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Thread: 422.52

  1. #1
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    422.52

    I was looking into Art 422.52 (drinking fountains protected by GFCI) and noticed in the IAEI Analyisis book that they say " Action by CMP-17 clearly indicates that this GFCI protection requirement does not apply to bottled water coolers, but only to those electrical drinking fountains that provide a refrigeration feature as part of the appliance."

    A couple things

    1. I could not find a definition for an electric drinking fountain in the 2008 Code.

    2. None of what seems to be an exception in the Analysis book appears to have made it into the 08 code book.

    3. Most of the bottled water coolers I have come across do have a refrigeration feature. The water gets cold some how so does this need GFCI protection?

    4. What about water filtration water coolers?


    Joe

  2. #2
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    I googled the term "electric drinking fountain" and the only things I saw were drinking fountains (not bottled water coolers). I think this term is one that doesn't need a definition, personally.
    Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City
    Inspector, Instructor

  3. #3
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    Its funny, reading the ROP this proposal was rejected by the panel because it didn't meet the style manual. One of the CMP members then wrote that the panel should accept it if it says: "Drinking fountains should be GFCI protected by code.” What a great bit of code that would have been!!!

    In all seriousness though, there was only one documented death from a drinking fountain, and that occured because the three wire cord cap had been defeated so it could be inserted into a two wire receptacle. I find it absurd that we pass proposals based on someone defeating a safety component of the equipment! If the person is willing to remove the grounding pin from the cord cap, wouldn't they also be willing to remove GFCI protection?
    Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City
    Inspector, Instructor

  4. #4
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    The typical water cooler is a portable device, where as a drinking fountain is a permanent appliance. Most of the "water coolers" that I have dealt with are all plastic, whereas the typical drinking fountain is metallic.

    Chris

  5. #5
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    Ryan

    I too read both proposal and comment on this I also referenced a couple of the code change books. The reason I was wondering about the definition is where do we draw the line? As stated above the IAEI book says bottled water coolers do not need the protection yet they have a refrigeration component to them and none of this is stated in the 2008 code.


    I don't think it is that bad of a rule but I think it needs some clarification.

    Joe

  6. #6
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    I agree Chris but what does portable or permanent have to do with it?

    Joe

  7. #7
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    From dictionary.com:
    drinking fountain
    –noun
    a water fountain that ejects a jet of water for drinking without a cup.

    I guess you could use a bottled water cooler without a cup, but I don't think that is its intended use. I would be comfortable using this definition for the purposes of enforcement.
    I think the only way the code would be better written in this regard is via a FPN or reference in Annex A that refers to a listing standard. I'm not certain, however, if coolers and fountains are listed under the standard.
    Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City
    Inspector, Instructor

  8. #8
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    A few things.

    1) electric drinking fountain

    2) bottled water coolers

    Distinctley diferent animals.

    For reasons stated above.
    However, I see no problem with them both on GFCI.

    Then again, one is hard plumbed, the other portable.
    How is one to know where the bottled water cooler is to be located?

    Mandate a GFCI cord on the "BWC". Keep it out of the code.

  9. #9
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    I don't see a bottled water dispenser as any different than a refrigerator with a water dispenser.

    A drinking fountain is different alltogether.
    There are two kinds of people - those smart enough to know they don’t know, and those dumb enough to insist they do.-----Margery Eagan

    Open shop since 1988

  10. #10
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    What are these "drinking fountains" that you speak of?

    We call them "bubblers" around here, believer it or not.

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