, ground fault circuit interrupters, surge protection, arc energy reduction and more.