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Thread: GFCI Protection Refrfrigerator & Drinking Fountain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    703

    GFCI Protection Refrfrigerator & Drinking Fountain

    Hi everyone, hope everybody had a great memorial day.

    I am working on designing a commercial project and just got two rejections from the city.

    #1 - Says I need GFCI protection for the drinking fountain.


    #2 - Says I need GFCI protection for the refrigerator (which is in break room)

    -----

    #1 - I know in the 2008 NEC section 422.52 was added, requiring drinking fountains to be GFCI protected, however, does anyone know if the manufacturers are making the fountains with protection built in?

    #2 - He cites 210.8(B)(5) for this one, which is under sinks. The refrigerator is within 6 ft of a sink, however isn't it true the refrigerator receptacle does not have to be protected?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
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    25,201
    If the recep. for the refrigerator is within 6' of the sink then it does need GFCI protection.

    I believe vending machines are being made with GFCI built into the cord but I do not know about fountains
    Last edited by Dennis Alwon; 06-01-10 at 03:26 PM. Reason: To add second sentence

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,523
    No it is not. 210.8(B)(2) says that a receptacle in a non-dwelling kitchen must be GFCI protected regardless of where it is located. So if this "break room" meets the definition of a kitchen (see article 100) it must be GFCI protected. Also ANY receptacle within 6-feet of a sink in a non-dwelling must be GFCI protected. There are 2 exceptions, but they have nothing to do with refrigerators or where the receptacle is located.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    703
    This does not meet definition of a kitchen, there is just a refrigerator and a microwave. I think I might just start showing everything with GFCI protection :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maryland
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    Be careful in saying that this does not qualify as a "kitchen". I think I know what a sink is, but after that I am lost in this definition. What constitutes "permanent facilities for food preparation and cooking"? A counter-top where sandwiches can be made which has a microwave or toaster oven sitting on it? A range? It seems that the situation where we would want GFCI protection is in a "break room" where equipment of unknown quality is sitting on a counter and used and abused by numerous people, yet perhaps this is the very installation that is exempt. This seems to be wide open when it comes to interpretation. I have been hoping that it would be clarified since the requirement for GFCI's in non-dwelling "kitchens" first appeared in 2002. This definition lacks clarity in my opinion. Many people are interpreting this to include "break rooms", other jurisdictions are not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    22

    GFCI Protection Refrfrigerator & Drinking Fountain

    For #1, you do have to provide GFCI in water fountain.
    I think you have a valid argumant in situation #2. The break room does not have permanent means of cooking so therefore it is not a kitchen. The GFCI is not required on the refrigerator.
    Dwight Beasley, PE

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,523
    Quote Originally Posted by dbeasley488 View Post
    For #1, you do have to provide GFCI in water fountain.
    I think you have a valid argumant in situation #2. The break room does not have permanent means of cooking so therefore it is not a kitchen. The GFCI is not required on the refrigerator.
    Unless it is within six feet of the sink and the OP says that it is within six feet of the sink, so even if it is not a "kitchen" GFCI protection is required. I think the OP is looking for an exception that says regrigerators do not require GFCI protection. Such an exception does not exist (at least I haven't found it).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Carrollton, Texas
    Posts
    106
    There are no exceptions for refrigerators. If receptacle is within 6 ft. of a sink, it needs to be GFCI.
    Drinking fountains now need to be GFCI protected.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East of 480sparky
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    1,121
    It says any recept within 6 ft of a sink has to be GFCI no matter what. The fridge ain't the problem, it's the sink and where you choose to put the fridge.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    21,838
    Actually, it ain't even where you put the 'fridge; the receptacle should already be GFCI (if it's in the 6' zone.)
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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