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  1. #1
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
    Tim Moreira Guest

    Default Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Hi gang,

    Laundry sink about two feet away from washing machine outlet. It is not GFCI protected. I would think it should be due to the proximity of the sink.

    Agreed?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Tim,

    Long time no hear from you much. Father/father-in-law still there?

    From the 2008 NEC:
    - 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.
    - - - (7) Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks — where the receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink.

    Do not find any exception for laundry equipment (went back several code editions), and I did not expect to find any exception either. If the laundry equipment trips the GFCI, the laundry equipment needs to be checked and repaired.

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

  3. #3
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
    Tim Moreira Guest

    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Hi Jerry and everyone else,

    Good to hear from you. Yes dad is still here with me but only for another week. He is buying a double wide in the Hudson area about twenty minutes north of me.

    It's been a l-o-n-g nine months. I could have had a baby by now.

    Business has been very s-l-o-w my way.

    Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

    I figured as much on the code reference but my office is still in shambles.

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Hope all is well with everyone.

    Looking forward to getting back here soon.

    Thank you,

    Tim


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Should be being within 6ft. but may be a nuisance problem.

    Its better to be a nuisance than be dead though.

    rick


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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Tim,

    Glad to have you back on board.

    Your a good man to be taking care of your dad as you have.

    My respect to you and best wishes to your DAD.

    Hope business picks up well for you soon.

    rick


  6. #6
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Hey Tim,

    Good to hear from you again...

    I feel your pain. I've got my M-I-L upstairs to deal with. Things get pretty goofy at times... for instance, we're talking a 76 year old with restless-leg-syndrome. To top it off, she just had a hip-replacement and walks with a limp. Well, when the RLS kicks in and the hip flares up, it's like a person with tourettes syndrome walking on their hands.

    Welcome back Kott(er)a

    Rich


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    She 76

    Has leg problems

    Recent hip replacement

    Living upstairs

    What a son-in-law.

    Priceless!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    but may be a nuisance problem.
    Should not be a nuisance trip problem if the appliance is within the last 15-20 years old. Older ones, ... well, typically clothes washers don't last that long ... but older ones might cause tripping of the GFCI, in which case it is not time to remove the GFCI, it is time to replace the appliance.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Not saying it is right, but none of the washer outlets here are GFCI protected. New or old construction, within 6 ft of sink or not. They typically have an outlet near the sink that is GFCI but the one for the washer never is. They must approve it that way here as I always check and they never are. Do many of you find them to be GFCI protected?

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  10. #10
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Rick,

    Most of my description of her above was an embellishment for effect. She does real well and is quite dancer . But, she does occupy the 2000+ sq ft upstairs and loves it.

    Rich


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Just a question here, not debating. I know you dont want a refrigerator on a GFCI because the start up load may trip the GFCI. But when I think about it I have seen a refrigerator within 6 feet of a water source. So is the reasoning that a washer (which I assume could draw a similar load when the motor starts) does not contain perishables so it is ok. I also understand that a refrigerator "should" be on a dedicated circuit, and a 120 V clothes washer may not be. I dont need a bunch of codes throw my way but when I thought about this situation they seem kind of similar. If the answer is in the code throw them at me. Thanks for all the great knowedge base here...

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    ...I know you dont want a refrigerator on a GFCI because the start up load may trip the GFCI. ...
    Paul - Jerry Peck has been telling us for a while that this is no longer the case. As he said a few posts ago in this thread: "Should not be a nuisance trip problem if the appliance is within the last 15-20 years old." Modern appliances are designed to more stringent standards. If the refrigerator trips the GFCI, then there is something wrong that needs to be repaired. It's not just "nuisance".


  13. #13
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Moreira View Post
    Hi gang,

    Laundry sink about two feet away from washing machine outlet. It is not GFCI protected. I would think it should be due to the proximity of the sink.

    Agreed?
    As Jerry stated, the 2008 NEC now covers this without exceptions...- - - (7) Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks — where the receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink.

    However (and I'll ask Jerry to check me on this) prior to 2008 (2005?) the 6ft rule was only for wet bar sinks (and then earlier than that, for kitchen sinks). I don't believe there was a rule prior to 2008 that actually covered laundries or laundry sinks. The upshot, as far as I can determine, is that in an existing home the washer receptacle (or any other receptacle) within 6ft of a laundry sink was not required by the NEC to be a GFCI, unless the room also happens to be a bathroom.

    So...definitely a good idea to recommend a GFCI as an inexpensive saftey upgrade but it's probably not a "mandatory" repair you could defend with code.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  15. #15
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Thanks Michael,

    Yep, my bad.
    I only had the 2002 and 2008 versions on hand when I posted.
    Those changes were indeed made in the 2005 NEC and not 2008.

    GFCI Requirements Expand in 2005 NEC
    ......
    Section 210.8(A)(7), which formerly covered GFCI protection for 15- and 20-ampere receptacles serving wet bar countertops and located within six feet of the wet bar countertop, has been revised. This subsection has been expanded to cover 15- and 20-ampere, 125-volt receptacles within six feet of the outside edge of dwelling-unit laundry sinks, utility sinks and wet bar sinks at any height. Since this section now covers laundry sinks and utility sinks, as well as wet bar sinks, the reference to countertops has been deleted. This means any 15- and 20-ampere, 125-volt, single-phase receptacle within six feet of these sinks must be GFCI protected. This would apply to receptacles located from the floor level up to six feet above the sink, including receptacles mounted in the ceiling but still located within the six-foot dimension from the edge of a counter-mounted laundry, utility or wet bar sink.
    So..."required" after 2005, recommended "upgrade" for older homes.





  16. #16
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    I know you dont want a refrigerator on a GFCI because the start up load may trip the GFCI.
    Side stepping the other part of that answer which John addressed regarding 'refrigerator on GFCI', but addressing 'the reason' you gave ...

    "The start up load" is not going to trip a GFCI. A GFCI does not care if there is 1 amp or 50 amps through the GFCI (provided, of course) that the GFCI can handle the current, and you can get 100 amp rated GFCIs), the GFCI *ONLY* cares that *THE SAME AMOUNT* of current, whatever that amount of current is, goes through both the neutral and the hot, within 5 ma of each other, that is.

    [quote]But when I think about it I have seen a refrigerator within 6 feet of a water source.[/q]

    You should have forgotten about that 6 foot rule 10 years ago or more, and, besides, it was only for "receptacles which serve the countertop", and refrigerator receptacles *do not serve the countertop*.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 02-07-2008 at 02:43 PM. Reason: to add the GFCI chart and AFCI chart
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    I've had two apartments with a washing machine in each that was protected by a GFCI. I haven't heard of either of them tripping in the past two years, and the washing machines were older machines in both of them. I have a third apartment that will now have the washing machine and fridge on a GFCI protected receptacle. I'll let you know if it trips, but so far it hasn't.

    The wiring is 2 wire no ground, that's why they are on GFCI circuits.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    I have a third apartment that will now have the washing machine and fridge on a GFCI protected receptacle. I'll let you know if it trips, but so far it hasn't.

    The wiring is 2 wire no ground, that's why they are on GFCI circuits.
    Jim,

    Put one of those long lasting night lights in the refrigerator receptacle and tell your tenant to glance at the darkness behind the refrigerator and, if they is light, it is okay, but if it is dark, then the GFCI has likely tripped and they need to check their food, then reset the GFCI ... and report to you that it tripped so you can check it out.

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

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    It will shut off the microwave clock on the counter, but that's a good idea also. Maybe there is some type of alarm I can plug in on the other half of the receptacle that will sound if the power goes off to the receptacle. Might save me a headache or two.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "The start up load" is not going to trip a GFCI. A GFCI does not care if there is 1 amp or 50 amps through the GFCI (provided, of course) that the GFCI can handle the current, and you can get 100 amp rated GFCIs), the GFCI *ONLY* cares that *THE SAME AMOUNT* of current, whatever that amount of current is, goes through both the neutral and the hot, within 5 ma of each other, that is.

    Don't remember where I found this:

    HOW A GFCI WORKS…

    Inside each GFCI receptacle is a little man with a test meter. He also
    has a bed, a small kitchenette, a TV with satellite service, and books
    to read. When you are running something on a GFCI outlet he gets out
    of his chair, grabs the meter, and makes sure that 100% of the current
    coming into the receptacle on the black wire is going back out the
    white wire. If the white wire is missing any current at all he kicks
    this foot pedal that makes the GFCI pop.

    Sometimes he notices that you are using a device that draws too much
    current. He can tell, because the wires are getting too warm.
    "Not my problem", he says, "Union rules. This one gets handled by the
    over-current protection guys."

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  22. #22
    Richard Abrams's Avatar
    Richard Abrams Guest

    Cool Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    My jurisdiction prior to 2008 allowed non GFCI recp is washing machine covered up access to recp. GFCI only is sink is present and recp is not behind machine. 2008 All laundary to be GFCI


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    MT's diagram shows distance from a sink, what about these new, giant mudrooms with a receptacle on a separate countertop (greater than 6' from sink) but less than 6' from WASHING MACHINE (i.e. water)?


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    Not saying it is right, but none of the washer outlets here are GFCI protected. New or old construction, within 6 ft of sink or not. They typically have an outlet near the sink that is GFCI but the one for the washer never is. They must approve it that way here as I always check and they never are. Do many of you find them to be GFCI protected?
    Never have run across a GFCI for a washer in 9 years of inspecting here in Washington State. Maybe it's a regional thing with some AHJs.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    it's the new installs you really have to worry about as the old installs for the most part have either proved themselves or have blown up and caused problems. really depends on when the requirements were put in for the 6' clearance. for safety reasons it is always good to suggest that GFCI be installed as for cost is very little compared to the value of safety.


  26. #26
    Lou Romano's Avatar
    Lou Romano Guest

    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Side stepping the other part of that answer which John addressed regarding 'refrigerator on GFCI', but addressing 'the reason' you gave ...

    "The start up load" is not going to trip a GFCI. A GFCI does not care if there is 1 amp or 50 amps through the GFCI (provided, of course) that the GFCI can handle the current, and you can get 100 amp rated GFCIs), the GFCI *ONLY* cares that *THE SAME AMOUNT* of current, whatever that amount of current is, goes through both the neutral and the hot, within 5 ma of each other, that is.
    This statement is 100% correct! A GFCI that is working properly can handle any load within it's design parameters without tripping. It is only if a fault is detected that it will trip! Therefore if the GFCI trips and the GFCI is found to be working properly, the problem lies in whatever is plugged into it and that item should be checked and repaired or replaced!


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross Neag View Post
    MT's diagram shows distance from a sink, what about these new, giant mudrooms with a receptacle on a separate countertop (greater than 6' from sink) but less than 6' from WASHING MACHINE (i.e. water)?
    Things that mix water and electricity aren't necessarily the reason for installing a GFCI. Washing machines near a sink get one because the receptacle placement near a sink requires it, not because the washer needs one. Garbage disposers and dishwashers are not usually GFCI protected. Obviously, assumptions need to be made here. One is that the requirement for an equipment ground have been met - much like we assume the GFCI is tested as recommended and replaced when it doesn't trip when the test button is pressed

    If you look at required GFCI placement, there is usually a possibility to introduce the use of wet hands and plugging something in, or dropping something into a sink while plugged in, or standing on a damp and conductive surface (concrete, grass, etc) and using tools or appliances where cord damage can occur (or already be present).

    Personally, I would look at the type of floor in a room to make my decision for recommending additional GFCI protection. For example, finished basement areas don't require GFCIs while unfinished ones do. However, in my opinion, nothing has changed if a bare concrete floor is present in both areas. Standing on a bare concrete floor in bare feet and opening the door on a freezer that has a ground fault but not leaking enough to trip a breaker will have different consequences than if you do the same thing and have a floor with insulating properties. A vinyl floor or tile over wood construction is not likely to shock someone even if you touch a hot wire while barefoot. Damp concrete will, however, most certainly get your attention.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Washer Machine outlet, GFCI protected?

    Bill,

    Good points but I would rather make the suggestion or recommendation based on location as I/we have no knowledge of what that floor covering will be in the future, let alone a few days after closing. In the end, as much as we're paid to find out and tell our clients what's wrong and needs to be fixed, a little information about best practices is always a good thing and if they take action on it, even better.


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