GFCI required for outlets in the attic?

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Old 04-07-14, 06:42 PM
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GFCI required for outlets in the attic?

Just wondering. Is GFCI protection required in the attic?
 
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Old 04-07-14, 06:53 PM
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Is GFCI protection required in the attic?
It's not in the NEC, but all that matters is the regulations your local jurisdiction has adopted. In general, GFCI is required for receptacles but not for lighting.
 

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Old 04-07-14, 07:53 PM
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Must be a local thing. It is not required in national codes.
 
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Old 04-07-14, 09:13 PM
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Must be a local thing. It is not required in national codes.
Astuff, I suspect that you know as well as any of us that all codes are local. There is no nationally adopted code that controls electrical installations.

Any of the hundreds of locally adopted codes may require any number of things that a national model code such as the NEC does not. Some don't include the NEC at all.

But Astuff is right, and I stand corrected in this sense: If we're talking about whether the NEC requires that receptacles permanently mounted in the attic have GFCI protection, it doesn't.

I install it anyway. Many of us do. Here's my reasoning. The NEC does say:

590.6 Ground-Fault Protection for Personnel. Ground-fault
protection for personnel for all temporary wiring installations
shall be provided to comply with 590.6(A) and
(B). This section shall apply only to temporary wiring installations
used to supply temporary power to equipment
used by personnel during construction, remodeling, maintenance,
repair, or demolition of buildings, structures,
equipment, or similar activities. This section shall apply to
power derived from an electric utility company or from an
on-site-generated power source.

[SUB]Source:2011 NEC[/SUB]
It doesn't make sense to me to require everyone plugging a tool in in the attic - the owner, more often than not - to have to tote an in-line GFCI protector there to plug in ahead of the tool. So I ignore the fact that this requirement is for temporary wiring and put it in.

Tonic, the best answer to your question, as with almost all code questions, is "Ask your inspector."

Just curious. What brought this up?

And I regret that I answered so categorically. I'm going to edit my earlier post.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 10:35 AM
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Thanks guys. Yeah, sorry I wasn't clear. I was just wondering if the NEC had a requirement for GFCI protected outlets in the attic. What brought this up is a friend of mine who I was visiting recently who is converting a small portion of his attic to a smallish type of study area. I saw that his one outlet in the attic wasn't GFCI protected, which I had incorrectly thought was required by NEC. Hence my wondering if GFCI protected outlets were required by NEC. Just wondering. That's all.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 12:24 PM
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I was just wondering if the NEC had a requirement for GFCI protected outlets in the attic. What brought this up is a friend of mine who I was visiting recently who is converting a small portion of his attic to a smallish type of study area. I saw that his one outlet in the attic wasn't GFCI protected, which I had incorrectly thought was required by NEC.
OK, thanks. A reasonable concern.

Just to be clear, receptacles, light switches and receptacles are all connected to outlets. While the NEC requires GFCI protection in many areas and under many circumstances, that requirement is for receptacles and, occasionally, for hard-wired loads - not for light fixtures or switches.

AFCI protection is required for more areas and for entire circuits. All of the circuits serving your friend's new study area need to have AFCI protection.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 07:03 PM
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Those areas (outdoors, garages basements, bathrooms, kitchens) that do require ground fault circuit interrupters all have one thing in common, likelihood of moisture. Moisture can come up through a concrete slab on the ground.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 07:16 PM
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Those areas (outdoors, garages basements, bathrooms, kitchens) that do require ground fault circuit interrupters all have one thing in common, likelihood of moisture.
Moisture can come up through a concrete slab on the ground.
99% of all houses built here in the last 40 years are on slabs, most only 8" or less from the ground to the top of the slab. Should all rooms in our houses have GFCI ?
 
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Old 04-08-14, 07:23 PM
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Those areas (outdoors, garages basements, bathrooms, kitchens) that do require ground fault circuit interrupters all have one thing in common, likelihood of moisture.
Locations that require GFCI protection have in common the likelihood that a person could plug or unplug a cord while also being in contact with a low-impedance path to ground. That might be through a wet floor but is more likely to be through a metallic system such as water supply piping.

Garages also have the potential to contain volatile chemicals and fumes.
 
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Old 04-09-14, 05:32 AM
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(Receptacles in a finished part of a basement without plumbing fixtures do not need GFCI protection since the finished floor surface (should) prevent having a low impedance path to ground.)
 
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Old 04-09-14, 07:30 AM
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Receptacles in a finished part of a basement without plumbing fixtures do not need GFCI protection since the finished floor surface (should) prevent having a low impedance path to ground.
Unless the committees which write and update the NEC and similar model codes, such as the NFPA, release information on the reasoning that went into their decisions, the rest of us are left to speculate and, sometimes, wonder.

In this case, I'll speculate that the reasoning may have more to do with the accessibility of metal piping, for gas or water, which is usually exposed in the unfinished portion of a basement, and is most often concealed in the finished portion, than it does with the floor. That is often identical throughout the basement.

Just guessing. There may be a hundred other reasons, and neither of these may have entered into it.
 
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