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GFCI or not? Sump pump with backup (2 plugs) under 2017 NEC

GFCI or not? Sump pump with backup (2 plugs) under 2017 NEC


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Old 02-14-24, 12:58 PM
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GFCI or not? Sump pump with backup (2 plugs) under 2017 NEC

My house was built in 2009 and has a finished basement with a sump pump in a closet (unfinished and just big enough for the sump) connected to a single receptacle on a dedicated circuit, no GFCI. Note that I live in Virginia where the 2017 NEC is still in force.

I am replacing my sump pump with an integrated primary/battery backup system. The primary pump and float switch plug into one outlet in the usual way and the backup system plugs into a second outlet. But I only have one outlet.

What is the best/smartest way to do this? I think even under the 2017 NEC I can't replace the single receptacle with a double, is that correct? Should I put in a duplex GFCI with alarm or am I asking for trouble with nuisance trips and flooded basements? Or is there a good safety reason why GFCI is now required on sump pumps and I should get ahead of Virginia's outdated code?
 

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02-14-24, 01:09 PM
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Technically the single receptacle is no longer code either.
GFI protection is required by code.

What I do personally ...... No GFI protection on refrigerators or sump pumps.
 
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Old 02-14-24, 01:09 PM
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Technically the single receptacle is no longer code either.
GFI protection is required by code.

What I do personally ...... No GFI protection on refrigerators or sump pumps.
 
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Old 02-14-24, 03:58 PM
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Many years ago we came home from vacation to find nearly a foot of water in our basement. My sump pump was plugged into a GFI receptacle not running. The GFI had tripped apparently during a severe thunderstorm. I replaced the GFI with a common receptacle.

GFIs in a basement might be code, but sometimes the code is wrong.
 
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Old 02-14-24, 05:56 PM
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Thank you PJmax and cwbuff! Should I leave the single receptacle as-is (which is currently code-compliant since it's original to the house) and use a good quality 2-way or 3-way tap ("outlet splitter") to get the second outlet that I need, or replace the single receptacle with a duplex which would presumably be ever so slightly more reliable but clearly in violation of the NEC? I think I'm inclined to leave the outlet as-is.
 
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Old 02-14-24, 06:03 PM
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I would change the single outlet to a duplex and call it a day.
 
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Old 02-15-24, 04:24 PM
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I agree.... 100%.
 
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Old 02-18-24, 05:55 AM
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Thanks! I will do that.
 
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Old 02-21-24, 03:12 PM
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GFIs in a basement might be code, but sometimes the code is wrong.
I don't think the code is wrong so much, but that most people don't test their GFCI devices regularly. That being said, I wouldn't put a sump pump on a GFCI either. I m just as guilty as many others in not testing GFCI devices.
 
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Old 02-21-24, 05:07 PM
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but that most people don't test their GFCI devices regularly
That is why GFCIs are required to be self-testing now. Not that it would help with the sump pump issue because if they fail the self-test they still turn off the power.
 
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Old 02-22-24, 03:12 PM
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code is wrong so much
I agree 100% that the code is so wrong!
Tamper Resistant Receptacles are trash and so are AFCI devices that are now required by code

PS: LEDS SUCK
 
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Old 02-23-24, 06:59 PM
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It's more work and cost, but you could replace the single with two GFCI receptacles, using half of each.

Incidentally, don't bother with an "alarm" GFCI. They aren't meant for this (sound is weak), and anyway you have a water alarm, right?
 
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Old 02-24-24, 02:39 PM
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It's not a single vs two GFI's issue.....

The problem is that as the pumps get older... the motors tend to have slight leaks to ground causing a GFI to trip. The code is trying to protect a person from playing with the pump and getting a shock but a GFI trip can cause a lot of serious water damage.

It should be understood that there is the possibility of getting a shock when messing with a pump when it's plugged in and sitting in water. However... the GFI is there for the clueless.
 
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Old 02-24-24, 02:56 PM
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Personally I don't have a problem with legitimate ground fault trips. Pumps don't last forever regardless.
 
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Old 02-24-24, 04:00 PM
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You've missed my point.
If you have a trip and you aren't home.... you could be flooded.
 
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Old 02-25-24, 07:42 AM
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Incidentally, don't bother with an "alarm" GFCI. They aren't meant for this (sound is weak)
I have noticed this as well. They need to make the alarm MUCH louder.
 
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