According the NEC (National Electrical Code), GFCI outlets should exist entirely throughout the kitchen, including on a standalone kitchen island. The interesting thing about this, is that the kitchen island is largely up for interpretation, may or may not contain a sink, and is influenced by other factors that make this a debatable point for many electricians, home inspectors, and realtors.

Go With GFCI

It never hurts to be careful, and GFCI outlets don’t do much damage financially to install. If whomever you’re buying a home from decided, informed or not, to skip the upgrade to safer outlets, you may want to consider a more in-depth inspection prior to closing. While it is unlikely that their local electrician did a haphazard job, it is possible; you never want to be stuck with poor electrical work from a previous owner.


Beyond just being “safer,” what do GFCI outlets do that normal outlets do not? Chiefly, they immediately flip the breaker in the presence of a spiked, completed circuit. Most commonly, these are caused by moisture, which is why GFCI outlets are located primarily in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and on a home’s exterior. A kitchen island with a sink should always, absolutely have only GFCI outlets installed. Others may vary greatly depending on their proximity to a water source.

Our Thoughts

As Marin County’s most trusted local electricians, Divine Electric always opts toward the side of caution for homeowners and future value alike. Even if your island is far removed from a kitchen sink, odds are you will want to safely clean and spill on the island without fear of injury.

Get in touch with our local electricians for all of your renovation, installation, repair, or home maintenance needs today!