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  • Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

    In reading the code requirements I see the point about a GFCI outlet that's readily accessible. I am installing 4 circuits (2 15 amp & 2 20 amp) in my garage for my soon to be workshop. Do I need a GFCI in each circuit?

    Thanks

    Also, can I use 12/2 for all circuits or does code require each type (15 or 20) use that size wire?

  • #2
    Re: Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

    You can use 12-2 for any circuits of 20 amps or less.

    Also you need a GFCI on any readily accessible recepticles in the garage. Ready accessible basically means you don't need a ladder to access it. Any other recepticles that are installed need to be GFCI protected unless they are over 120volts, or they serve only one piece of equipment that will never get moved. So lets say you are installing a circuit for a dust collector in the corner and the dust collector will never really move and not be getting unplugged, you can do a circuit to that piece of equipment without a GFCI. If you are running the circuits through multiple recepticle locations and not as dedicated circuits for a single piece of machinery, then you do need GFCI's.

    Jeff

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    • #3
      Re: Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

      Thanks for the reply Jeff. I just came back from my local HD here in Minneapolis and I spoke to their licensed electrician on this same point. She said I only needed one in the garage. I explained that I would have 4 circuits and asked if I need the GFI for each and she said no. I see in your signature that you are a master electrician so I tend to believe you over her but am puzzled by the two different answers to my question.

      Thoughts?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

        Originally posted by osgoor View Post
        Thanks for the reply Jeff. I just came back from my local HD here in Minneapolis and I spoke to their licensed electrician on this same point. She said I only needed one in the garage. I explained that I would have 4 circuits and asked if I need the GFI for each and she said no. I see in your signature that you are a master electrician so I tend to believe you over her but am puzzled by the two different answers to my question.

        Thoughts?
        You only need one. If you put in anymore than one circuit, you need one on each circuit. But the code says you only need one recepticle in your garage and it needs to be GFCI'd.

        NEC:
        210-8(A) Dwelling units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15-, and 20- ampere recepticles installed in locations specified in (1) through (8) shall have ground fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.
        (1) Bathrooms
        (2) Garages and accessory buildings that have a floor at or below grade not intended as habitable rooms and limited to starage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use.
        Exception No.1 to (2): Recepticles that are not readily accessable
        Exception No.2 to (2): A single recepticle or a duplex recepticle for two appliances located within a dedicated space for each appliance that, in normal use, is not easily moved from one place to another and that is cord and plug connected.

        And then it goes on from there.

        Jeff

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

          Osgoor

          Are you planning to install several receptacles per circuit? If yes, you can connect up a GFCI receptacle to protect any other receptacles after it. You might also look into GFCI circuit breakers. There is an advantage to having each receptacle being a GFCI type. That's in case it does trip that you don't shut off the others on that circuit.

          Do believe what Piette said and not the Home Depot people. There's just no way a true master electrician or plumber would work there for the peanuts they pay.

          As for the current ratings on circuit breakers or fuses they are to protect wiring. You can go for underrated but not overrated ones. That is you would be OK to have #10 wire and a 15 Amp breaker, but it would be rather silly. The other way where you have #14 wire and a 30 Amp breaker would be asking for a fire sometime.

          I'm thinking that either you plan on installing a sub-panel or have one. Please don't get into long runs of 12-2 to your main panel. It's far more cost effective and works out better to run one 6-3 (with ground) to a sub-panel in the garage. Later on you'll be thankful for having it. In addition there's a Voltage drop issue to work out where you have long runs of wiring and it's much better not to have to go to the basement from the garage to shut off a circuit or in case a breaker trips.

          Do be sure to have all the main lighting is on it's own circuit. While not normally code required, think of it as a good safety idea. You don't want all the lights going out just because of an overloaded circuit in case you plug in too much.


          Bottom line: If in doubt as to exactly what's correct, do yourself a big favor and call in a licensed electrician. You can help with the bull work and save some $$$ but have him/her check over everything before powering a circuit up. If you DIY and mess up, your insurance company will really blast you if anything ever goes bad on you.
          Last edited by Woussko; 04-12-2008, 05:16 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

            I did more research after your post and found 210.8. This told me I needed one per circuit. I went back to HD to get what I needed and did tell the manager that the "Electrician" was wrong and I wasted a trip because of it.

            Thanks again for the help Jeff.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

              Are you planning to install several receptacles per circuit? If yes, you can connect up a GFCI receptacle to protect any other receptacles after it.

              >> This is now what I have done.

              You might also look into GFCI circuit breakers. There is an advantage to having each receptacle being a GFCI type. That's in case it does trip that you don't shut off the others on that circuit. Do believe what Piette said and not the Home Depot people.

              >> Yes I do. Based on that reply I did more research and confirmed what he said.

              There's just no way a true master electrician or plumber would work there for the peanuts they pay.

              As for the current ratings on circuit breakers or fuses they are to protect wiring. You can go for underrated but not overrated ones. That is you would be OK to have #10 wire and a 15 Amp breaker, but it would be rather silly. The other way where you have #14 wire and a 30 Amp breaker would be asking for a fire sometime.

              I'm thinking that either you plan on installing a sub-panel or have one. Please don't get into long runs of 12-2 to your main panel. It's far more cost effective and works out better to run one 6-3 (with ground) to a sub-panel in the garage. Later on you'll be thankful for having it. In addition there's a Voltage drop issue to work out where you have long runs of wiring and it's much better not to have to go to the basement from the garage to shut off a circuit or in case a breaker trips.

              >> I have a new 50 amp subpanel in the garage that these new circuits will be run from.

              Do be sure to have all the main lighting is on it's own circuit. While not normally code required, think of it as a good safety idea. You don't want all the lights going out just because of an overloaded circuit in case you plug in too much.

              >> Thanks for that tip as well.

              Bottom line: If in doubt as to exactly what's correct do yourself a big favor and call in a licensed electrician. You can help with the bull work and save some $$$ but have him/her check over everything before powering a circuit up. If you DIY and mess up your insurance company will really blast you if anything ever goes bad on you.


              Thanks for the feedback.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Code requirements for GFCI outlet in garage

                I'm glad you have a sub-panel in the garage. It's a wise investment for sure.

                As for the GFCI protection, try to think things over some. What if one does trip? What would actually happen? Could there be a case where a dangerous machine shuts off only to startup when you reset the GFCI and maybe totally unexpected? If yes, then have that machine on it's own GFCI if it has a power cord and plug. On the other hand if you have several receptacles all along the same wall or above your bench and they are on one circuit, then you can use one GFCI breaker or receptacle and connect it so it protects all that are down stream from it.

                Hint: If you have a good tape type label maker or a sheet of stick-on numbers be sure to number all the breakers in both your main and sub panels. Then using a word processor on your computer make up and post a nice chart showing what each breaker is for. Do have a helper check to be sure everything is correct with the charts and fix any goofs up quick. Later on you'll love having them.

                While you're working on this, install a few 20 Amp. 240 Volt receptacles and remember to color code the wire wire with red tape as it will be L2 and not neutral. Never have a wire that's really a hot. Always use color code tape or 12-3 and just not connect up the white unless you want to have 120/240 at a given receptacle. Normally that's for clothes dryers and stoves, but some other devices need both Voltages and grounding.
                Last edited by Woussko; 04-12-2008, 05:31 PM.

                Comment

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