Altering Commercial Kitchen receptacles

At what point have you found AHJs consider a circuit altered?
I have a commercial kitchen we are renovating. All the new circuits we are installing GFCI protection according to 2017 requirements.
The owner wanted some 30 amp 240v receptacles raised up 2' so the cords did not hold the stainless counters off the wall before the new wall covering went up.
They were fed with MC cable so we simply cut in new boxes above and reconnected the existing MC cable. The inspector is saying we have altered the circuits and now we have to install GFCI protection on them to bring them up to 2017 NEC requirements. This is costing +$1000 in breakers and depending on availability may keep the project from finishing on time.
There are engineered drawings for the project and the engineer evidently didn't consider it necessary as they didn't show GFCI protection added. (Not that he is required to catch everything like this.)
Previously I have always considered altering as adding to the circuit or moving +/- 6' but I can't seem to find where I based that on, other than taught that 20+ years ago.

Dennis Alwon

Staff member
Chapel Hill, NC
Retired Electrical Contractor
That would be an authority having jurisdiction call. IMO, if you remove a device then you must install it per new codes similar to the afci rules. It stinks that it will cost that but............


Senior Member
I’ve understood it as anything other than a receptacle change or a cover change has to be new code cycle.
I would tend to think the AHJ is a little difficult here since your simply raising them, but as stated earlier, it stinks but...