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Outlet next to utility sink for security system -- GFCI or not?

Outlet next to utility sink for security system -- GFCI or not?

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  #1  
Old 03-18-15, 02:04 PM
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Outlet next to utility sink for security system -- GFCI or not?

I am getting ready to sell my house and am trying to fix any issues that might catch a home inspector's eye.

I have a regular (non-GFCI) outlet next to a utility sink, mounted a little over 5' above the floor. Plugged into this outlet is my security system and my FIOS router, in other words the outlet is never unused and never gets used for anything hand-held or on the floor that would pose a shock hazard. Still, by code, I expect that this should be a GFCI (I don't think this qualifies for GFCI exemption like a chest freezer plugged into a single outlet would)?

My plan was to replace the regular outlet with a GFCI, but then a friend of mine just sold his house and the buyer's inspector complained that his security system is plugged into a GFCI (in a basement, but not next to a sink) and shouldn't be because the system will lose power if the GFCI trips.

Am I better off with or without a GFCI in this location?
 

Last edited by bajinnova; 03-18-15 at 02:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-15, 03:19 PM
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the buyer's inspector complained that his security system is plugged into a GFCI (in a basement, but not next to a sink) and shouldn't be because the system will lose power if the GFCI trips
Housing inspectors aren't electricians or alarm technicians (or deep thinkers) as proved by that statement. By that logic it shouldn't be on a breaker either because the breaker could trip. The alarm system has battery back up in case of failure so loss of power does not disable the alarm. Code requires GFCI if within six feet of the sink or if the basement is unfinished.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 04:52 PM
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Still, by code, I expect that this should be a GFCI (I don't think this qualifies for GFCI exemption like a chest freezer plugged into a single outlet would)?
There are no GFCI exemptions. If a chest freezer is plugged into a receptacle in a garage, an unfinished basement or into a receptacle within 6 feet of a utility sink it must be GFCI protected. A single receptacle does not nullify the requirement. The single receptacle use to be allowed on freezers and refrigerators in garages and on sump pumps, but no longer.
 
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Old 03-19-15, 03:47 AM
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I think the GFI exceptions are more an enforcement thing. A nearby town has some of the strictest electrical code enforcement in the area but the inspector will allow a non GFI in the garage for a freezer provided he's informed about it before hand [he might specify where the receptacle can be placed]
 
  #5  
Old 03-19-15, 04:55 AM
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I am thinking that that is an existing condition and although it is required now there would be no need or code requirement to update it on a Home inspectors whim,have him state in writing the violation.
Geo
 
  #6  
Old 03-19-15, 07:28 AM
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Home inspectors make observations but are not code inspectors. Some even cite things that meet code.

Without looking there used to be something about alarm panels and gfi protection not being needed IIRC.
 
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Old 03-19-15, 06:16 PM
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Without looking there used to be something about alarm panels and gfi protection not being needed IIRC.
I haven't looked it up either, but I believe that if the receptacle is installed inside the alarm panel the GFCI protection can be omitted. If the receptacle is outside of the alarm panel, I believe it will be required to be GFCI protected. That being said, marksr is correct that this may be more of an enforcement thing regardless of what version of the NEC has been adopted. I am familiar with a small town that is still on the 1999 version of the NEC, but they still require AFCI protection on all new home bedroom circuits. This reminds me of what Nashkat always used to say, all codes are local.
 
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