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Forum topic by tigger959 posted 05-22-2011 05:43 PM 2888 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tigger959

50 posts in 3197 days


05-22-2011 05:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: electrical question

I’m building a workshop butted up to the carport. It’s 10’ x 15’ in size and I have a question regarding electrical outlets. I read the current code requires that you install a GFCI receptacle in ‘ALL’ receptacles outside the home (garage, etc). it also indicates that this requirement does not include those dedicated to an ‘appliance’. Would all electrical tools (drills, table saw, router, etc) be considered ‘appliances’? If so, I’m fine. If not, I’ve got to change out a bunch of receptacles.

-- Tigger, Texas


17 replies so far

View Kinbaum's profile

Kinbaum

14 posts in 2484 days


#1 posted 05-22-2011 05:54 PM

Go to the NEC code and look up the definition of Appliance to see if it clarifies anything. Here in NY the active NEC Code is 2008 and not 2011. Reason being is the NYS Building Code references NEC 2008 and not NEC 2011. NEC Code books come out once every 3 years. If you need to use GFCI protection; you have a few options. You can just add a GFCI circuit breaker to each receptacle circuit in the panel that serves the new shop. This way the entire circuit will be protected. One other option is to install a GFCI receptacle as the first receptacle in the circuit from the breaker. Then all receptacles downstream will be protected.

I do apologize if I provided you with information that you already were aware of.

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2536 days


#2 posted 05-22-2011 07:15 PM

You should double check this requirement. IME, GFCI is only required within 3’ of a water source (near sinks, etc), or if exposed to weather (outdoor receptacles). If your shop is totally enclosed, I don’t believe the receptacles need to be GFCI.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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tigger959

50 posts in 3197 days


#3 posted 05-23-2011 12:29 AM

What I did was to install the GFCI on the outside outlet (looks out toward the field) only. I also think I may install one at the first receptacle on each circuit (two). I probably overdid it but I installed at least two on each wall at a 4’ height to accomodate table height tools and one on each wall at an 18” height to accomodate possible shop vacs. Anyway, didn’t think I could overdo it. Finally, instead of using shop lights (overtime they tend to hum) I am installing 6-9 recessed can lights (these have worked well in the kitchen & utility rooms). Really appreciate your input. In my mind, you can never have enough.

-- Tigger, Texas

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#4 posted 05-23-2011 12:31 AM

Here in WV, I just had an inspector over. I have GFCI’s in my carport and all exterior; none within the shop. The subpanel of the shop is grounded to a rod SEPARATE from the main load center and the inspector didn’t have a problem with any of it. Of course, this is WV; but I was born in TX if that counts for anything! :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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reberly

191 posts in 2156 days


#5 posted 05-23-2011 12:58 AM

I had a shop going in with a garage door on the shop so the skidder could bring in the lumber. The inspector saw what I was doing and demanded GFI on the outlet closest to the garage door, but the other 6 110V were passed along with the 6 220V sisters next to them. I think it depends on some common sense. If the outlet could get wet GFCI it, and if it is on an interior wall of the structure (attached shop) it might not need it.
Rich

-- "Big Timber is our Legacy" , http://eberlywoods.com

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2143 days


#6 posted 05-23-2011 03:30 AM

I believe GFCI is required on all kitchen counters, in bathrooms, in garages, outdoors and around pools and spas. The dedicated appliance usually refers to a freezer or refrigerator in a garage or a sump pump in a basement. Now does the inspector use some common sense? To be seen. If your receptacles are daisy chained then you can put in a GFCI receptacle at the begining and the downstream receptacles are protected as stated above. If they are not then consider the circuit breaker GFCI route. I have all my 110V in my shop on GFCI receptacles and they daisy chain. Every third receptacle is a new GFCI. I have receptacles every 6 feet around the walls. I have had no problems with them. Anyone that would spend extra money to get a saw with a riving knife should spend a little extra to get GFCI protection. I am not slamming riving knives guys, I am just saying this is a safety issue.

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tigger959

50 posts in 3197 days


#7 posted 05-23-2011 12:41 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I believe I will either (a) purchase a GFCI breaker for each circuit or, (b) purchase a GFCI receptacle to start off each circuit. Also, one for my window air conditioner.

-- Tigger, Texas

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

416 posts in 2304 days


#8 posted 05-26-2011 05:15 AM

I wired up my own shop with a licensed electrician friend acting as an adviser. I put in a GFCI as the first devise in each line and have had no problems. A few times I have over burdened a tool and the power cuts. I go to the GFCI devise, push in the button and I’m good till the next time. In the 10 years since I built my shop, this has happened probably a half dozen times.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2107 days


#9 posted 05-26-2011 05:45 AM

Unless you have a sink and/or toilet… or if your shop ever gets flooded, I would choose AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupt) instead. If your shop truly stays dry, then fire is a greater possibility than shock. Whether code or not in your area, these are a good idea for your shop and your home.

On the recessed lights, a couple of things that might help you: Do make absolute certain your cans are IC rated (IC = insulation contact). Even if they are not going to be covered up with insulation, these cans are double walled and build up less heat.

For the same light, less heat and lower electricity usage look into the CF interior floods that can put out 100 watts of light while using 25 or so. Finally, in the shop I much prefer the bright white CFL’s than the soft white.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2143 days


#10 posted 05-26-2011 05:49 AM

Code doesn’t say anything about sinks when it says to use GFCI in a garage. What is the difference in a stand alone shop and a garage? The sink thing was taken out of the code book years ago. Now it says all kitchen counter surfaces….....

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tigger959

50 posts in 3197 days


#11 posted 05-27-2011 04:24 PM

I purchased additional GFCIs at Lowes yesterday. Am going with the suggestions to place one at the first receptacle in each circuit. The recessed lights are insulation rated as I have these same ones in my home. Already use the CF lights in the house and plan to use same in the shop.

On another note, I purchased the book “Small Workshops” at Rockler yesterday. Found one that is within 10 square feet of mine. Really like the layout and plan on duplicating it. Also, at Home Depot, purchased a bunch of various lengths of 1×4s (white pine & cedar), eight 3’ x 2’ pressed wood pieces and one 2’ x 8’ 1/2” birch plywood piece for $.50 each. Rockler had Maple (1” x 6”) on sale for $3.99 a board foot as well.

Have a lot of work ahead and plan on enjoying each moment. Thanks for all the tips and hints and hope if any of you have more, please share.

-- Tigger, Texas

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#12 posted 05-27-2011 04:33 PM

It’s definitely an exciting time, Tigger! I got my first detached shop about a year ago and it’s still a pleasure to walk into. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2107 days


#13 posted 05-27-2011 09:23 PM

I often view the international building codes as a minimum… as opposed to an absolute. If GFCI’s purpose in life is to keep you from getting shocked around water and wet, then I have always made certain that all outside convenience outlets and those inside with a potential for water are GFCI protected (bathrooms, kitchens, utility / laundry rooms, etc). It’s cheap insurance to have one GFCI outlet at the start of each of these circuits to cover them all… or add a GFCI breaker to cover the entire circuit as well.

The arc faults are now code for new construction in Georgia for all bedrooms ” All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter to provide protection of the branch circuit”.

But I install arc faults for other areas as well, because arcing and fire could start in the living room while you are sleeping in the bedroom.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2143 days


#14 posted 05-28-2011 05:11 AM

David, I think ARC fault breakers are code for all rooms in the new code this year. you are just a leader amoung men. The bedroom code is about 12 years old now and I see that we are really into it in my area. When they came out I had an electrician tell me that he thought it was a passing thing but I see that like many other things we have hled onto it. I GFCI protected my shop. That concrete floor is just a good ground in many circumstances. I haven’t ARC faulted my shop yet but just might. GFCI works differently so it is still needed.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2107 days


#15 posted 05-30-2011 10:55 AM

You are (as usual) right, Grandpa.

So now you know that the last complete house we did finished up in May of 2010. It’s been all remodels since then. I’m truly glad they expanded on the arc faults.

Damn shame they won’t / can’t do anything about all the remaining aluminum wiring in the 70’s homes. We No-lox connections at receptacles and switches when we come across them, but nobody ever wants to pony up for re-wire OR replace all the receptacles and switches with the high dollar made-for-aluminum versions. So arc faults are great there as well, but not enough people know about them or push them. Arc faults are IDEAL for making safer the aluminum wiring dilemma.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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