quick code question about garage receptacles

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Old 04-01-06, 05:22 PM
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quick code question about garage receptacles

I believe the NEC requires GFI protection on all receptacles within a garage.

My washer, dryer, and spare refrigerator are located in the garage.

No real downside to putting the washer and dryer on a GFI, but what about the refrigerator? No way I'm risking that, regardless of the code, but wondering what the code says, or if it even addresses large applicances in garage areas. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 05:45 PM
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Many inspectors will allow certain appliances in a garage to be non-GFCI protected, as long as either the appliance blocks the receptacle and/or a simplex receptacle is used. In other words, they want to discourage unplugging the appliance to plug in something else and/or they don;t want the other half of a duplex receptacle to be open.

Did you just put these appliances out there? Have they always been there? In other words, why are you concerned now about these receptacles?
 
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Old 04-01-06, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
Many inspectors will allow certain appliances in a garage to be non-GFCI protected, as long as either the appliance blocks the receptacle and/or a simplex receptacle is used. In other words, they want to discourage unplugging the appliance to plug in something else and/or they don;t want the other half of a duplex receptacle to be open.

Did you just put these appliances out there? Have they always been there? In other words, why are you concerned now about these receptacles?
The washer and dryer have always been there, on non-GFI receptacles. When I do my rewiring, I need to put these on seperate circuits, also the garage door opener, sprinker controller, and utility outlet for tools. Right now they all share the same circuit, with the kitchen and family room...a mess.

I'm planning on buying a new fridge and would like to use the old one in the garage.

It was more of a question out of curiosity rather than necessity, at this point.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fuente
No real downside to putting the washer and dryer on a GFI, but what about the refrigerator? No way I'm risking that, regardless of the code...
Now that's what I call a healthy respect for safety!

I agree with Racraft, the NEC permits receptacles that are not readily accessible, or a single receptacle installed for a specific appliance (or two appliances for a duplex), to be excepted from GFCI protection in a garage.

Fuente, just so you know, in commercial kitchens under the 2005 NEC, a receptacle for a refrigerator must be GFCI protected. A properly operating appliance will not trip a GFCI, and if it does, it needs replacing or repair. Don't blame the GFCI for doing it's job.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 06:43 PM
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thanks for the quick replies. So it looks like the refrigerator will not be a GFI, providing it's a simplex receptacle, and the others, since I would like them, possibly, to be used for other things, will be GFI protected.

No disrespect meant towards the almighty code. I have my opinions on the motivations behind NEC changes and question what/who they are really benefiting with respect to safety and $$$, but that's another topic for another day.

I have the upmost respect for safety, especially when it comes to my home and family. But not following the NEC to the letter of the law does not equate to being unsafe, in certain situations of course.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 07:05 PM
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No disrespect meant towards the almighty code. I have my opinions on the motivations behind NEC changes and question what/who they are really benefiting with respect to safety and $$$, but that's another topic for another day.)***


Build a better mouse trap!!! They build a better mouse!!!!

The code is truly for safety first, It must be spelt out for those with no knowledge, and those who THINK they have it.
We learn everyday new things in this feild, and the code reflects that. However, the basics are known, And the rest is thrown in to protect US from idiots.


Thats why when you need an electrician, MAKE sure they are LICSENSED & INSURED.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 07:05 PM
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Fuente, I understand your contempt, and at times, I share it.

In this case, the motive was not money. Fatalities still get the press they deserve with the powers that be, and that was the origin of this change.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocky Mountain
Fuente, I understand your contempt, and at times, I share it.

In this case, the motive was not money. Fatalities still get the press they deserve with the powers that be, and that was the origin of this change.
absolutely. It was more a general statement.

I'll leave lectriclee's comment alone, as I have gotten my answer.

Thanks all !
 
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Old 04-01-06, 08:46 PM
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"A properly operating appliance will not trip a GFCI, and if it does, it needs replacing or repair. Don't blame the GFCI for doing it's job. "

What explains "phantom" trips, or in my case a tripped GFI that fed a sump pump? I'm still using the pump - there was nothing wrong with it. Last year my shop GFIs tripped during a lightning storm.
I thought the NEC excluded certain dedicated circuits like refrigerators and freezers from GFI requirements?
 
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Old 04-02-06, 06:59 AM
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There is such a thing as nuisance tripping of AFCIs by electric motors. This winds up being one reason why dedicated non-GFCI protected receptacles for things like sump pumps and refridgerators are permitted in areas that would otherwise be required to be GFCI protected in a residence. Newer GFCIs are less prone to nuisance tripping than older ones but it does happen.

As far as commercial kitchens are concerned, all 120 volt receptacles are required to be GFCI protected. The difference here is that it is highly unlikely a GFCI can trip and spoil a refridgerator/freezer full of food because the power outage won't be discovered for 2 weeks due to the homeowner being on vacation. Additionally, a food prep area must have a sink for the mandatory GFCI rule to apply. A little creative placement of equipment allows refridgerators to be on non-GFCI circuits and this is frequently done.

GFCIs are primarily for protecting people from malfunctions in hand held portable tools,small kitchen appliances, extention cords, etc. Permanently installed equipment such as a sump pump or refridgerator is required to be grounded so that a ground fault (a short to the frame or housing) will trip a circuit breaker.

GFCIs are great for the intended purpose. There are also places they don't belong.
 
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Old 04-02-06, 07:49 AM
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I completely agree with Unclebill about the safety issues regarding GFIs in garages.
I don't buy the whole "the sky is falling", "if you don't have GFIs in the garage you will die" mentality.
If this were true there would be no exception for large appliances and out of reach receptacles.
And the commercial kitchen comparison to residential holds no water as well, for just the reasons Unc described.
 
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Old 04-02-06, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
I completely agree with Unclebill about the safety issues regarding GFIs in garages.
I don't buy the whole "the sky is falling", "if you don't have GFIs in the garage you will die" mentality.
If this were true there would be no exception for large appliances and out of reach receptacles.
And the commercial kitchen comparison to residential holds no water as well, for just the reasons Unc described.
which brings up another question. If GFI's are required in the garage, that's implying that some different, as far as use, occurs in the garage than in other areas. GFI's are required in kitchens because it's a wet area, so that makes sense.

If the garage is not a wet area, then why are GFI's required in the first place? If use is an issue, I can use something in the garage, say a power tool or something, with the same or less amperage then a vaccum cleaner or space heater in my dining room, which to my knowledge does not require any protection.

But this is the code..?
 
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Old 04-02-06, 10:14 AM
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Garage receptacles are frequently used for power tools that can casily damage or cut the cord that supplies them. They are also used for extention cords that power things like hedge trimmers and edgers that can be in damp or wet conditions, and are themselves frequently damaged. Concrete floors in garages can be damp or wet.

These are many of the same reasons that outside receptacles and unfinished basement receptacles are required to be GFCI protected. Although not impossible, it is a lot less likely you would recieve a fatal shock from a power tool standing on your living room floor than standing barefoot on the garage floor. The "where" GFCIs are required has a lot to do with where people are injured by electric shock. Basements, garages, and yards are kinda high on the list
 
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Old 04-02-06, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by itsunclebill
Garage receptacles are frequently used for power tools that can casily damage or cut the cord that supplies them. They are also used for extention cords that power things like hedge trimmers and edgers that can be in damp or wet conditions, and are themselves frequently damaged. Concrete floors in garages can be damp or wet.

These are many of the same reasons that outside receptacles and unfinished basement receptacles are required to be GFCI protected. Although not impossible, it is a lot less likely you would recieve a fatal shock from a power tool standing on your living room floor than standing barefoot on the garage floor. The "where" GFCIs are required has a lot to do with where people are injured by electric shock. Basements, garages, and yards are kinda high on the list
I can buy that. Thanks.

But since I can do something stupid in just about every room of the house, shouldn't ALL recpetacles be GFI protected?
 
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Old 04-02-06, 11:35 AM
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> since I can do something stupid in just about every room of
> the house, shouldn't ALL receptacles be GFI protected?

Sure. If the NEC were just about money for the manufacturers, that the way it would be.

Floors in contact with the earth or wet (unfinished basements, garages, outdoors, pools, bathrooms, and kitchens) are fundamentally greater ground-fault shock hazards than bedrooms and living rooms. In those rooms the risk is much lower.

Suppose that someone sticks a screwdriver in the hot side of a GFCI protected receptacle in a carpeted bedroom.
I bet that it won't trip. There is no good path to ground.
If the idiot did the same outside, in the basement, or in a garage, his best hope is that the GFCI does its job so the shock will be over quickly.

If the GFCI is miswired he could end up quite dead, of course.

The difference is the level of hazard at the various locations.
A dry carpeted room on an upper floor has much less risk from a ground fault than a wet, ground floor, or outdoor location.
 

Last edited by bolide; 04-02-06 at 08:08 PM. Reason: see comments below
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Old 04-02-06, 11:44 AM
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yeah...

pretty sure I'm not going to try that.
 
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Old 04-02-06, 07:28 PM
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"Take a straight screwdriver in your hand and stick it in the hot side of a GFCI protected receptacle in a carpeted bedroom and I bet that it won't trip.
Do the same outside, in the basement, or in your garage, and you better hope the GFCI does its job so the shock will be over quickly."

I'll assume that's a joke. If not it's about the dumbest thing I've seen posted. To suggest that someone take a deliberate electrical shock just to prove a point about GFIs is irresponsible.
 
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Old 04-02-06, 07:44 PM
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No comment, other than I agree with Wayne.
 
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Old 04-02-06, 08:01 PM
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> pretty sure I'm not going to try that.

I never doubted for even a second the I had overestimated your common sense.


But I guess I'm supposed to be mindful of folks who are nowhere near as intelligent as you.
 
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Old 04-02-06, 08:03 PM
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.........ditto.......
 
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Old 04-02-06, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bolide
> pretty sure I'm not going to try that.

I never doubted for even a second the I had overestimated your common sense.


But I guess I'm supposed to be mindful of folks who are nowhere near as intelligent as you.
LOL ! my response was in jest as well. Of course I knew yours was as well and it was just to make a point, which is well taken. I appreciate all the advice.

I think everyone needs to relax a little bit..
 
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Old 04-02-06, 08:18 PM
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......... Ditto......
 
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