outlet within 6 feet from sink - industrial setting

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  #1  
Old 03-15-07, 09:36 AM
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outlet within 6 feet from sink - industrial setting

We have a 120V outlet in our break room within 6 feet from the sink edge. A refrigerator is sitting between the sink and the outlet, and is plugged to the receptacle. An electrician surveyed it and said an outlet for refrigerator does not need GFCI. Safety personnel said the refrigerator can be moved and other kitched appliances can be connected, and it must be GFCI. Please tell me who is right-er? Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-15-07, 09:48 AM
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It's hard to say who is right. In an industrial setting there are a myriad of rules.

You can have a GFCI receptacle installed if you wish, or you can have the duplex receptacle changed to a simplex one. Either of those solutions should appease the safety guy.

As for false trips, does it matter? What is stored in this refrigerator other than lunches and such. I imagine that it's not like a home refrigerator or freezer where you could lose lots of dollars in food.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for the reply. As you said, we just have the usual lunch stuff in the frig. Occasional false trip wouldn't make an employee mad. Converting to GFCI and making the safety guy happy makes sense.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 10:29 AM
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The fridge should never be plugged into a GFCI. The fridge motor itself will often trip the GFCI.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 10:40 AM
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joeds comment may be a bit hasty. Certainly some refrigerators will trip a GFCI, but not all of them.

Newer GFCI receptacles are much less susceptible to false tripping than the older one's were.

At my office, the GFCI that the refrigerator is plugged into has never tripped in the five years we have been at this address. It never tripped the GFCI at the old office either.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for input. We will make the safety guy happy first. If it makes employees unhappy (because of warm sandwich and soda), we will convince sagety guys to give us an waiver.
 
  #7  
Old 03-15-07, 04:55 PM
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For other than dwelling units, if the area can be considered a kitchen then ALL receptacle outlets must be GFCI protected. If this is not a kitchen then the proximity to the sink doesn’t matter, no GFCI protection is required.

The safety director can certainly require additional safety measures.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 06:22 PM
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GFCI Protection for personnel

NFPA 70- NEC (electrical code) 210.8 (B)(2).

"Commercial and institutional kitchens- for the purposes of this section, a kitchen is an area with a sink and permanent facilities for food preperation and cooking"

Does a counter top fit this, A microwave installed under the cabinets(not on the counter)?--etc. This is a good debate.


However, If this receptacle is changed to a simplex (1 rec) as mentioned, you are well within code. Reason being it is intended for a specific appliance and nothing else can be plugged in with that appliance in that receptacle.

I go with the safety personnel. But not for their reasning, right idea,wrong referance.
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-07, 06:41 PM
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The simplex receptacle exception does not apply to this situation. Use GFCI.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 06:58 PM
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How so?


No doubt, I'm a big fan of GFCI.
 
  #11  
Old 03-15-07, 07:07 PM
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Because the exception is in the residential section of that article only. Furthermore, the exception does not apply to kitchens, only garages and basements. However, residential kitchens do not need an exception for the refrigerator, since the GFCI code for residential kitchens is different than the GFCI code for non-residential kitchens. In residential kitchens, only receptacles serving the kitchen counter need protection. Not so in non-residential kitchens where all receptacles need GFCI protection.

Finally, a receptacle in a residential kitchen doesn't even need to be a simplex receptacle to qualify for not needing GFCI. All it needs is to be not designed to serve the countertop.

If you know anything about residential codes, forget all of it when dealing with a non-residential question.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 07:24 PM
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Well put John, There are no exceptions. I misunderstood,misread and went on general assumption.With Com. and Ind. Kitchens the other codes come into play for equpment.

So yes. You need A GFCI regardless. Safety person still wins.
 
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Old 03-15-07, 11:51 PM
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this is from Mike Holt website but i summeized it to make it eaiser to read this :;



Q3. Can I use a single receptacle without GFCI protection to supply a refrigerator in a kitchen?

A3. If this is a dwelling unit, the answer is yes; either a single or duplex receptacle can be used to supply the refrigerator as long as it is not installed to serve the countertop according to 210.8(A)(6). But all 15 and 20A, 125V receptacles installed in commercial kitchens, even those that do not supply the countertop surface, must be GFCI protected. In other than dwelling units, a kitchen is defined as an area with a sink and permanent facilities for food preparation and cooking [210.8(B)(2)].

this is from Mike Holt site so in case you wondering it came from

Merci , Marc
 
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Old 03-16-07, 07:23 AM
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This discussion is very interesting to me. This room (10'x10' appx), that we call a breakroom, has a microwave, a coffee maker, a refrigerator and a sink. The room also has 2 large parts cabinets for work. The room also has a table for lunch. Sometimes we use the room for brief meetings. I doubt anyone will call it a kitchen, even the security personnel.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 07:30 AM
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I'll bet your electrical inspector would call it a kitchen. And his opinion is probably the only one that counts.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 07:36 AM
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The one who insists on GFCI is not an electrician. He is a fire/safety person. The electrician says it is not required by the elctrical code. We have idiosyncracy of our own.

Someone said this above: "If this is not a kitchen then the proximity to the sink doesn’t matter, no GFCI protection is required. The safety director can certainly require additional safety measures." I wonder if our safety person is acting on his meager knowledge of electrical fire hazard without consulting real electricians.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 10:00 AM
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There are hundreds of rules pertaining to GFCIs, many of these rules change with each code cycle. While in this particular circumstance the proximity to water, sinks, etc. is not a determining factor, it has always been a part of the GFCI code making process.

When water is present the hazards of using electricity increase. GFCI always provides an increased level of safety.
 
  #18  
Old 03-16-07, 01:08 PM
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GFCI has nothing to do with reducing the risk of fire. It has everything to do with reducing the risk of shock. Why not spend a few bucks and a few minutes and be done with it? Then everybody will be happier and safer. It's not like somebody told you that you needed to replace the roof. It's just a GFCI.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 02:41 PM
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puter: it makes no difference if you or anybody else calls it a kitchen. What matters is if it fits the description the code uses to define a kitchen that they require the use of GFCI protection in.

"Commercial and institutional kitchens- for the purposes of this section, a kitchen is an area with a sink and permanent facilities for food preperation and cooking"

let's see, you have a sink. Do you have permanent facilities for food prep? Looks like it to me since any counter would cover that requirement.

Now do you have permanent facilities for cooking? Well, you may argue the micro is n;t permanent but I suspect it would be considered so since it is not designed to be a portable appliance and a micro would be a cooking appliance.

So, the bottom line to me is that you do fulfill the requirements put forth by the code to determine if you have a kitchen.

So, all receps in that room must be GFCI. It doesn't matter if you use the room for other things. It does fall under the description of a kitchen for code purposes.

So, apologize to the safety guy. Tell the electrician to get a current code book (because this requiremnt was not in place 2 code cycles ago) and learn that regardless of what a code requires, if the safety guy requires greater protection than a germane code, the safety guy gets what he wants. You must realize that the code is a book of minimums. You can always go up from there. You just can;t do less.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
........... You must realize that the code is a book of minimums. You can always go up from there. .........
Thank you for waking me up.
 
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Old 03-17-07, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
It's hard to say who is right. In an industrial setting there are a myriad of rules.
This is the most important aspect of this entire thread.

Let me add that I have been privy in the past to situations where people inquired from OSHA as to the ifs about safety coordinators wanting things done stricter than codes or standards. Their response is usually all along the lines of "we do not discourage people from working in a safer mannner than is prescribed by our rules" not an exact quote, but an example of thier position on these types of issues.
 
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