What is an "unfinished basement"

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Old 08-15-17, 06:28 PM
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What is an "unfinished basement"

As I understand it, an unfinished basement requires GFCI outlets, but finished basements do not. But... what is an unfinished basement?

I have two outlets in my basement in drywalled walls. But there are other walls in the basement that are not drywalled. Do the two outlets have to be GFCI?
 
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Old 08-15-17, 06:55 PM
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An "unfinished" basement has bare concrete floors. No ceiling is another item.
 
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Old 08-15-17, 06:57 PM
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an unfinished basement requires GFCI outlets, but finished basements do not
Where did you hear that code?
 
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Old 08-15-17, 06:59 PM
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Where did you hear that code?
See NEC 210.8(A)(5)
 
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Old 08-15-17, 07:34 PM
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Okay, I will be more specific...

Three drywalled walls, one with just insulation over concrete block. Crappy wall to wall carpet over concrete floors. No ceiling.

Unfinished?
 
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Old 08-15-17, 07:46 PM
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It's all in the eyes of your AJH (local code enforcement official). That said, I personally would call your room finished. (carpeting, walls, even without a ceiling).


Of course, the purpose of a GFI in an unfinished basement is because you're more likely to be using tools (that can cut through power cords inadvertently), and that you have a better path to ground when standing on a cement floor. The GFI protects you from both.

With a carpeted floor, and more of a living space, you're less likely to run into ground fault events, so at least as far as the dangerous electrons are concerned, not as much need for GFI protection.
 
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Old 08-15-17, 07:48 PM
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Sounds unfinished to me.

GFCIs are a good idea anyway.
 
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Old 08-15-17, 07:50 PM
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I, too, will be more specific. ALL codes are LOCAL. The national codes, be they electrical, mechanical, plumbing, etc. are what are known as model codes and have absolutely no power of enforcement. It is ONLY when a model code is enacted into law by a local, regional or state legislative body that the code becomes enforceable.

Here is the kicker, the enabling legislation may add to or delete from the model code. That makes it imperative to learn your LOCAL code and especially to learn if there are any additions or deletions. The best source to learn is from your local inspector.
 
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Old 08-21-17, 12:29 PM
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There are two outlets in my basement, then the circuit goes outside to 4 outlets. My wife is always finding new ways to trip them. Since my computer is on one of the basement outlets, that is a problem. I would like to move the GFCI to the first outside outlet.

Code enforcement is lax around here; when I put a small addition on a few years ago the contractor got a permit because I wanted one, but assured me it was unusual. (when I got my first dog license they weren't sure where the forms were kept...) But I like to do things right. If it is arguable that an outlet in a drywalled wall doesn't need GFCI I am comfortable going with it, even if everyone might not agree.
 
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Old 08-21-17, 02:40 PM
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Another option is to replace each receptacle on the circuit with a GFCI and only use the "LINE" terminals. In this case the receptacles will not trip if a fault occurs downstream in the circuit. You'll have GFCI protection at each outlet, but the computer receptacle will trip only if there is a problem with the computer receptacle.
 
 

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