GFCI's in the basement

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Old 02-02-06, 06:56 AM
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GFCI's in the basement

I've got some outlets to wire in the basement. Can someone clue me in on GFCI requirements? Are they always required in a basement? Does it matter if the basement is finished or not? (mine is not) I'd rather not have a mission-critical item like a water softner on a GFCI if I can get away with it.

TIA,
Joe Michel
 
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Old 02-02-06, 07:16 AM
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To GFCI or not GFCI in a basement

All outlets in an unfinished basement must be GFCI protected. You can protect the entire circuit with a GFCI breaker, or you can use a GFCI outlet (preferred). The outlet can be wired to also protect all loads downstream of it (but only if it is wired properly!).
An outlet in an unfinished basement that is for an installed appliance which cannot be easily moved, and is connected with a plug and cord, does not have to be GFCI protected.
If an outlet is for such an appliance, that outlet must be a single outlet (not a duplex outlet). If the outlet is going to be used by two such appliances, then you can use a duplex outlet.
Certain appliances should definitely not be GFCI protected: sump pumps, water softners, gas water heaters, freezers, etc.
Make sure that if the appliance originally came with a three pronged plug, that the plug is in good condition, especially that ground pin.
 
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Old 02-02-06, 07:19 AM
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GFCIs are required for readily accessable receptacles in unfinished basements. Receptacles not readily accessable such as those behind a freezer or placed for use with a water softener don't need to be GFCI protected - but they must be limited fo the number of receptacles needed for the appliance. That means if only one cord connected appliance is plugged into a receptacle it must be a single, or simplex, receptacle rather than a duplex type. AHJs will often exempt ceiling mounted receptacles used for lighting as well provided they are high enough they can't be reached without standing on something, but not always.

Finished areas do not require GFCI protection but isn't a bad idea for a shop area.

UNK
 
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Old 02-02-06, 07:42 AM
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Thanks, Guys! One more question. I also have a large structured wiring box mounted to the basement wall, near the fusebox. Would the outlets inside the box need to be GFCI? I would think they are not readily accessible and would not require GFCI. I should mention that this is new construction, and all the mentioned items are not hooked up yet. I'm just trying to keep my electrical inspector happy!

Thanks again,

Joe Michel
 
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Old 02-02-06, 07:56 AM
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If the outlet is just for powering communication equipment or the like, it does not have to be GFCI protected. If it is for plugging in tools or lighting while working on the wiring, it is considered a general use outlet and must be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 02-02-06, 01:37 PM
jdgradywhite
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Question about GFCI outlet

Greetings, I just ran a dedicated line for my sump pump the other day and installed a GFCI outlet. Should I replace it with a regular outlet? Does the GFCI breaker trip when the sump pump kicks on?
 
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Old 02-02-06, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fixitron
If the outlet is just for powering communication equipment or the like, it does not have to be GFCI protected. If it is for plugging in tools or lighting while working on the wiring, it is considered a general use outlet and must be GFCI protected.
If a receptacle such as this is located where it COULD be used for other purposes, and is located in an unfinished basement, it needs to be GFCI protected.
 
  #8  
Old 02-02-06, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jdgradywhite
Greetings, I just ran a dedicated line for my sump pump the other day and installed a GFCI outlet. Should I replace it with a regular outlet? Does the GFCI breaker trip when the sump pump kicks on?
The chance of a trip is less likely with a new GFCI receptacle. However, I would not take the chance, and I would use a regular receptacle.
 
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