Ground fault interrupters

I’m trying to install a new dishwasher. The old one was hardwired to a circuit breaker in the electrical panel. The new dishwasher has half the space under the tub than the old one. Because there is so little room to work, I think using a power cord and installing an outlet in the cabinet under the kitchen sink would be a better idea than wiring back to the original circuit. I have a receptacle and a metal box I can mount under the sink.

The lady at the hardware store says I need to us a receptacle with a built in ground fault interrupter because of potential wet conditions under the sink. The old dishwasher had a metal box on the frame for attaching the machine to the house wiring. It could have potentially been wet if something had gone wrong with the dishwasher. I did not see a ground fault interrupter on the machine.

Ground fault interrupters are $25 at the hardware store. Would you use a ground fault interrupter or a regular receptacle?

Any outlet near a plumbing fixture should have GFCI protection.

I’ve wired the two houses we built and GFCI was not required for the dishwasher at those times. However, I believe the latest NEC (National Electric Code) requires GFCI for dishwashers now regardless on if the receptacle is in the sink cabinet. You may also need an arc fault interrupter, too.

I’d use the GFI.

My dishwasher has the standard plug and there is a receptacle (outlet) under the cabinet. The receptacle is on the kitchen circuit that is GFI protected.

Absolutely use a GFCI. Pretty certain it is required by code under a sink. I show Home Depot price of about $16.50 for one so $25 at a hardware store is probably about right.

I assume you do not have a garbage disposal? If you add one you will have a second outlet ready to go for it.

Either use a GFCI Breaker or GFCI Outlet.

Thanks. I’ll pick up a GFCI outlet today.

If you don’t, it’s probably a code violation. If you don’t put one in now, you’ll likely have to pay an electrician to do it when you sell the house. Oh, and the whole “it might burn your house down” stuff is also important.

I finished installing the GFCI outlet a couple of days ago and it works. It was the only outlet on the circuit so the installation instructions were simple. I would like to add protection to three outdoor outlets but have not thought through installing with more than one outlet on the circuit. I think the problem will be finding the first upstream outlet.

Thanks to everyone.

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Amazon has GFCI for $10.

However if it flips, will you have to remove the Dishwasher to reset it.

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Wouldn’t that depend on the relative positions of the the dishwasher and the outlet? Mine is a surface-mount receptacle to the side of my dishwasher.

It would typically be installed under the sink as the OP stated. But even if it were a long distance away from the sink it should be installed inside an adjacent cabinet where you can access it.

As noted above, the GFCI can be at the breaker rather than the outlet. Outlet tends to be more convenient, but if the outlet were actually behind the dishwasher, or in some other way inaccessible, having it at the breaker would be more convenient. In my 49 year old house, there has always been an outlet under the sink, where bothe the dishwasher and garbage disposal plug in. (I have the original plans.) In my son’s 70+ year old house, there is also a plug under the sink. Cannot attest to always, as he’s only been there 5.5 years, and it’s obvious that there has been some remodelling/additions.

Does the GFCI have to be upstream or anywhere in the circuit? It’s been decades since I installed mine, but “think” it can be anywhere in the circuit. Note: “think”

The way I see the instructions that came with mine, it could be anywhere in the circuit. If you what protection at all the outlets on the circuit it would need to be the nearest to the breaker panel. When an outlet was not working in my garage, it took me a while to realize that the one GFCI near the panel controlled all the outlets and needed resetting.

I have never had a garbage disposal. I live in a rural area and have a septic tank. If I had chosen to use a garbage disposal, it would have meant installing a larger septic tank and, I assume, more expense to have sediment in the tank periodically removed. Sorry about the mental image.

I have a garbage disposal, as do all of the many homes I’ve visited in my neighborhood. Except for one street, we are all on septic. In the 24 years i’ve lived here, we’ve had the septic drained once. Some folks do it every 5 years; some folks only when needed.

OK, totally off topic now, but what the heck. When I was a kid, my dad owned a company that, among other things, pumped out septic tanks. He of course went to conferences for similar business owners, to see what new equipment was available. One of our family’s prized possessions was a hat he picked up at one of these conferences advertising a company with a slogan, “Satisfaction guaranteed or double your s**t back.” My brothers and I enjoyed wearing that hat.


We also have a garbage disposal but limit what we put down it. We compost most food waste. I pump my septic tank every 6 years but clean the screen yearly.