GFCI in concessions outbuilding w/o sink? - 210.8(B)(8)

malachi constant

Senior Member
Location
Minneapolis
Hi all,

New concessions/storage shed. Does this require GFCI outlets? Does not contain a sink so by code is not considered a kitchen. (Just has hot dog warmer, microwave, etc). 210.8(B)(8) notes GFCI protection of outlets is required in garages, ACCESSORY BUILDINGS (emphasis mine), service bays, and similar areas other than vehicle exhibition halls and showrooms. "Accessory buildings" is new language added to the 2020 code. Does this refer to ALL kinds of accessory buildings, or just those associated with vehicles? I assume the intent is for vehicles, but it is not clearly written this way. Anyone know?

For the storage side of the building we will put outlets. (FWIW the storage and concessions areas are each about 130 SF - small.)
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Opinions will vary if enough folks answer
Since we are playing "definitions".. "Building. A structure that stands alone or that is separated from adjoining structures by fire walls. "
So, if there is another structure on the property it would seem this would be an accessory building.

If someone is hurt and you ended up in court the argument against GFCI might not go well.
 

malachi constant

Senior Member
Location
Minneapolis
To clarify my question, this subparagraph previously read "garages, service bays, and similar areas other than vehicle exhibition halls and showrooms". This CLEARLY was a subparagraph explicitly linked to vehicular spaces and only vehicular spaces.

Now they have inserted the term "accessory buildings", which I at first assumed meant accessory buildings related to vehicles. Like a storage building that wasn't technically a garage and wasn't technically a service bay but that a snowplow or truck or something got parked it in occasionally. To put it another way, I assumed "accessory buildings" meant "accessory buildings with function similar to garages or service bays".

However one can certainly read the language to mean any and all accessory buildings require GFCI protection (unless the accessory building is a vehicle exhibition hall or any kind of showroom, which would be a weird accessory building...and an even weirder exemption).

We have a press box above the concessions and storage. Under the "all accessory buildings" interpretation I assume all outlets in the second story press box need GFCI protection. Seems excessive. But no big deal, we are only talking about 30 or so outlets, and it has not been bid or built yet, so we will be conservative and assume GFCI protection for all outlets.

Poorly worded change code IMO. They inadvertently changed a very specific "any place with a car" subparagraph with "any place with a car (except vehicle exhibition halls), or any outbuilding (except vehicle exhibition halls)" subparagraph. If they wanted all outbuildings they should have created a separate subparagraph to avoid mixing these two spaces (with exemption probably only intended for one) together.
 

jap

Senior Member
To clarify my question, this subparagraph previously read "garages, service bays, and similar areas other than vehicle exhibition halls and showrooms". This CLEARLY was a subparagraph explicitly linked to vehicular spaces and only vehicular spaces.

Now they have inserted the term "accessory buildings", which I at first assumed meant accessory buildings related to vehicles. Like a storage building that wasn't technically a garage and wasn't technically a service bay but that a snowplow or truck or something got parked it in occasionally. To put it another way, I assumed "accessory buildings" meant "accessory buildings with function similar to garages or service bays".

However one can certainly read the language to mean any and all accessory buildings require GFCI protection (unless the accessory building is a vehicle exhibition hall or any kind of showroom, which would be a weird accessory building...and an even weirder exemption).

We have a press box above the concessions and storage. Under the "all accessory buildings" interpretation I assume all outlets in the second story press box need GFCI protection. Seems excessive. But no big deal, we are only talking about 30 or so outlets, and it has not been bid or built yet, so we will be conservative and assume GFCI protection for all outlets.

Poorly worded change code IMO. They inadvertently changed a very specific "any place with a car" subparagraph with "any place with a car (except vehicle exhibition halls), or any outbuilding (except vehicle exhibition halls)" subparagraph. If they wanted all outbuildings they should have created a separate subparagraph to avoid mixing these two spaces (with exemption probably only intended for one) together.

I've already put in 30 GFI receptacles while reading this. :)

JAP>
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
The high school my kids attended had a structure exactly like you describe - concession stand below a press box

The concession area had a concrete floor that was wet from leaking coolers and was normally manned by barefooted high school girls. GFCI is warranted regardless of code.
 

malachi constant

Senior Member
Location
Minneapolis
The high school my kids attended had a structure exactly like you describe - concession stand below a press box

The concession area had a concrete floor that was wet from leaking coolers and was normally manned by barefooted high school girls. GFCI is warranted regardless of code.
Agree with this (and all the comments). It's pretty dumb to argue about GFCI in a concession stand.

But it is useful to know the consensus interpretation of this code. GFCIs have known nuisance trip issues in some applications. I get at least one call every year from an architect or owner who has tried EVERYTHING to keep a new microwave (or fridge, or cooler, or wash fountain) from tripping a new GFCI receptacle. Then you get the equipment manufacturer involved, who never admits fault. If it's a microwave you switch it with another microwave and see if the issue follows it (or if the replacement microwave still trips the breaker) - but some equipment isn't as easily switched out. Then you try a GFCI breaker instead. Then pull new wiring. Then the Owner wants to swap out the outlet with a standard one, and you have to find a nice way to say that's illegal, but who am I to try and stop you ha ha, but seriously it's illegal.

So it is not a purely intellectual argument. I need to know what is bare minimum code required vs best practices to help solve painful issues like this. I've had one inspector say about a kitchen, "you know, this part of the kitchen is just serving and reheating...that's not really "food prep"...let's just get rid of that GFCI requirement over here." I don't really agree with that interpretation in that instance, but it's nice to have ideas like that in my back pocket. The less sketchy the ideas are the better of course.

For this code, I get the feeling "any place with a car (except vehicle exhibition halls), or any outbuilding (except vehicle exhibition halls)" is the consensus view of how we are interpreting it. Good to know.
 
Last edited:

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I think we need to stop talking about "accessory buildings." It is not relevant to the installation under discussion. I believe you might need GFCI in the concession area, but you won't in the press box. It's all about "kitchen." You say there is no sink. But I think zbang is right in that the workers will need a place to wash their hands. With the 2020 change in wording, if a person takes a hot dog out of a warmer and puts into a bun, that is "food preparation." If there is a hand-washing sink, you now have a kitchen.
 

jap

Senior Member
I would say that all depends on the type of structure the press box is.

Without seeing the drawings of the press box, If the press box is a flip lid type box like the old fire cracker stands, I'd be inclined to believe that GFCI protection would still be required.

JAP>
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
I would say that all depends on the type of structure the press box is.

Without seeing the drawings of the press box, If the press box is a flip lid type box like the old fire cracker stands, I'd be inclined to believe that GFCI protection would still be required.

JAP>
I believe the press box is the second story above the concession stand.

If so, GFCI would not be required.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Problem is it is hard to write rules that cover everything then you still end up with things that were overlooked that weren't intended to be covered by the rule.

Accessory building? Maybe they defined it now, didn't check it out, but can still see it leaving a lot of confusion in some cases, because so many things can be an accessory building that otherwise have a different definition if the same thing were simply one room in another structure.

Take "bunkhouse". It is basically a stand alone bedroom. If it were in a dwelling unit it would need AFCI protection on all the 120 volt circuits as a general rule, not too likely to require GFCI unless there would be a sink or for any exterior receptacles. Now make it a separate structure and it likely requires GFCI for all receptacles, but AFCI probably is not required - but from day 1 of AFCI requirements they pretty much wanted it in sleeping rooms.

That said they keep getting closer to having GFCI protection required for nearly everything and don't seem to care if wording is vague enough to leave confusion for things that maybe weren't originally considered when making or changing a rule.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jap

GFCI GUY

Member
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Rather be safe than sorry. Someone gets zapped and you don't have GFCI protection, potential lawsuit. If it's considered kitchen equipment or food prep area, GFCI protection would be appropriate regardless of 2017 & 2020 code (210.8(B)). What's your equipment rated for?
 

jap

Senior Member
Rather be safe than sorry. Someone gets zapped and you don't have GFCI protection, potential la
If an inspector took that approach with his decision making process without something to back it up we'd have serious issues.

As K-wired mentioned, as of now, things are simply too confusing.

The trend towards total GFI and AFCI protection may clear all this up like it or not.

JAP>
 
Top