Converting a Space to a Commercial Kitchen? Check for GFCIs

If you have plans to open a restaurant or small business with a commercial kitchen, you better make sure that kitchen is outfitted with GFCI outlets and circuit breakers. It’s code.

According to the National Electric Code Article 210.8, there must be GFCI protection on 15 amp, 20 amp, and 125 volt receptacles located in bathrooms and kitchens as a safety feature for personnel. GFCI is required in mostly in kitchens, bathrooms and outdoors, where contact with water is most likely. 

For more information about Article 210, the IAEA’s overview is both detailed and accessible.

What is GFCI Anyway?

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI is a device that uses sensors to measure the amount of current flowing to and from an outlet or appliance. If the GFCI device senses that current is going down a stray path, like through a puddle or, God forbid, a human body, it “trips the breaker” as a safety feature. 

For example, if you are working with a toaster oven placed next to a leaking sink that has flooded the counter top, there’s a dangerous possibility that this could result in electrocution should the toaster have a frayed cord or if water were to splash upon the receptacle. The GFCI is sensitive enough to determine if some of the current flowing from hot to neutral (from breaker box to appliance) is actually flowing through something else, like water or your stunned hand. As soon as it detects an anomaly, it cuts the electricity, hopefully saving the life of our toast maker. This is a fairly simplistic breakdown of the process, but if you’d like to learn more, check out this overview on HowStuffWorks or, better yet, ask one of our expert electricians at Cooper Mechanical Services.

What Can Cooper Do For You?

Cooper Mechanical Services knows code. We are NATE certified and follow IAEA standards. We have been servicing the HVAC, electrical and refrigeration needs of restaurants and businesses with commercial kitchens in the Myrtle Beach area for nearly 30 years. We want your business to thrive, and that starts with smart planning and design that is up-to-code.