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Thread: GFCI requirements for water coolers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Irving, Texas, USA

    GFCI requirements for water coolers

    Can someone tell me if a GFCI is required for a portable water cooler? The OSHA standard 1910.305(j)(2)(IV) is vague and states a receptable installed in a wet or damp location shall be suitable for the location. the compliance officer will usually reference a NEC code (i believe 210) to back their citation. is there a NEC code pertaining to GFCI for water coolers? why wouldnt a GFCI be required for a water cooler?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Logan, Utah
    Welcome to the forum.

    The NEC does require GFCI protection of drinking fountains but not portable water coolers unless the receptacle is located in an area specified in 210.8. Here is what 422.52 says;

    422.52 Electric Drinking Fountains. Electric drinking fountains
    shall be protected with ground-fault circuit-interrupter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Bremerton, Washington
    There was little substantion when GFCI's were required for drinking fountains, which I belive was the 08 NEC.\
    A water cooler is not much different than a water heater, both have water in contact with heating elements.
    I don't see the danger for either.
    Moderator-Washington State
    Ancora Imparo

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