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  1. #1
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    Default Workshop vs Garage

    I know this may result in a ton of replies, probably arguing what is considered a workshop and what is a garage, but here is the question at hand.....two car detached garage that was being used as a workshop (yet guy parked a car and a four wheeler and mower in it....). Has its own dedicated 100 amp service panel with your typical overhead fluorescent lighting, and about 12-18 outlets, and two dedicated 220 outlets. My ONLY question is...There are NO GFCI outlets nor a GFI breaker of any kind. Owner stated that his electrician told him that if facility is being used as a workshop, none are required.....including two that are on the exterior of the structure. I believe that to be incorrect.

    What say ye......(and please avoid what determines workshop from garage because that really doesn't matter...the buyer is using it for both)...

    thanks!
    Greg

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Here is how the NEC defines a garage:



    Garage.
    A building or portion of a building in which one or more self-propelled vehicles can be kept for use, sale, storage,rental, repair, exhibition, or demonstration purposes.

    It sounds like you have a garage.




  3. #3
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    ... and please avoid what determines workshop from garage because that really doesn't matter ...

    If you do not want that, you do not want the correct answer ... which is what James gave you.

    Vehicles are parked in it, it is a "garage", GFCI protection "is required" ... and it does not matter what else the space is being used for.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  4. #4
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    Talking Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Incorrect Jerry, I DO want the correct answer, what I don't want is a debate as to what is a garage and what is a workshop....I know it's a garage, and I know what the client is using it for...i just want to know, since it is a garage, as defined by James, if they are required.

    Way too many threads go way beyond a simple answer and that is all I was trying to avoid......tempers cannot be controlled sometimes in this forum and i wanted to avoid that.

    Thanks for the answers!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    You are asking what first must be addressed by the ZONING.

    Ag, Residential, commercial/residential, etc.

    Once defined by zoning, you can further define the ACCESSORY STRUCTURE.

    A bit dubious about your description of a separate service point to this accessory structure, be it workshop, garage, etc. Clarification on this may help you to further define all that is or may be required once you've tackled the zoning question/property use/classification. What "rules" on a small single family lot doesn't necessarily "rule" on a farm.

    As can be expected outdoor receptacle installations require certain protections and wiring methods for safety of persons and property.

    HTH.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Incorrect Jerry, I DO want the correct answer,
    You sure fooled me.

    what I don't want is a debate as to what is a garage and what is a workshop....
    But that was what your question was about as you posted it.

    I know it's a garage,
    And you either knew, or now know, that receptacles in garages are required to have GFCI protection.

    It sounded to me like you already knew that, and was seeking clarification on what was a garage.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Far more may be required J.P. we have no idea what the "work" of the "workshop" involves, i.e. hazardous/explosive conditions, etc. What those 220/240 receptacles are for, arc welding, etc.; If public, clients, or employees are present, etc. and much more. It has NOT been stated this is a sing family residential lot that contains this garage/workshop. Rare indeed would be a separate service point for an accessory structure to a single family residence, in town, zoned strictly single family residential.


  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    It looks like this code section requires GFI protection in your garage/workshop. Notice it is required on the 125 volt, 15 and 20 amp circuits only.



    210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for
    Personnel.
    (A) Dwelling Units.
    All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and
    20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in
    (1) through (8) 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



  9. #9
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    what I don't want is a debate as to what is a garage and what is a workshop....
    YOU FOOL! Don't you realize that you cannot control debate and arguments on this forum? They are inevitable.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Far more may be required J.P. we have no idea what the "work" of the "workshop" involves, i.e. hazardous/explosive conditions, etc. What those 220/240 receptacles are for, arc welding, etc.;
    True.

    If public, clients, or employees are present, etc. and much more. It has NOT been stated this is a sing family residential lot that contains this garage/workshop. Rare indeed would be a separate service point for an accessory structure to a single family residence, in town, zoned strictly single family residential.
    The presumption was made that it is a dwelling unit garage as he said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    ...two car detached garage that was being used as a workshop (yet guy parked a car and a four wheeler and mower in it....).

    All very indicative of a detached garage detached from a dwelling, but that was not "specifically" stated.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    YOU FOOL! Don't you realize that you cannot control debate and arguments on this forum? They are inevitable.

    More importantly ... ... the one asking the questions cannot control the answers.

    Even more importantly ... (not you Gunnar, Greg) ... is that those side discussions - sometimes heated - frequently lead to more knowledge being shared than anyone party would typically think of ... the combined effect of the knowledge of the body (the participants) as a whole is greater than the knowledge of any individual or of all individuals added together without the interaction to bring out the various thoughts and pondering of the participants.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    i assume that the house you inspected is being sold. How does the owner know how the new owners are going to use the structure. IMHO its a garage and should be inspected as one.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    This subject open for lots of interpretation..... This post is not an answer or a comment on the original post or any others, it is a new discussion......

    (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

    Garage:
    A building or portion of a building in which one or more self-propelled vehicles can be kept for use, sale, storage,rental, repair, exhibition, or demonstration purposes.



    Lets assume we have a detached accessory building with a 8ft x 8ft roll up type door but no room to park a car due to tools and work benches. Then lets assume the floor level is between one inch and eight inches above grade with the one inch part being at the large door opening.

    Would you say any GFI's are required by the NEC after taking into account all of the information I posted along with the code definition of a garage and the garage GFI code?

    The definition of garage only says that a "vehicle can be kept" not that it has to be present or used daily.

    GFI's are only required in an accessory building if the floor level is at or below grade.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
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    Certified Master Inspector, Independent Inspectorwww.IndependentInspectors.org

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    This subject open for lots of interpretation..... This post is not an answer or a comment on the original post or any others, it is a new discussion...... (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
    Garage:
    A building or portion of a building in which one or more self-propelled vehicles can be kept for use, sale, storage,rental, repair, exhibition, or demonstration purposes.
    Lets assume we have a detached accessory building with a 8ft x 8ft roll up type door but no room to park a car due to tools and work benches. Then lets assume the floor level is between one inch and eight inches above grade with the one inch part being at the large door opening. Would you say any GFI's are required by the NEC after taking into account all of the information I posted along with the code definition of a garage and the garage GFI code? The definition of garage only says that a "vehicle can be kept" not that it has to be present or used daily. GFI's are only required in an accessory building if the floor level is at or below grade.
    Bruce,

    Since I am not a building official, I am going to assume that a structure that can be used to house a vehicle, will someday be used to house a vehicle. Therefore, I will treat it as a garage. If it does not currently have a door that is large enough through which a vehicle can enter, then I will not treat it as a garage.

    That said, if said shed/workshop/whatever has a bare slab floor, I will probably recommend installation of GFCI devices.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    True.



    The presumption was made that it is a dwelling unit garage as he said:




    All very indicative of a detached garage detached from a dwelling, but that was not "specifically" stated.
    I don't happen to agree, as you inserted much of your own perceptions into what was stated by the OP, he also stated a separate service to said WORKSHOP/Garage.

    Heck Peck, quite a bit of TN is still RURAL.

    Just because a BARN may also be able to store vehicles doesn't make it a residential detached garage.

    My point was, for example, this MAY be an Agricultral zoning and an Agricultrual Building or an Agricultrally Zoned ACCESSORY building (even a "garage", but NOT a "residential" garage. It COULD be actually NOT a RESIDENTIAL Garage but something that even MORE restrictions apply, such as Sect. 547. If you ever wondered why those "country folk" don't ALL have "attached" garages and have to "walk outdoors" to get to their car - if they have multiple ag structures - its the TAX basis when their actively qualifiying the remainder of their land and structures outside of the smallest tiny footprint for the house itself!

    Having a nice plot of land, folks will take the active steps to maintain a (lower) tax basis and farm a (even small) crop, you might be surprised how many will maintain a "cash" crop even small tobbaco crop to pay off the taxes for the entire property including a postage stamp section for just the residence and maintain ALL accessory structures under an AG designation (NOTE HE SAID SEPARATE SERVICE PANEL for this workshop/"garage" structure). He didn't say WHERE, and only lists his location as "Tennessee" - doesn't say the property is "cityfied"!, let alone residential zoning, and has YET to indicate OTHERWISE

    Plus, even if residential, is there another designated "garage" attached or detatched?

    I've got a "garage" a "workshop with o/h" which "could" store an RV, a few Boats, and a few cars if I so chose", another electrified accessory structure which houses Landscaping "vehicles" and equipment, AND a "barn". Which is the "garage"?

    I can define laundry area and bathroom area but one trumps the other if facilites for both are in the same area.

    Zoning and use status has MUCH to do with what is and is not REQUIRED, example in AG sealed boxes, etc. Classified hazards - more provisions, etc.


    Further, not all "garages" actually have a grade or below grade permanent connection.

    I recall not all that long ago on one of many migrations, enjoying an off-the-main-road route to enjoy the colorful landscape, photographing a raised structure with a castle-like raised bridge approach. Wasn't too far from a host of covered bridges, water wheels, and other architecture from the not-too-distant past. Can't recall at the moment if what I'm recalling was in the area of IN St. Rt. 1/Ky boarder or was during a side jaunt near KY/TN (If'in I could recall which I *might* be able to locate a photo or two amongst tens of thousands) taken.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-30-2010 at 10:15 PM.

  16. #16
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    I'm not comfortable with the OP's statement that this garage has its' own 'service' panel. We need that point clarified; does he mean that it has a utility drop separate from the one to the house, and its' own meter?

    Do the receptacles need to be GFCI protected? Well, what was specified when the plans were submitted for a permit? The rules at that time are the ones that apply.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    GFCI receptacles cost about $10. The building has at least 2 exterior receptacles. Geez, for $10 why would you not install them?

    If the door and area is large enough to park vehicles and is being used as a garage, then yes it needs GFCI.

    This is a safety issue. As a home inspector call it out as a safety issue. Don't worry about codes.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Incorrect Jerry, I DO want the correct answer, what I don't want is a debate as to what is a garage and what is a workshop....I know it's a garage, and I know what the client is using it for...i just want to know, since it is a garage, as defined by James, if they are required.

    Way too many threads go way beyond a simple answer and that is all I was trying to avoid......tempers cannot be controlled sometimes in this forum and i wanted to avoid that.

    Thanks for the answers!
    And this is exactly what has happened.
    Ask for just a plain answer and you get every sentence quoted.


  19. #19
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Don't worry about codes? Is that an assertion that something written expresslygot the "practical safeguarding of electricity" is irrellevant to safety?

    Moreover, what, then, yardstick will you use? Is "safety" somehow an innate intellegence we all possess?

    This is more than just idle conversation. In the name of 'safety' different places have often reached quite opposite positions-and consider themselves to be 'safer.' A great example is the approach to bathroom receptacles; we require them, while other places won't allow either receptacles or switches
    in the bathroom at all.

    Use your own judgement? What makes you qualified? "Judgement" is design; absent a legal qualification to sign off on prints, you're simply not qualified.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    All this sweat and brainpower to avoid $3 or $4 for a simple GFCI.
    Just put the darn things in and get it over with.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    BE, I don't know where you are buying GFI's for $3-4. The newer TR are over $14 and the WR/TR are even more.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    BE, I don't know where you are buying GFI's for $3-4. The newer TR are over $14 and the WR/TR are even more.
    Just had a HI client tell me they were on sale at this place a few weeks ago for this price....heads up menards 15 amp GFCI $4.00


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Workshop vs Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    Don't worry about codes? Is that an assertion that something written expressly got the "practical safeguarding of electricity" is irrelevant to safety?

    Moreover, what, then, yardstick will you use? Is "safety" somehow an innate intelligence we all possess?

    This is more than just idle conversation. In the name of 'safety' different places have often reached quite opposite positions-and consider themselves to be 'safer.' A great example is the approach to bathroom receptacles; we require them, while other places won't allow either receptacles or switches
    in the bathroom at all.

    Use your own judgment? What makes you qualified? "Judgment" is design; absent a legal qualification to sign off on prints, you're simply not qualified.
    The OP said it was a garage and being used as a garage. Code says you have to have GFCI protection at external receptacles and inside garages. So yes, code is important and yes there should be receptacles.

    The OP did not want to argue garage vs. not garage but stated it is a garage and knew GFCI was required in a garage wasn't sure what he should do. Stupid premise but here we are.

    Codes are important and I keep a library of code books handy. If he is writing an inspection report, he does not need to quote chapter and verse of code to convince the client that there should be GFCI. Simply explain that commonly accepted safety practices require GFCI protection at all external receptacles and garage receptacles. People get shocked in wet areas when playing electricity and GFCI reduce the possibility of injury. If he needs to back up his statement with chapter and verse of code, then plenty of references have been posted above.

    Yes, codes are important. Yes, inspectors should have a good working knowledge of code and a reference library to check. Yes, inspectors should be able to find specific references and ask errant tradespeople to explain how the code does not apply in particular situations. Part of communicating with clients is phrasing defects in a way they can easily understand. The code is often convoluted and confusing. Restating the meaning of the code is often easier for clients and tradespeople to understand.

    Sorry I pushed your hot button. Code is King!

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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