How Many GFCI Outlets Are Required In A Kitchen

How Many GFCI Outlets Are Required In A Kitchen featured photo

Are you thinking of rewiring your kitchen and wondering how many GFCI outlets are required in a kitchen? Remodeling a kitchen can be hard because not only do you have to think of the design and layout, but you also have to think about where to place your kitchen outlets. In addition to that, kitchen outlets need to be GFCI-protected to prevent electrocution.

While GFCI protection is required in kitchens, there is no limit as to how many outlets are needed. You can install only one or a couple of outlets if you want. However, there is a requirement when installing GFCI outlets as per the National Electrical Code (NEC). GFCI outlets need to be installed within 6 feet of a sink and are required to be installed in wet areas.

In this article, we will talk about what GFCI outlets are, why they are important, and which areas in your home they need to be installed. If you are planning on rewiring your electrical system, read until the end!

What Is A GFCI Outlet

What Is A GFCI Outlet

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI, is an electric device installed in a dwelling and a non-dwelling lot to protect from electrical shocks or prevent electrocution from happening. A GFCI outlet will interrupt or cut off the flow of power if the device senses a change in the circuit’s returning current. Aside from protecting you from electric shock, GFCI outlets also detect ground faults and can prevent electrical fires caused by faulty electrical outlets or appliances.

Where Are GFCI Outlets Required?

Where Are GFCI Outlets Required

The National Electric Code (NEC) requires residential and commercial lots to have GFCI outlets installed. These devices are installed in several areas, called wet rooms, of the building where there is a water source present. So, GFCI outlets are required in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, utility rooms, gardens, and basements that have sinks that are within 6 feet of an outlet. As we said earlier, a GFCI outlet needs to be within 6 feet of a plumbing fixture and this device is commonly seen in kitchen countertops near where the sink is located.

Outdoor outlets that are 15-amp, 20-amp, or 120-volt outlets also need to have GFCI protection. The NEC requirement for GFCI outlets is not required in older homes. However, if you have an older home and the wiring needs to be updated installation of GFCI outlets will be required. Even if you don’t need your electrical system to be updated, it is still recommended to have GFCIs installed for better protection against electrical hazards. 

Do All Kitchen Outlets Need to Be GFCI Protected?

Do All Kitchen Outlets Need to Be GFCI Protected

Not all kitchen outlets need to be on a GFCI circuit or GFCI breaker but, how many GFCI outlets are needed in a kitchen?

No standard number of GFCI outlets is required to be installed in a kitchen. You can install a single GFCI device and call it a day but some homeowners have GFCIs added to all of their kitchen outlets.

If you decide to have only one GFCI added, it is important that the GFCIs serve countertop surfaces within 6 feet of a sink. There are no limits to adding GFCI outlets, so you may want to install several outlets if one suddenly does not work. If you are updating your electrical system, it is best to consult a licensed electrician about the number of GFCI outlets needed to be installed in your home.

How Much Does A GFCI Outlet Cost?

How Much Does A GFCI Outlet Cost

A GFCI outlet can cost anything between $100 to $300 and that does not include labor and installation fees yet. Aside from the device itself, there are additional costs that you may incur if you are thinking of updating or installing a new electrical system.

The price range can also vary depending on the brand and whether the outlets will be installed outdoors or indoors. Outdoor installations can be more expensive as the GFCI outlets need to have waterproof electric boxes. You may also need to get an electrical permit before doing some new installations. These permits can cost you anywhere from a couple of bucks to a couple hundred dollars, depending on the kind of installation needed to be done.

Can You Install GFCI Outlets Yourself?

Can You Install GFCI Outlets Yourself

Installing GFCI outlets does not take too long and it can be done in about 30 minutes but it can also take about an hour or two. If installation of GFCI outlets does not take long, can you install them yourself or do you need an electrician?

You might think of doing it yourself to save on installation fees. However, unless if you are a licensed electrician, it is best to leave the installation process in the hands of a licensed professional.

While DIY electrical projects can be done, people who do it usually have knowledge of electrical work. If you have experience handling electrical wires, you can change normal outlets into GFCI outlets by yourself.

If you are wondering how to install GFCI outlets, it can be easy if you already have electrical knowledge. Before installing a GFCI outlet, you need to switch off the main circuit breaker where the outer you will be replacing is connected. Once the main breaker is off, you can remove the old outlet and disconnect the wires from it.

After disconnecting the wires, the insulation from the wires needs to be stripped (not all the way) and the wires need to be connected to the new GFCI outlet. Once everything is connected, you can place the outlet back, tuck the wires, and place the cover place back. Test the outlet with a GFCI tester to see if it is working.

Again, we recommend the installation be done by a licensed electrician to ensure that the process is done correctly.


There is no limit to the number of GFCI outlets you can install in a kitchen. It could be just one or a couple depending on whether or not you want all outlets to be GFCI-protected. However, you still need to follow the National Electrical Code (NEC).

We have discussed what GFCI outlets are and why they are important in both residential and commercial lots. We have also discussed which areas are required to have GFCI outlets. If you are thinking of updating your current electrical system, make sure to hire a licensed electrician to make sure that the outlets are installed properly. If you have any other questions, let us know via the contact form on our website.