A fellow electrician asked me if you needed a GFCI device for a hands free faucet that uses a low voltage power adapter. I have installed similar faucets in a public washroom a couple years ago but I couldn't remember what was spec for the receptacle. I decided to check my outdated 2012 code books at home as a starting point and then follow-up with the updated books at work the next day. Here was my initial email back to the person who posed the question:
Here's what I found in the 2012 CE Code Handbook - An Explanation of the Rules of the CEC:
Section 26, Rule 26-700 General
To prevent shock hazards where CSA configuration 5-15R or 5-20R receptacles are located within 1.5 m of sinks (e.g., in the case of wash basins with drain pipes), bathtubs, or shower stalls, Subrule (11) requires that these receptacles be protected by a Class A GFCI. Receptacles are exempt from this requirement if: - they are for a stationary appliance designated for the location; and - the receptacle is located behind the stationary appliance so that it is not accessible for use with general-purpose portable appliances.
For additional information, see the Note to Rule 26-700(11) in Appendix B of the 2012 Code and the interpretation regarding Rule 26-700 in Appendix I of the 2009 Code.
In the 2012 CEC, Appendix B Rule 26-700(11) the last paragraph states the following:
The requirement for Class A GFCI protection is not intended to apply to receptacles supplying specific-use appliances located behind such appliances as washers, dryers, fridges, ranges, built-in microwaves, and other similar appliances, provided that those receptacles, by virtue of their location, are rendered essentially inaccessible for use by other portable appliances.
Based on Appendix B of the 2012 CEC I think you could argue that the receptacle for a hands free faucet, located beneath the sink, might be considered "rendered essentially inaccessible". If that section of the code stated "rendered inaccessible" then I would interpret it the exact opposite because it's a more clear-cut statement. On the other hand, for example, since I knew my wife would use the washer receptacle at home for ironing I made it a GFCI receptacle. It's on the wall that is behind the washer but the receptacle itself is off to the side where it's still accessible even though you have to reach over the washer to access it. With regards to the hands free faucet I guess it boils down to how "inaccessible" do you consider the receptacle to be? By using the word "essentially" I think they leave a fair bit of room for interpretation.
Now if you didn't read Appendix B of the code and simply stopped at what it states in Section 26, Rule 26-700(11) (b) then you'd be just as confused as I am after reading the following; "located behind the stationary appliance such that it is inaccessible for use with general-purpose portable appliances." So which is it, "not accessible" as stated in 2012 CE Code Handbook and "inaccessible" as stated in Section 26 of 2012 CEC or "essentially inaccessible" as stated in 2012 CEC Appendix B? I have yet to look at the 2015 CEC version of this rule. Ultimately I think this becomes a "use your best judgement" situation.
I checked the 2015 CEC today and the wording is the same as 2012.
Just a late opine on the OPs... Recent public restroom renovations have this spec'd as single receptacle outlets at each valve location, on a 15 amp, circuit with a GFI CB. Outlets are not accessible, as there are under the vanity counter (back-wall), or within the pipe chases via access panels.
Today I seen a variation that eliminates the need for concern regarding a GFCI and it's accessibility. Public washroom with a suspended ceiling where the 120V power is in the ceiling space with the 24V transformer which is then brought down to the control valve. Not the solution for every situation but under those circumstances it works.