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  1. #1
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    Default GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    Is there a specific code reference for GFCI protection for sump pumps and or sewage ejector pumps other than within 6 feet of water or unfinished portion of basements? I have an electrician insisting this seller does not have to have nor does he want to have GFCI protection for a sump pump located in an unfinished portion of the basement.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    Yes, but I don't have it where I can get it right now - do a search and you can probably find it.

    Think of it, and explain it, this way: the sump pump is for protection of property ... the GFCI is for protection of people ... the codes are designed to protect people, not property.

    If the sump pump fails (doesn't work for ANY reason) property is damaged. If that sump doesn't work because it is ground-faulting and trips a GFCI ... i.e., "doesn't work for ANY reason" ... it's no different than if the float switch went bad, the motor burned out or froze up, etc. (Many owners seem to be concerned about a GFCI shutting the pump down, but only address the other reasons after it is found not working - if they were really concerned about the sump pump being ready to work when needed ... every sump pump you see would be clean and shiny because the owner would be keeping it that way when they cleaned it and serviced it weekly to make sure that it was ready when needed - when is the last time you saw a shiny sump pump (not on a store shelf ... and that one was probably dusty anyway)?

    If the sump pump is WORKING but not GFCI protected and is ground-faulted ... but maybe not quite right or is making noise, or whatever else ... and the owner (or other person) touches the motor or other now-current-carrying part ... that person could be electrocuted (dead).

    Which is worse - damaged property or dead person?

    Just information to help explain it to owners and, apparently, electricians.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 03-22-2017 at 07:27 AM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    It was removed in the NEC 2008 edition, which is now almost 9 years old. Depending on when (or if) your area uses the NEC it is probably required that it be on a GFCI protected circuit. There is tons of push back from electricians that won't or don't want to do it. 2008 (NEC 210.8(A)(5)

    They make a power off alarm that will sound if the GFCI trips, as well as float alarms for a sump system. I would install a power off alarm if it were my house.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    Lighting in a crawlspace is going to need gfi protection under the 2017 NEC.

    If the pump is 240 volts it would not need gfi protection. Unless the is a local exemption the electrician is wrong. 120 volt receptacles in an unfinished basement require gfi protection under the more recent codes.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    Only exception to this rule is that GFCI protection is not required for. a. fixed electric snow melting or de-icing equipment, b. receptacles that are not readily accessible, c. dedicated branch circuit in accordance with 426.28.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Only exception to this rule is that GFCI protection is not required for. a. fixed electric snow melting or de-icing equipment, b. receptacles that are not readily accessible, c. dedicated branch circuit in accordance with 426.28.
    The NEC has additional exceptions to this rule.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    Why GFCI 2.jpg
    After posting the question on GFCI protection for sump pumps I ran across this "dedicated circuit" today. In addition to the three lines on the power strip the home owner had used a pass through plug for an alarm system. Wish I had this when I replied to the electrician that claimed a dedicated circuit was all he would use on a sump pump.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: GFCI for sump pump or sewage ejectors

    It is a dedicated. No two doubts about it.
    It appears the homeowner, or someone without thought modified the circuit's intended use.

    Inform the client it can be, and should be, rectified.

    Thanks for the update.
    Robert.

    PS. Nice pic.
    Keep up the good work, Don!

    - - - Updated - - -

    It is dedicated. No two doubts about it.
    It appears the homeowner, or someone without thought modified the circuit's intended use.

    Inform the client it can be, and should be, rectified.

    Thanks for the update.
    Robert.

    PS. Nice pic.
    Keep up the good work, Don!

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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