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Do Garage Outlets Need to be GFCI Protected?

Maybe you’ve heard about GFCI and how it provides safety against ground faults. But how does it actually function? Can you really rely on GFCI against electrical malfunction? Or a garage outlet?

Do garage outlets need to be GFCI?

The answer is yes. The garage outlets must be GFCI protected otherwise it can be very dangerous. GFCI provides safety against ground faults and it can sometimes even save lives. There are many safety factors of a GFCI as well as rules and codes. Also, the overall value of GFCI protection can be something to consider.

This is only a small fraction of the guide we’ve put together. Continue reading if you’re seeking more thorough information on GFCI.

4 Reasons Why Garage Outlets Need GFCI

GFCI is the acronym for ground fault circuit interrupter. The name states accurately what it does. It protects you and your equipment from a ground fault. But to properly understand, we need to understand what a ground fault is.

When there’s an uneven electrical current in your outlet, it’s known as a ground fault. An outlet must have a balanced current going in and out.

So, how do GFCI give protection against it? It interrupts the circuit to stop any electrical connection and prevents ground fault.

It detects any electrical imbalance and when it does the GFCI kicks in. Then It instantly shuts off the electrical connection and prevents the risk of electrocution. It can be found on outlets, electrical equipment, cords, etc. So switching GFCI outlets could be a lifesaver.

Electrical imbalances are dangerous and thus need to be stopped to prevent potential risk. If there is an imbalance, the extra energy will gravitate towards the ground, thus the name “ground fault.”

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider getting your outlet GFCI protected. Some of them are very important and can be a literal lifesaver-

Mitigating Risk Factors

The fastest method for energy to reach the earth is frequently via you. Therefore, it might cause a shock or create chances of potential damage to your equipment.

Garage outlets are more prone to water-caused malfunctions. It may be caused by an uneven garage floor slope. You should level your garage floor slop first then replace the outlets with GFCI outlets.

Rules and Codes

It’s mandatory to have GFCI protected outlets according to NEC. Having non-GFCI outlets in your garage is forbidden. This was the law NEC had created in 2008. But your region might have different codes or rules. But if we say from a general perspective, then outlets in the garage must be GFCI protected.

Safety Factors

GFCI outlets protect both you and your equipment. The most typical location for people to connect machines to is the garage. It’s one of your home’s most vulnerable parts for electrical outlet disruption. The garage is also prone to more electrical malfunction due to its location and functionality. 

Water leakage, moisture, dust, old equipment, worn insulation, etc can cause an electrical malfunction.

Broken internals also can cause an electrical malfunction. Like, if the outlet is too hard to plug-in equipment, it might be problematic. There might be something broken that got stuck inside. Since a garage is more likely to have these problems, GFCI outlets are very important.

In terms of outlets in the garage, there are many factors that might be problematic. Weather, fluctuating temperatures, dust, pollutants, and other reasons might cause your outlets to malfunction.

Preventing all these reasons of ground fault is not possible. As a result, it’s critical to have protections to reduce their harmful consequences. GFCI is the only preventative mechanism that effectively protects you against ground faults.

So if you find yourself using a normal outlet instead of a GFCI protected one. Before you use it again, replace it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, it might be very risky to keep using it.

Overall Value

Additionally, you may also consider the reselling value of your house. According to NEC outlets of a garage need to be GFCI protected. So, if you’re attempting to sell your home, it can become more difficult.

Because if the outlets are not GFCI protected then it will be an electrical violation. Among the most typical electrical violations is this.

This can drastically reduce the reselling value of your house.

So making the outlets GFCI protected is the safest bet in any situation.

Things To Keep in Mind About GFCI

Apart from the fundamental benefits, there are a few more things that you may consider. The functionality, cost, user-friendliness of a GFCI outlet might also be thought about.

Also, other possibilities of GFCI can be explored too.

Tip 1: Protect Other Outlets

You know now how GFCI protects you and your equipment attached to the outlet. There are other outlets too that should be GFCI protected.

Outlets that are frequently used for appliances or electrical equipment should be GFCI protected. This will give you more safety while using such equipment.

Also, it will prevent your appliances from having electrical malfunctions from ground faults. This could save you a lot of money by providing protection to your electronics.

Therefore, investing in GFCI protected outlets for other places can be a smart decision.

Also, countertop outlets or workspace outlets should be GFCI protected.

But keep in mind to install the GFCI outlets in proper height. Installing an outlet for the microwave will mean it needs to be near the microwave height.

These outlets are used very often with high load electrical equipment. As a result, these carry a higher risk of overall damage.

Tip 2: Easy GFCI Installation

Electricity is quite risky. Unless you’re skilled with wiring, it’s advisable to employ a professional to replace your outlets.

Garages must have GFCI outlets for safety purposes. Don’t do anything unless you’re confident in your technical expertise. Otherwise, attempting to install one on your own defeats the point of this need.

Fortunately, changing outlets is a reasonably straightforward and affordable chore for electricians. Even for those of us who aren’t electrically inclined.

It would likely be less expensive to replace them yourself. Time and safety, on the other hand, are key issues.

So hiring support for this sort of endeavor is nearly always a good idea.


Question: Are fuses and GFCI outlets the same?

Answer: No. Although fuses and GFCI outlets may seem to be about the same thing, they are not. GFCI prevents shock and on the other hand fuses prevent an electrical fire.

Question: What exactly are the differences between GFCI and GFI?

Answer: There is no difference between GFCI and GFI. They are synonyms of each other. The terms ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and ground fault interrupter (GFI) are equivalents.

Question: Can GFCI protect me from water intrusion?

Answer: Yes. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are designed to protect you from any type of ground fault. One of the most frequent causes of that is water penetration.


I hope you found the answer to your question – do garage outlets need to be gfci? We believe we’ve answered all of your questions about GFCI outlets. If you’re still unsure, seek the advice of an electrician.

Always remember safety should be your first priority so be before doing anything. Please inform us if you have any additional questions in the contact section.

See ya!