When Do I need a GFI??


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Old 12-13-05, 08:18 AM
T
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When Do I need a GFI??

I am currently remodeling my basement. As part of this project, I am going to need to relocate two lick switches and an electrical outlet. I will need to install new junction boxes to help me complete this project. My question is, do I need to use a GFI on any of these items? Are there and rules of thumb for when you need a GFI, and when you don't? I want to complete this project as safley as possible and do not want to run into any problems with future home inspections. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 08:22 AM
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The NEC requires GFCI protection on 120 volt receptacles in unfinished basements. The requirement does not extend to lights. If you are finishing the basement then the rule would not apply. If the basement is unfinished then the rule would apply.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 08:24 AM
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Thank you for the guidance. The basement is already finished, but I am taking out a wall to open it up. So, I guess I do not need to worry about a GFI. Thanks so much for the help.
 
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Old 12-13-05, 08:55 AM
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There are no general rules about where GFCI is required. Rather the code contains a list of such places.

Some people try to generalize this to all "wet" areas, but this generalization doesn't always exactly match the code. The normal places in a residence are: outdoors, crawl spaces, garages, unfinished portions of basements, kitchen countertops, bathrooms, laundry sinks, wet bar sinks, utility sinks, and most outbuildings. Keep in mind that even this list I just provided is a generalization, and there are a lot of exceptions and conditions.

Common misconceptions about GFCI are:
  • They are only needed within 6 feet of the kitchen sink (they are needed for all countertop receptacles, no matter how far from the sink).
  • They are needed for dishwashers and disposals (they are not).
  • They are needed in finished basement areas (they are not).
  • They are only needed in wet areas (my garage isn't wet, but it still needs GFCI).
  • They are needed for the washing machine (they are not).
The above comments apply only to the United States, and may be subject to local variations (as are all codes).
 
 

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