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OT- Help me understand GFIC in a garage

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  • OT- Help me understand GFIC in a garage

    So can someone help me understand why GFIC is required in a garage. I always thought GFIC was only used around water being I always saw them used in circuits in the bathroom / kitchen. What is the deal with requiring them in a garage ?

  • #2
    A garage is considered "outdoors" by code and therefore requires GFIC. The assumption is that you could leave the door open and plug in a long extension cord and go to a location similar to the kitchen or bathroom as far as electrical hazard goes.
    CPeter
    Grantham, New Hampshire

    Comment


    • #3
      NEC

      Water on the floor. Wet cars. Leaking water heaters. Extensions cord dragged out side and so on.

      2008 NEC
      210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for
      Personnel. Ground-fault circuit-interruption for personnel
      shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (C). The
      ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a
      readily accessible location.
      Informational Note: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuitinterrupter
      protection for personnel on feeders.
      (A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-
      ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in
      210.8(A)(1) through ( shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter
      protection for personnel.
      (1) Bathrooms
      (2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor
      located at or below grade level not intended as habitable
      rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas,
      and areas of similar use
      (3) Outdoors
      Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible
      and are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated to
      electric snow-melting, deicing, or pipeline and vessel heating
      equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance
      with 426.28 or 427.22, as applicable.
      (4) Crawl spaces — at or below grade level
      (5) Unfinished basements — for purposes of this section,
      unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of
      the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited
      to storage areas, work areas, and the like

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah, the floor in my garage is wet regularly for months at a time, generally from snow melting off my truck. I knock the big stuff off, from the mudflaps, but there's still enough to make a big wet spot.

        Comment


        • #5
          Outside or rough environments require a GFI, even when a power tool etc is double insulated, there could be a condition where water etc. could come in contact with the tool or equipment causing a danger to the operator.
          Max.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well crap.... I created several circuits to make it a little easier for working on equipment etc and didnt think I needed GFI. Is there such a thing as a main GFI breaker I could just use to cover everything?

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes there is a breaker. Here is a link
              http://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D-...FICP/100002959
              Glenn Bird

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by H380 View Post
                Water on the floor. Wet cars. Leaking water heaters. Extensions cord dragged out side and so on.

                2008 NEC
                210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for
                Personnel. Ground-fault circuit-interruption for personnel
                shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (C). The
                ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a
                readily accessible location.
                Informational Note: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuitinterrupter
                protection for personnel on feeders.
                (A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-
                ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in
                210.8(A)(1) through ( shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter
                protection for personnel.
                (1) Bathrooms
                (2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor
                located at or below grade level not intended as habitable
                rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas,
                and areas of similar use
                (3) Outdoors
                Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible
                and are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated to
                electric snow-melting, deicing, or pipeline and vessel heating
                equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance
                with 426.28 or 427.22, as applicable.
                (4) Crawl spaces — at or below grade level
                (5) Unfinished basements — for purposes of this section,
                unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of
                the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited
                to storage areas, work areas, and the like
                So does this mean every circuit in a garage needs to have GFCI?? How are people doing this for high amperage circuits such as 220 compressor or welding stations? When I bought my house the garage came wired with a 15A circuit for lights, a 20A circuit with GFCI for outlets, and a 20A 220V for a welder. The only GFCI was on the receptacle circuit. It passed the inspection when I bought the house so I would have thought it would have been flagged if incorrect.

                What am I not understanding here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
                  So does this mean every circuit in a garage needs to have GFCI?? How are people doing this for high amperage circuits such as 220 compressor or welding stations? When I bought my house the garage came wired with a 15A circuit for lights, a 20A circuit with GFCI for outlets, and a 20A 220V for a welder. The only GFCI was on the receptacle circuit. It passed the inspection when I bought the house so I would have thought it would have been flagged if incorrect.

                  What am I not understanding here.
                  2008 NEC
                  210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for
                  Personnel. Ground-fault circuit-interruption for personnel
                  shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (C). The
                  ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a
                  readily accessible location.
                  Informational Note: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuitinterrupter
                  protection for personnel on feeders.
                  (A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-
                  ampere receptacles
                  installed in the locations specified in
                  210.8(A)(1) through ( shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter
                  protection for personnel.
                  (1) Bathrooms
                  (2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor
                  located at or below grade level not intended as habitable
                  rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas,
                  and areas of similar use
                  (3) Outdoors
                  Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible
                  and are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated to
                  electric snow-melting, deicing, or pipeline and vessel heating
                  equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance
                  with 426.28 or 427.22, as applicable.
                  (4) Crawl spaces — at or below grade level
                  (5) Unfinished basements — for purposes of this section,
                  unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of
                  the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited
                  to storage areas, work areas, and the like

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by H380 View Post
                    2008 NEC
                    210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for
                    Personnel. Ground-fault circuit-interruption for personnel
                    shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (C). The
                    ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a
                    readily accessible location.
                    Informational Note: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuitinterrupter
                    protection for personnel on feeders.
                    (A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-
                    ampere receptacles
                    installed in the locations specified in
                    210.8(A)(1) through ( shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter
                    protection for personnel.
                    (1) Bathrooms
                    (2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor
                    located at or below grade level not intended as habitable
                    rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas,
                    and areas of similar use
                    (3) Outdoors
                    Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible
                    and are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated to
                    electric snow-melting, deicing, or pipeline and vessel heating
                    equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance
                    with 426.28 or 427.22, as applicable.
                    (4) Crawl spaces — at or below grade level
                    (5) Unfinished basements — for purposes of this section,
                    unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of
                    the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited
                    to storage areas, work areas, and the like

                    ahhhhhhh totally overlooked that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
                      ahhhhhhh totally overlooked that.
                      I do it all the time.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
                        Is there such a thing as a main GFI breaker
                        By main you mean 200 amp service?

                        outlet GFCI $15 and you can daisy chain so the downstreams plain outlets are protected. Or used to be able to in the old days. Huge headache when an outlet trips off a whole circuit including your desk lights., but its cheaper...

                        110V 15 amp breaker $50 (note the slight price difference in buying a breaker vs one outlet)

                        220V 30 amp breaker $100 or so.

                        WRT a GFCI for an air compressor that $100 could save your life BUT there's much more likely ways to save your life before I'd drop that particular $100. A disconnect and lockout is even more likely to save your life and is cheaper, for example.

                        The biggest GFCI I've ever seen was 50 amps for I suppose a hot tub or something. I don't think 200 amp service input main breaker GFCIs are currently available. I don't think it would be fun to troubleshoot a whole-house GFCI.

                        I'm a little mystified how arc welder works on a GFCI if the work is grounded... isn't that almost the definition of when a GFCI should trip if just a couple mA of the current flow into the ground?

                        If you're going to GFCI any outlets in a shop for safety reasons even if not legally required I'd run the lights on a totally separate lights only circuit. It could be super dangerous if one of the GFCIs tripped out and took out the room lights while the lathe on a different circuit merrily spun away as you're fumbling around in the dark. This also comes up with overloads the only thing worse than setting my saw motor on fire would be killing the room lights because my saw motor is on fire. That kind of fumbling around in the dark turns it from a simple fire extinguisher event to whoops you dead from getting trapped and smoke inhalation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vincemulhollon View Post
                          By main you mean 200 amp service?

                          outlet GFCI $15 and you can daisy chain so the downstreams plain outlets are protected. Or used to be able to in the old days. Huge headache when an outlet trips off a whole circuit including your desk lights., but its cheaper...

                          110V 15 amp breaker $50 (note the slight price difference in buying a breaker vs one outlet)

                          220V 30 amp breaker $100 or so.

                          WRT a GFCI for an air compressor that $100 could save your life BUT there's much more likely ways to save your life before I'd drop that particular $100. A disconnect and lockout is even more likely to save your life and is cheaper, for example.

                          The biggest GFCI I've ever seen was 50 amps for I suppose a hot tub or something. I don't think 200 amp service input main breaker GFCIs are currently available. I don't think it would be fun to troubleshoot a whole-house GFCI.

                          I'm a little mystified how arc welder works on a GFCI if the work is grounded... isn't that almost the definition of when a GFCI should trip if just a couple mA of the current flow into the ground?

                          If you're going to GFCI any outlets in a shop for safety reasons even if not legally required I'd run the lights on a totally separate lights only circuit. It could be super dangerous if one of the GFCIs tripped out and took out the room lights while the lathe on a different circuit merrily spun away as you're fumbling around in the dark. This also comes up with overloads the only thing worse than setting my saw motor on fire would be killing the room lights because my saw motor is on fire. That kind of fumbling around in the dark turns it from a simple fire extinguisher event to whoops you dead from getting trapped and smoke inhalation.
                          No I dont need a 200A breaker. My garage is only being fed with 60A so 60A or even a 50A main GFCI breaker would work. I guess I can just swap out the leading outlets on each circuit to protect everything down stream. I was just looking for a way around it as the square GCFI outlets wont work with the face plates I have. Yes yes I know stupid but I already had the stuff laying around.


                          Also im curious about something. Since not all of the outlets in my garage were on a GFCI circuit shouldnt it have failed the inspection ??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
                            ...


                            Also im curious about something. Since not all of the outlets in my garage were on a GFCI circuit shouldnt it have failed the inspection ??
                            Yes. Unless any fell within the exceptions in the section as quoted above.

                            A good inspector would look around and if he sees a GFCI would still check any accessible outlets. A checker plug is not hard to make, and any thorough inspector should either have one, OR should trip the GFCI one by one, and verify that all outlets that are supposed to be GFCI are in fact GFCI protected.

                            There is SUPPOSED to be a sticker on any such to tell the user to go look at the GFCI if the outlet does not work. Some inspectors may assume that the sticker really means what it says.
                            1601

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I didn't read the above but in out home only the 1st in a row of outlets had to be a GFI as it protected the rest in the line. It may have changed but does work fine.

                              Comment

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