Outdoor Kitchen----Residential

lifefloat

Member
Location
Florida Keys
Quick question...........I have a client who recently has two freestanding islands built outside that contain outdoor rated appliances. All high end stuff. Smoker, BBQ, food warmer, hot plate, and refrigerators.

The location is outside with no roof covering and is about 20' from the swimming pool. From a safety and code standpoint I GFCI protected it all at the circuit breaker. It's not hard to picture wet bare feet using the equipment right?

Well, you know the issue. It's the refrigeration. It is nuisance tripping the GFCI breaker(s). Any idea how to make it a safe code compliant installation?


The easy fix is to dedicate the refrigeration on non-GFCI circuit but once again....wet feet.....outside........just seems like a bad idea.


Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

RICK NAPIER

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
It would need to be GFCI protected.
210.8 (A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A)(1) through (10) shall have ground-fault
circuitinterrupter protection for personnel.


(3) Outdoors
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
I suggest that you not consider this 'nuisance tripping', for the following reason.

Nuisance tripping is often taken to mean 'the circuit breaker tripping when there isn't actually a fault'. In your case there is almost certainly _real_ leakage of current from the intended conductors to ground. In other words, the breaker is tripping on a real (if minor) fault.

5 mA of current leaking to a good EGC is not really a problem. 5mA of current leaking through a kid is a big problem. The GFCI has no way of knowing where the current is going, and with modern electrical insulation there shouldn't be 5mA of current leaking in any case. IMHO 5mA of current leaking in a residential appliance means the appliance is broken.

You say GFCI breakers. Are there multiple appliances on a single breaker? If so, then you might consider putting only a single appliance on each GFCI device.

You should also determine if code _requires_ GFCI protection at this location. You imply that GFCI is optional but a good idea at this location. If the GFCI is required, then you have more ammunition to tell the appliance manufacturer to fix the problem.

-Jon
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
Try a GFCI receptacle with standard breaker; there may be a slightly higher threshold to trip. Rubber mat in front of the fridge for maximum safety, should the HO get tired of the trips and plug it into a non GFCI receptacle. Fridge shouldnt be tripping the breaker on ground fault tho.

eta: how many refrigerators? If they are both (or more) on the same circuit, then even 2-3mA leakage each would trip the breaker. and a receptacle would not care about any leakage upstream, say from a long wire run.
 
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mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Quick question...........I have a client who recently has two freestanding islands built outside that contain outdoor rated appliances. All high end stuff. Smoker, BBQ, food warmer, hot plate, and refrigerators.

The location is outside with no roof covering and is about 20' from the swimming pool. From a safety and code standpoint I GFCI protected it all at the circuit breaker. It's not hard to picture wet bare feet using the equipment right?

Well, you know the issue. It's the refrigeration. It is nuisance tripping the GFCI breaker(s). Any idea how to make it a safe code compliant installation?


The easy fix is to dedicate the refrigeration on non-GFCI circuit but once again....wet feet.....outside........just seems like a bad idea.


Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I like the idea of using the GFCI breakers instead of receptacles. It protects that circuit as soon as it leaves the panel to start heading to the "area of wet feet" as you say. Very smart. You never know when kids will have supersoakers, splashing, etc. To only protect from the receptacle out is a greater risk.

Up here 100 miles north of you we almost always include a small commercial ice machine too. Your customer might like the suggestion. It's a tremendous asset during a party.

I agree with others. Look to the equipment for the problem. Tell the supplier it won't work on GFCI and since it's outdoor rated, it must be on GFCI per code. If they sell it as outdoor equipment for installation under the NEC they have to make it work. Put the burden on them to make it work.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I like the idea of using the GFCI breakers instead of receptacles.
I do not, to me that is likely to add to tripping. Ideally I will place a GFCI device at each point of use and not connect to the load side of them.

This makes reseting easier, troubleshooting easier and less likely to have tripping due to multiple appliances.


There is no reason why a person should be coming in contact with the branch circuit conductors. :)
 

junkhound

Senior Member
Location
Renton, WA
location is outside with no roof covering

So, am wondering what type boxes you are using in those locations ? O
One of those huge plastic kludge boxes sure would look great on an up scale outdoor kitchen counter ?:lol:


And the fridge outlet of course is WR/TR/in a WR box?

just curious.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
I do not, to me that is likely to add to tripping. Ideally I will place a GFCI device at each point of use and not connect to the load side of them.

This makes reseting easier, troubleshooting easier and less likely to have tripping due to multiple appliances.


There is no reason why a person should be coming in contact with the branch circuit conductors. :)
I'm with you all the way on that. In a perfect world it holds true and for the hair dryer in the residential restroom it's not an issue.

But imagine a garden hose outside and a broken coverplate, kids playing and a coverplate breaks, etc.
I've never had to deal with nuisance tripping but then again I'm not an EC. You need to build it so you don't get go-backs. I respect that.

location is outside with no roof covering

So, am wondering what type boxes you are using in those locations ? O
One of those huge plastic kludge boxes sure would look great on an up scale outdoor kitchen counter ?:lol:


And the fridge outlet of course is WR/TR/in a WR box?

just curious.
We are on the 2011 NEC here. The in-use cover is not required yet but many people use them anyway.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
We are on the 2011 NEC here. The in-use cover is not required yet but many people use them anyway.
In-use covers are required in the 2011 NEC, see 406.9(B) and along with that the device would have to be Weather-Resistant, see 406.9(A) and (B)

Roger
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I don't see there being any way out of the requirements for GFCI on the refrigeration in this "kitchen", and if there is a sink in this "outdoor kitchen", then there is no way to avoid AFCI under the 2014 NEC (however your profile says you are under the 2011).

Bottom line, to me, is that the REQUIRED safety devices operating as they are required to operate, creates a lifestyle / health / safety problem with the contents of the refrigerator.

The only solution is layering on more safety device(s) to protect ourselves from the required operation of the first safety devices.

Consider something like the Internet of Things enabled power loss notifier. I did a quick Google search and this is the first thing that showed in the category: The iSocket 3g.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
Does the GFI hold when the fridge is not plugged in?
Does it hold with some other load plugged in? But not the fridge.
Can you move the fridge to another GFI and try it there?
Does it trip?
If answer is yes to these questions you have a fridge problem.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
I do not, to me that is likely to add to tripping. Ideally I will place a GFCI device at each point of use and not connect to the load side of them.

This makes reseting easier, troubleshooting easier and less likely to have tripping due to multiple appliances.


There is no reason why a person should be coming in contact with the branch circuit conductors. :)
+1
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
imho, gfi breaker is fine for this application, for every BC that feeds the kitchen. is the fridge actually faulting for some reason, place a amp meter between fridge egc and the BC egc (or clamp it in mA scale inrush mode), are you seeing any fault current w/ and w/o compressor running? is it intermittent ? does gfi trip when fridge compressor goes from on to off state? what model fridge is it?
 
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mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
In-use covers are required in the 2011 NEC, see 406.9(B) and along with that the device would have to be Weather-Resistant, see 406.9(A) and (B)

Roger
Thank you Roger. There's something about outdoor receptacles that we don't have to do which the rest of the country does, and it escapes me right now. I thought it was the cover. Must be something else...
Self-testing maybe? Was that new for '14?
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Self-testing maybe? Was that new for '14?
No, that's been in place for awhile too. Maybe the weather-resistant listing?

Anyways, the OP should tell the client to do away with the refrigerators and buy Yeti's if they really want to impress somebody. ;)


Roger
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
No, that's been in place for awhile too. Maybe the weather-resistant listing?

Anyways, the OP should tell the client to do away with the refrigerators and buy Yeti's if they really want to impress somebody. ;)


Roger
It may be the WR rating. I know they look at me funny when I walk in a supply house around here and buy devices for the '14 code.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
*sarcasm on*
If the manufacturer of a piece of 120V equipment cannot figure out how to design their leakage below 4ma, they can just make it a 240V appliance with the only thing on the other hot being a compensating deliberate leakage to ground.
The GFCI will then be happy.
*sarcasm off*
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
Quick question...........I have a client who recently has two freestanding islands built outside that contain outdoor rated appliances. All high end stuff. Smoker, BBQ, food warmer, hot plate, and refrigerators.

The location is outside with no roof covering and is about 20' from the swimming pool. From a safety and code standpoint I GFCI protected it all at the circuit breaker. It's not hard to picture wet bare feet using the equipment right?

Well, you know the issue. It's the refrigeration. It is nuisance tripping the GFCI breaker(s). Any idea how to make it a safe code compliant installation?


The easy fix is to dedicate the refrigeration on non-GFCI circuit but once again....wet feet.....outside........just seems like a bad idea.


Any suggestions would be appreciated.

OK you have an outdoor kitchen and you suspect that the refrigerators are tripping your GFCI breaker.

Have you done anything to prove this ? Have you done any thoubleshooting on this problem?

The circuit to the refrigerator, is it run in PVC conduit or UF cable? How often does the breaker trip?
 

lifefloat

Member
Location
Florida Keys
It would need to be GFCI protected.
210.8 (A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A)(1) through (10) shall have ground-fault
circuitinterrupter protection for personnel.


(3) Outdoors
Agree.......this is why I GFCI protected it all.
 
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