Question: Is supplying receptacle outlets using 15-ampere branch circuits in house garages still permitted?
Answer: No, for new installations the code now requires at least one 20-ampere branch circuit to supply receptacle outlets in garages and detached garages with electric power. Although detached garages are not required to be supplied by electrical power, if they are powered they must comply with the code. Also, garage lighting cannot be supplied by the 20-ampere branch circuit. The garage lighting must be supplied by a general-purpose lighting branch circuit, but that branch circuit could be either 15 or 20-ampere. The idea here is that if a faulty tool blows a circuit, the occupant would not have to stumble around in the dark heading towards the panel.
Water source and GFCI
Question: I know that receptacles within 6-ft. of a sink need to be protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). But what if the appliance (fridge, microwave, etc.) that is plugged in to said receptacle is closer than 6-ft?
Answer: NEC 210.8 and NEC 210.8(A)(7) are very clear that the measurement is from the “top inside edge of the bowl of the sink” to the “receptacle”. The measurement is not to the appliance.
Image by the IAEI (International Association of Electrical Inspectors).