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Thread: GFCi's in a basement shop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Corning, IA
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    GFCi's in a basement shop?

    How many of you use GFCI's in your shop? Do you have them on all circuits? What should one do with 220 volts? I have them on all the circuits around the perimeter of my shop but I think I need them on all tools. Right or wrong?

    Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    east coast of florida
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    I didn't put any in my shop but I don't know if my shop is to code. I shocked my self once. I don't want to do it again but it was by far not the worst thing I had ever done.

    I will say the gfci is a marvel. I have a switch and a plug outside of my shop that have gfci. I didn't have the cover on the switch and a frog slid his way in and tripped the circuit. He came out un harmed. I thought that was a very good test.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Topeka, KS
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    Robert, in our area you are not required to have 220's protected by GFCI which I'm guessing is pretty typical for the rest of the country.

    Wes
    Last edited by Wes Billups; 02-17-2008 at 6:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Northern New Jersey
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    1,958
    GFCI outlets have a history of failure when used with an induction motor. I've found that even the better ones from electrical suppliers often fail. Perhaps this has changed recently. However, I would not run a wet tile saw without one.
    -Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Minnesota
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    33
    GFCI's are available to protect your 220v circuits. They are GFCI circuit breakers you install in the main panel. They are spendy, but if your code requires it they are available.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Collin County Texas
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    HI Robert. I was forced to install GFCI receptacle on all my 120V outlets. Because I had double doors(french doors) as a main entrance, the inspector said "they like to see GFCI on every circuit." I guess the idiot thought it was a garage. Normally that would mean one GFCI on each circuit. Since my outlets were wired using the Edison wiring that split a 220 line into 2 120 lines at each quad outlet, it was necessary to install a GFCI at each and every duplex receptacle.

    I have NO GFCI on any of the 220V lines. If you run an equipment ground to each 220V tool, you are pretty much covered. Besides, I am told that 220V GFCI s are 'higher than a cat's back.'
    Last edited by Ken Garlock; 02-17-2008 at 8:16 PM.
    Best Regards, Ken

  7. #7

    Gfci

    I took the GFCI out and put in a regular socket when I got a Jet 1642 lathe with varialble speed. Had read that it would trip the GFCI. I did not try it to see what would happen. Hope that was not a mistake.
    Whit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Mid Michigan
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    In one of my shops I have a 240 volt 50 amp GFCI in my main panel that is the supply for a sub panel that I run all of my wall plugs out of except for the one that supplies my MIG 120 volt welder. In my pole barn I have GFCI at the first box on every circuit with a max of 6 boxes on each GFCI. Right now I don't have any 240 volt equipment except for my stick welder and GFCI are not used on welders.
    When I reach the point where I need 240 volt GFCI at a receptacle I will use the panel type GFCI.
    I also have a couple heavy duty extension cords that have built in GFCIs.
    I had a GFCI experience when I was painting a bedroom. For some reason that I couldn't understand one of my circuits stopped working. The GFCI in the bathroom was the first receptacle in the circuit. I reset the GFCI and everything worked but I wanted to know what tripped it in the first place. I checked everything from the main breaker panel to all things on the circuit and couldn't find the problem. I started removing all of the receptacles until I found the problem. While I was painting around one of the receptacles a hair from the paint brush left a very tiny line of paint on one of the plug screws and that popped the GFCI. Made a believer out of me.
    David B

  9. #9
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    West of Ft. Worth, TX
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    When I wired my shop, I made the first outlet in each loop a GFCI, except the the two for the flourescent only circuits. Didn't even look at the 220 GFCI breakers. (I wired 8 220 outlets!) Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Texas hill country
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    101

    Gcfi

    When my basement shop was wired, the electrician said that all the 120v circuits had to be protected with a gcfi. The 220v circuits were considered dedicated circuits (only one outlet on each 220v breaker) and did not have to have the same protection. Passed the inspection with flying colors so I guess the man knew what he was talking about.

    Jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Tennessee
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    76

    National Electric Code

    210.8 A
    All 125 volt, single phase, 15 and 20 ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified shall have GFCI protection for personnel.

    2) Garage and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms, and limited to storage areas, work areas and areas of similar use.

    5) Unfinished basements -- for purpose of this section, unfinsed basements are defined as portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas and the like.


    Note: this is not the complete code but I believe it answers the question.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whit Whitfield View Post
    I took the GFCI out and put in a regular socket when I got a Jet 1642 lathe with varialble speed. Had read that it would trip the GFCI. I did not try it to see what would happen. Hope that was not a mistake.
    Whit
    If the lathe truly would trip the GFCI receptacle, the proper way to replace it would be to put a "single outlet" receptacle in. That way, only the lathe could be plugged into that receptacle. This is assuming the lathe isn't on castors and easily moved. If the lathe is sitting in one place, that can be considered "dedicated space" and there is an exception that allows for the non-GFCI protected outlet.

    The exceptions are part of the full 210.8(A) section that John refers to above.

    Rob
    Addy protocol: unlicensed, homeowner electrician

  13. #13
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    My inspector said that dedicated circuits did not require GFCI. Typical examples of "dedicated" circuits are those for garage door openers, smoke detectors, 120 V. wall clocks, kitchen ranges (for electric ignition on gas range), etc. In my shop, he considered all of the 240 V. circuits as "dedicated" circuits, since they all have tools relatively permanently plugged into them. All of my 120 V. circuits required GFCI.

  14. #14
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    You only need one GFCI outlet per circuit if all of the other circuits are wired "downstream" from the GFCI outlet, as the GFCI outlet also protects all outlets downstream from it.

    GFCI receptacles are not too expensive -- $16 for a 20-amp GFCI receptacle at my local Ace Hardware store. Get a GFCI receptacle tester ($13) while you are at it. You can also get GFCI breakers (e.g., for my spa), but at $30+ each, they are twice as expensive.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2008
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    1.5 hrs north of San Francisco, CA
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    In addition to garages, outbuildings, and outdoor outlets, GFCI protection is required for kitchen and bath circuits.

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