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    Gfi question

    I have a customer that runs a large (135 room) assisted living apartment building that was built in 2011. Each room has a kitchen area with one gfi circuit. The problem that they are having is that the fridge is coming off the load side of the gfi and they are constantly getting tripped either by being bumped by the tenants or just plain ol tripping and then losing all their food. I wanted to know if the fridge is required to be on the load side and if someone could provide a code reference that could help me make sense of this. There are no other loads after the fridge, thats where the circuit ends. Some of the fridge outlets are within 6' of the edge of the sink so I don't know if thats an issue. Thanks

    #2
    I don't know if there was a plan that required this or not however, IMO the refrigerator is not required to be on a gfci unless the receptacle is on the counter space. If it is behind the refrigerator then it is not req.

    The engineer for the plans may have required this so taking it off the gfci may be an issue. In reality there is no reason the refrigerator should be tripping the gfci's. All commercial kitchen have gfci for their refrigerators.

    If there are no provisions for cooking then this would not fit under a dwelling and a gfci is required-- 210.8(B)
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky

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      #3
      Gfi questions

      Thanks for the response. I don't think the gfi's are tripping so much as they are being accidentally tripped by tenants and stafff. I don't believe any of the rooms are set up as full kitchen(no cooking appliances other than a microwave)just a sink and fridge. Im going to have to do some digging around with this one I'm afraid.

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        #4
        Certainly not a kitchen without permanant cooking appliances, most likely why only one circuit is installed. GFC protection required within 6" of sink Non dwelling unit. 210.8(B)(5)
        CircuitRyder --- Unfortunately not all good ideas are code enforceable.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
          I don't know if there was a plan that required this or not however, IMO the refrigerator is not required to be on a gfci unless the receptacle is on the counter space. If it is behind the refrigerator then it is not req.

          The engineer for the plans may have required this so taking it off the gfci may be an issue. In reality there is no reason the refrigerator should be tripping the gfci's. All commercial kitchen have gfci for their refrigerators.

          If there are no provisions for cooking then this would not fit under a dwelling and a gfci is required-- 210.8(B)
          I didn't realize this section was so badly written. I can't tell you how many microwaves, garbage disposals, and refrigerators I have installed in their own dedicated cubby in commercial break rooms without a GFI. I always followed the (obviously wrong) rule that if it was a single receptacle to a dedicated piece of equipment it didn't need to be GFI protected.


          I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

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            #6
            Which edition of NEC applied at time of installation, and do these "apartments" meet the NEC definition of dwelling unit?
            I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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              #7
              Gfi questions

              I believe the building was built in the 2011 code cycle and I dont know if it falls under a "dwelling" or not. You'd think if it did fall in to that category, then the gfi wouldn't be required for the fridge. I think this might be one that I leave alon, otherwise I might end up in hot water. Thanks again for all the info, I am a new member and was worried that I wouldn't get a reaponse.

              Comment


                #8
                no kitchen - not dwelling
                CircuitRyder --- Unfortunately not all good ideas are code enforceable.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Innovative1 View Post
                  I believe the building was built in the 2011 code cycle and I dont know if it falls under a "dwelling" or not. You'd think if it did fall in to that category, then the gfi wouldn't be required for the fridge. I think this might be one that I leave alon, otherwise I might end up in hot water. Thanks again for all the info, I am a new member and was worried that I wouldn't get a reaponse.
                  But the other thing that throws a wrench in the gears is if it is a dwelling unit - it must have at least two small appliance branch circuits, and there must also be at least two SABC circuits supplying countertop receptacles. This means if it is a dwelling there will be at least two required GFCI's for the kitchen - you said there is only one.

                  Otherwise you are correct, before 2014 the refrigerator receptacle in a dwelling would not have been required to have GFCI protection as long as it did not also serve a counterspace. But 2014 or even if not a dwelling but under 2011 it would need to be GFCI protected if within six feet of a sink. And it likely can not have the GFCI itself behind the fridge in any occupancy as it would be deemed by most to not be readily accessible. (think that came with 2008 NEC).
                  I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Assuming staff visit each room daily, a GFCI with an audible alarm might be a solution.

                    http://www.legrand.us/categories/ele...ble-alarm.aspx

                    It's likely that the residents would not be able to hear the alarm.

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