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  1. #1
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    Default Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have GFI?

    Are there any conditions (under current codes/guidelines) where an outside/exterior area receptacle is not required to have GFI protection ? Yesterday I saw a home where there was an exterior receptacle 7 feet up on the patio wall. The receptacle was being used by a patio wall-mounted TV. The homeowner told me his electrician told him since the receptacle was above 6 feet high, it did not require GFI protection. This was a patio with a covered overhang roof but was otherwise an open-air patio.

    I have not been able to find any documentation to support that an exterior outlet can be without GFI protection.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Nope, all exterior outlets need GFCI protection. Even the ones designed for Christmas lights high on the wall or at the soffits….

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Are there any conditions (under current codes/guidelines) where an outside/exterior area receptacle is not required to have GFI protection ?
    Yes, there is a condition. If the outlet was installed before the code required it to be protected, it is still acceptable even though the outlet is not protected.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Are there any conditions (under current codes/guidelines) where an outside/exterior area receptacle is not required to have GFI protection ?
    {Note that (3) and (4) are for as follows: (3) Rooftops and (4) Outdoors }
    "Exception No. 1 to (3) and (4): Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied from a dedicated branch circuit for electric snow-melting or deicing equipment shall be permitted to be installed without GFCI protection."

    I suspect that you do not have much of a call for circuits which are dedicated for "electric snow-melting or deicing equipment", and, even if you did and the circuit was then used for something else (such as the TV), then that exception would no longer be applied as the circuit was no longer dedicated for "electric snow-melting or deicing equipment".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    {Note that (3) and (4) are for as follows: (3) Rooftops and (4) Outdoors }
    "Exception No. 1 to (3) and (4): Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied from a dedicated branch circuit for electric snow-melting or deicing equipment shall be permitted to be installed without GFCI protection."

    I suspect that you do not have much of a call for circuits which are dedicated for "electric snow-melting or deicing equipment", and, even if you did and the circuit was then used for something else (such as the TV), then that exception would no longer be applied as the circuit was no longer dedicated for "electric snow-melting or deicing equipment".
    Thanks guys. As we know the interpretation of "readily accessible" is subject to debate. In my opinion, this TV outlet is "readily accessible" even though is 7 feet from the floor. I am 6 feet tall, I can reach the outlet with no problem. A smaller person could easily reach it with a step stool. So that being said, (and based on you guy's comments), I view this outlet as it should have GFCI protection.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    In my opinion, this TV outlet is "readily accessible" even though is 7 feet from the floor.
    Why are you applying that exception's "readily accessible" to "this TV outlet"?

    Once that receptacle is used for "this TV outlet" - the exception for dedicated snow melting-deicing equipment no longer applies.

    ... I view this outlet as it should have GFCI protection.
    As you should.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Thanks Jerry


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Are there any conditions (under current codes/guidelines) where an outside/exterior area receptacle is not required to have GFI protection ? Yesterday I saw a home where there was an exterior receptacle 7 feet up on the patio wall. The receptacle was being used by a patio wall-mounted TV. The homeowner told me his electrician told him since the receptacle was above 6 feet high, it did not require GFI protection. This was a patio with a covered overhang roof but was otherwise an open-air patio.

    I have not been able to find any documentation to support that an exterior outlet can be without GFI protection.

    240 volt receptacles for one. Then there's the deicing receptacles Jerry mentioned.

    The code reads all 15 and 20 ampere 125 volt receptacles..............

    ( yes I have seen 240 volt receptacles outside)


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    For Canadian inspectors, a different rule. 9 feet above the ground, no GFCI required.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    I believe the code did not require GFCI protection for receptacles at second floor decks at some time in the past. Maybe back at that time that also applied to receptacles above 6 feet, but I cannot say for sure.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I believe the code did not require GFCI protection for receptacles at second floor decks at some time in the past. Maybe back at that time that also applied to receptacles above 6 feet, but I cannot say for sure.
    The new wording requiring GFCI protection in the 1971 NEC, Section 210-21(d) was simple: "For residential occupancies all 120-volt, single phase 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets installed outdoors. . ." It gave an effective date of 1/1/73. (This was presuming the 1971 NEC was adopted locally by then without this being amended out.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I believe the code did not require GFCI protection for receptacles at second floor decks at some time in the past. Maybe back at that time that also applied to receptacles above 6 feet, but I cannot say for sure.
    The new wording requiring GFCI protection in the 1971 NEC, Section 210-21(d) was simple: "For residential occupancies all 120-volt, single phase 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets installed outdoors. . ." It gave an effective date for this radical new requirement of 1/1/73. (This was presuming the 1971 NEC was adopted locally by then without this being amended out.)


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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    The new wording requiring GFCI protection in the 1971 NEC, Section 210-21(d) was simple: "For residential occupancies all 120-volt, single phase 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets installed outdoors. . ." It gave an effective date of 1/1/73. (This was presuming the 1971 NEC was adopted locally by then without this being amended out.)
    Refer to notes in this: http://jerrypeck.com/IFCN/Other%20It..._page-2014.pdf

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Useful thread for me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Useful thread for me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Useful thread for me.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Useful thread for me.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Hi Jerry, thanks for posting the GFCI location sheet.

    Questions...


    1. Look at the Laundry/Utility column, where it says "Xc". I cannot find a "c" footnote.
    2. I read the sheet but it is not clear to me if currently a dedicated kitchen refrigerator receptacle should be GFCI protected??


    Thanks

    Gene

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Hi Jerry, thanks for posting the GFCI location sheet.

    Questions...


    1. Look at the Laundry/Utility column, where it says "Xc". I cannot find a "c" footnote.
    2. I read the sheet but it is not clear to me if currently a dedicated kitchen refrigerator receptacle should be GFCI protected??


    Thanks

    Gene

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Hi Jerry, thanks for posting the GFCI location sheet.

    Questions...


    1. Look at the Laundry/Utility column, where it says "Xc". I cannot find a "c" footnote.
    2. I read the sheet but it is not clear to me if currently a dedicated kitchen refrigerator receptacle should be GFCI protected??


    Thanks

    Gene


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Gene, a receptacle for the refrigerator does not require GFI protection unless it serves the countertop or called for in the manufacturers instructions.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Gene, a receptacle for the refrigerator does not require GFI protection unless it serves the counter-top or called for in the manufacturers instructions.
    Would you consider a GFCI protected kitchen refrigerator receptacle that does not serve a counter top a "violation" ? or "not a problem" ?

    In other words in a regular house with the receptacle hidden behind the fridge, if that receptacle were GFCI protected, would you consider that a problem? I would think it would be something most home owners would at least want to be aware of.

    Just wondered your thoughts..

    Thanks


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Gene,

    Thanks for the heads up on that error - I'll check on it and correct it.

    A receptacle hidden behind the refrigerator would not be serving the countertop and would not require GFCI protection.

    GFCI protection is not prohibited either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Gene,

    Thanks for the heads up on that error - I'll check on it and correct it.
    I updated the list ... I corrected that note and renumbered the notes so that one number applied to one column in the table, which also reduced the number of notes.

    Should be much easier to read and apply the notes now - let me know what you think of the update.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    A refrigerator on a gfi protected circuit should not be an issue.

    The gfi itself should not be behind the refrigerator.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The gfi itself should not be behind the refrigerator.
    For convenience, but nothing prohibits it ... unless you are aware of something that I am not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    For convenience, but nothing prohibits it ... unless you are aware of something that I am not.
    Not absolutely prohibited, but a good many folks don't consider the space behind a refrigerator as readily accessible. Some people who live in their own home are incapable of moving the fridge.

    Also, many fridges are within 6 feet of the sink and would require GFCI protection if 2014 NEC applies either to the construction or a receptacle replacement. A dead front GFCI adjacent to the fridge is probably a much better option.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    For convenience, but nothing prohibits it ... unless you are aware of something that I am not.

    I believe that more recent editions of the NEC require GFCI receptacles to be accessible, but do not have them handy to prove / disprove that. Common sense but common sense is not so common.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    I believe that more recent editions of the NEC require GFCI receptacles to be accessible, but do not have them handy to prove / disprove that. Common sense but common sense is not so common.
    Readily accessible ... I just had not heard that rolling out a refrigerator makes it not readily accessible.

    I can see that for some of the larger refrigerators, but had not thought of it that way about a standard every day refrigerator.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Jerry, you might remember the person that said a gfi or afci could not be behind a couch as it was not readily accessible.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Jerry, you might remember the person that said a gfi or afci could not be behind a couch as it was not readily accessible.
    Jim,

    From your statement I presume that person may have been me, but, no ... ... I don't remember that. When or where?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    No, I don't believe it was you Jerry. Someone that's hasn't been here in awhile IIRC.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    No, I don't believe it was you Jerry. Someone that's hasn't been here in awhile IIRC.
    Ahhh ... possibly with the initials of H. G. Waston? (Oh, wait, those are more than "initials" ... )

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Readily accessible ... I just had not heard that rolling out a refrigerator makes it not readily accessible.

    I can see that for some of the larger refrigerators, but had not thought of it that way about a standard every day refrigerator.

    It would be poorly thought out to place a GFCI receptacle behind a fridge and beyond the ability of some to access. But that could be said about my garage with one of the GFCI's being hidden by "stuff".


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    It would be poorly thought out to place a GFCI receptacle behind a fridge and beyond the ability of some to access. But that could be said about my garage with one of the GFCI's being hidden by "stuff".
    I was in a home yesterday with nearly 20 GFCIs scattered through the basement. Many were redundant and many behind something. Accessibility is somewhat subjective. A GFCI might be readily accessible behind a dresser for a strapping young lumberjack and completely inaccessible for a 90 year old little lady.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Is there any condition where an outside area receptacle is not required to have G

    I just updated my GFCI and AFCI pages - I added the note at the bottom to make sure it is not missed.

    http://jerrypeck.com/IFCN/Other%20It..._page-2014.pdf

    http://jerrypeck.com/IFCN/Other%20It..._page-2014.pdf

    After clicking the link, you may need to refresh the page in case your browser is reading a cached copy of it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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