Can I run a receptacle off of a light fixture?

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Old 01-06-08, 03:45 PM
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Can I run a receptacle off of a light fixture?

The problem:

I recently bought a treadmill which is in an unfinished basement. I installed a new outlet for the treadmill and ran the wiring off of a nearby receptacle that is on a GFCI circuit. Apparently the treadmill is not supposed to be on a GFCI circuit and as a result the GFCI trips daily.

What I would like to do is re route the receptacle I installed to a light fixture on the ceiling. I havent taken it apart yet but it appears as though there is only one set of wires going in, and none going out. The light is on a switch.

The Question:

Can I route the recently installed recptacle to the light? If so, will the switch now control my receptacle?

On a side note:

In addition the the light there is also two additional lights, a dedicated receptacle for a washer and an exterior receptacle on that circuit. There is no GFCI. Is this a code violation (having the exterior receptacle that is not GFCI protected?-house built 2001)--If so, can I switch the exterior outlet out for a GFCI outlet? If I do that will the rest of the outlets on that circuit be GFCI protected??

Thanks in advance!!
 
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Old 01-06-08, 04:33 PM
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For starters, try replacing the GFCI ahead of the treadmill, it may be defective. If the GFCI still trips, some portion of the treadmill's control or motor circuitry is defective, a modern electrical appliance should not trip a correct operating recently manufactured GFCI. (The 2008 NEC now assumes that this is the case).

The outlet in the unfinished the basement needs to be remain GFCI protected:

http://www.ecmweb.com/mag/705ecmCBpic1.jpg

If the washer outlet in within 6" of a sink it needs GFCI protection:

http://www.ecmweb.com/mag/705ecmCBpic2.jpg

Outside outlets must be GFCI protected per 210.8(A).

One new twist: the 2008 NEC has added a required deck outlet within the deck perimeter, which can't serve as the required rear outlet unless it is accessible when standing at grade.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jmat1980 View Post
The problem:

I recently bought a treadmill which is in an unfinished basement. I installed a new outlet for the treadmill and ran the wiring off of a nearby receptacle that is on a GFCI circuit. Apparently the treadmill is not supposed to be on a GFCI circuit and as a result the GFCI trips daily.

What I would like to do is re route the receptacle I installed to a light fixture on the ceiling. I havent taken it apart yet but it appears as though there is only one set of wires going in, and none going out. The light is on a switch.

The Question:

Can I route the recently installed recptacle to the light? If so, will the switch now control my receptacle?

On a side note:

In addition the the light there is also two additional lights, a dedicated receptacle for a washer and an exterior receptacle on that circuit. There is no GFCI. Is this a code violation (having the exterior receptacle that is not GFCI protected?-house built 2001)--If so, can I switch the exterior outlet out for a GFCI outlet? If I do that will the rest of the outlets on that circuit be GFCI protected??

Thanks in advance!!
some treadmills can not be hooked up to a gfi circuit.
Either you need to figure something out, or move the treadmill out of the unfinished basement.

You wouldn't want to put a motor load on a lighting circuit,

the lights would tend to dim every time the motor started.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 05:11 PM
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The treadmill manual specifically says not to connect it to a receptacle on a GFCI circuit.

The receptacle in the basement that is dedicated to the washer is not near any sink, so that is not a problem. The receptacle outside the house is on the same circuit as the dedicated receptacle for the washer. Will changing the exterior receptacle to a GFCI affect the one dedicated for the washer??

Also, the original question remains:
Since your saying it is not good to run the receptacle for the treadmill from the light fixture, Can I run a dedicated receptacle for the treadmill from the other dedicated receptacle that is for the washing machine?? This circuit is not GFCI protected. If I do this and the new receptacle is not GFCI protected is it against code (even though it is dedicated only to the treadmill?)
 
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Old 01-06-08, 05:22 PM
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Once you solve the GFCI problem, you may then find that you have a circuit capacity problem. Many treadmills require enough power to justify a separate new circuit just for that appliance. I recommend it.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 05:26 PM
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A dedicated receptacle is just that.....Dedicated..

It isnt a dedicated receptacle once the lighting circuit gets mentioned.

It looks like you will have to move the treadmill out of the basement

Pro's???? Could a dedicated circuit, with a simplex receptacle be used if it were installed behind the treadmill and inaccessible---(Stationary Appliance rule)..

The outside receptacle may or may not affect your washer, depending on which of the 2 is first in line from the panel.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 05:31 PM
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Correction....I'll be alright in the morning

The GFCI outdoor recptacle will not affect anything else if you pigtail the line side of the receptacle to the existing splices.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jmat1980 View Post
The treadmill manual specifically says not to connect it to a receptacle on a GFCI circuit.

The reason why most Threadmills specifcally not to run them on the GFCI for two obvious reason one .,, most of the motor itself is a DC type and the recficter can wreack hovac on the GFCI [ i did see it happend before ]
second thing pretty good percentage of the threadmill take at least 12 -15 amp of current to run i think there were one threadmill i dont remember the brandname but it required a 20 amp circuit.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 01-06-08, 06:18 PM
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I would think it would need it's own circuit, just like the washer is supposed to be on it's own circuit
 
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Old 01-06-08, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jmat1980 View Post
The treadmill manual specifically says not to connect it to a receptacle on a GFCI circuit.

The receptacle in the basement that is dedicated to the washer is not near any sink, so that is not a problem. The receptacle outside the house is on the same circuit as the dedicated receptacle for the washer. Will changing the exterior receptacle to a GFCI affect the one dedicated for the washer??

Also, the original question remains:
Since your saying it is not good to run the receptacle for the treadmill from the light fixture, Can I run a dedicated receptacle for the treadmill from the other dedicated receptacle that is for the washing machine?? This circuit is not GFCI protected. If I do this and the new receptacle is not GFCI protected is it against code (even though it is dedicated only to the treadmill?)
Yes, the code requires that any receptacles put in an unfinished basement must be on a GFCI circuit. If your panel is in your basement and you have a spare circuit in your panel, it would be nothing at all to run a dedicated circuit to your treadmill!
 
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Old 01-06-08, 06:27 PM
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Thanks for all the replys so far...

First...relocating the treadmill is not an option

Ive been checking things out a little since ive been posting here and it appears that I was wrong about the receptacle for the washer. The washer has its own receptacle and nothing else is on the circuit and it is not GFCI protected.

The exterior outlet still is not GFCI protected, so I will find out what else is on that circuit and install a GFCI somewhere.

As for the receptacle for the treadmill, I think I am going to continue to use the one I have been using and simply unplug it when not in use. The GFCI has never tripped when the treadmill was actually running. It is a small inconveniance, however, it is better than running wires from the washer receptacle and violating electrical codes.

Well see, maybe I am wrong all along and the treadmill is not what is tripping the GFCI. It was happening daily and since I unplugged the treadmill the GFCI has not tripped, so we shall see...

Thanks for all the help
 
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Old 01-06-08, 06:50 PM
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unfortunately the circuit breaker is in the garage, next to the basement, but on the far wall. It would be sort of a pain to run a dedicated receptacle to the basement.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 07:53 PM
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Really?

I'd consider constantly tripping GFCIs and dimming lights more of an inconvenience then running a simple circuit .
 
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Old 01-06-08, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jmat1980 View Post
It would be sort of a pain to run a dedicated receptacle to the basement.
"Sort of a pain" is a very small price to pay for a job that will bring you immense satisfaction instead of immense dissatisfaction.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jmat1980 View Post
Thanks for all the replys so far...

First...relocating the treadmill is not an option

Secondly,
The reason I was mentioning the 'dedicated' outlet for the washer is because I am under the impression that to be up to code a dedicated outlet in an unfinished basement does not need to be GFCI protected...correct me if im wrong...

What I want to do now is this,
Re-route the outlet for the treadmill to the outlet for the receptaclewasher which is not GFCI protected. That will solve my problem of having a place to plug in the treadmill.
120V
Second, to protect the outlet on the exterior of the house I will replace the existing receptacle with a GFCI receptacle and I will pigtail the line side of the receptacle to the existing splices to keep the washer and new treadmill receptacles off of the GFCI circuit.

Please let me know if anyone sees any problems with this...

Thanks!!
Here's how I see it:

1) All the exceptions to the GFCI requirements (except for power supplied to an alarm system) including the exceptions for dedicated receptacle outlets for appliances in the garage or basement been eliminated from the 2008 NEC. So under the most current version of the NEC, all of the receptacles in an unfinished basement require GFCI protection no matter what is drawing power from them. Likely the 2008 NEC has yet been adopted by your building department, but it's worth asking yourself why the NEC took this step.

2) Your building department might or might not approve a dedicated non-GFCI circuit/receptacle in an unfinished basement to operate a treadmill under older versions of the NEC - it's a "judgment call". In my area, many likely would not.

3) The dedicated laundry circuit is intended to serve the "laundry". People with a far deeper understanding of the NEC than mine go nuts trying to parse exactly what this means, see for example:

http://forums.mikeholt.com/archive/i...p/t-78623.html

but it likely does not include a treadmill.

4) AFAIK, a GFCI installed downstream from a non-GFCI protected receptacle should have no effect on the upstream receptacle or anything connected to it.

5) A meta note: under the 2008 NEC every 15 or 20A 120V receptacle in a residence is required to have either GFCI or AFCI protection, and many older appliances which trip GFCIs also trip AFCIs. So some older appliances are going to be history in new and renovated homes.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
5) A meta note: under the 2008 NEC every 15 or 20A 120V receptacle in a residence is required to have either GFCI or AFCI protection, and many older appliances which trip GFCIs also trip AFCIs. So some older appliances are going to be history in new and renovated homes.
First off, I understand current installations don't have to be changed. I'm assuming for the purpose of my thoughts below that a 2008-code-constructed house is at issue (regardless of the fact that such a house doesn't really exist yet).

Just a question: He said he "recently bought" this treadmill. Assuming "recently" means within the last, say, month, I think it's safe to assume that current treadmills and perhaps other appliances will continue for some time to say "don't use a GFCI with this" as per the manufacturer's instructions. Or is there some movement to somehow change this for the 2008 NEC? Maybe they're just waiting as long as possible to maximize sales in 2009 ;P

Further, people are generally highly disinclined to make their expensive and working stuff "history" just because of a rule change. I know that, personally, even after the 2008 code comes in, I will probably never recommend running a (otherwise normal and working as intended) chest freezer full of meat on a GFCI, at least not unless some tech changes in the GFCI's or something!

So does this change in a way "encourage" people to disobey it? Is there any "accepted workaround" for something like this (freezer, treadmill, whatever a GFCI would be a bad idea for due to some reason)? Is a homeowner who has a recent-vintage freezer that trips GFCI's really up a creek if they move to a new house that's got 2008-code wiring? I could see Joe Sixpack being real quick to change out that receptacle/breaker after the first incident, and I daresay his first thought isn't going to be "replace the freezer, duh!" if he's anything like the average American.

Incidentally, in case anyone gets the wrong idea from this post, I love GFCI's - have them in almost every outlet of the house. I'm not saying there's anything inherently wrong with the rule change, just wondering what the impact is likely to be on Joe Sixpack. I'm less convinced re: AFCI's, but that's for another thread...
 
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Old 01-07-08, 03:50 AM
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All IMO good questions. This was hotly debated in the code community, and all exceptions (other than the one for alarms) are gone from the 2008 NEC, the majority position of the code panel was that modern appliances are suppose to restrict leakage current to around one fifth of the trip point of modern GFCIs, and itís time for appliance manufactures to start complying. OTOH, some major appliance manufactures do not recommend the use of GFCIs with their appliances, especially refrigerators and electronic gas ranges with spark igniters Finally, individual AHJs can choose not to adopt this provision of the code. My guess is that over the next few years appliances will be redesigned to be compliant, and that in the meantime a lot of owners of new homes are going to be unhappy with the performance of their current appliances on GFCI protected circuits.
 
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Old 01-07-08, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by burkej62 View Post
Really?

I'd consider constantly tripping GFCIs and dimming lights more of an inconvenience then running a simple circuit .
I dont have any dimming lights?? I dont know where that came from...

The GFCI has never tripped while the treadmill is actually in use, so I figure unplugging it after Im done with it will keep it from tripping when its not in use...

I may be completely off here...the treadmill may not even be the problem. Im going to give it a few more days with the treadmill unplugged to see if the GFCI trips or not...if it does I guess I have another problem.
 
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Old 01-07-08, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jmat1980 View Post
I dont have any dimming lights?? I dont know where that came from...

If a motor is on the same circuit as a light, when the motor starts up the light will dim due to an inrush of current to the motor. This was mentioned by brewaholic earlier in the thread.
 
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