Jump to content

Garage Door Openers On GFCI Protected Circuits?


dtontarski
 Share

Recommended Posts

Is their a general consensus on whether the garage door opener should be on a GFCI protected circuit or not? I've read reasons for and against this, but I'm looking for the opinions of some of the more experienced inspectors that contribute to this forum on how they feel about this topic and what they recommend. Thanks!

Dave Tontarski

The Finger Lakes Region NYS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there happens to be a GFCI on the garage circuit then there is surely a chance it could trip and prevent the functioning of the door. I think it is worth explaining this to the client. Given this possibility, I think its is also important to inspect and explain to the client the functioning of the emergency mechanical release mechanism of the opener. Make sure it releases easily. Make sure when it does release the door can be manually lifted with out too much effort. The tension springs might need to be adjusted to allow the door to be easily lifted. Especially with heavier older wood doors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

The codes state that there is supposed to be a receptacle within reach of the opener's cord, don't they? GFCI's are not required where the receptacle is not readily accessible. I've never seen an opener's receptacle mounted where it is readily accessible. Unless they are using an extension cord, which is wrong, to power the receptacle, there's no reason why any competent and reasonable electrician would put GFCI protection on the opener circuit because a) it will be very difficult for the homeowner to reset the GFCI whenever it trips b) the tendency for the things to nuisance trip.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike -

There is a receptacle outlet in the ceiling for the opener. This is on the same circuit as the garage wall and the exterior receptacle outlets. This circuit is protected by a GFCI receptacle outlet next to the service panel in the basement. Are there safety issues as well as convenience and nuisance tripping issues?

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

No, I don't see a safety issue. It would only constitute a safety issue if the door wasn't properly balanced, there was no emergency release handle, or it was installed too high, and/or the release was installed incorrectly or didn't function as it should.

If the door traps someone, one must be able to reach and pull the emergency release handle and be able to lift the door.

None of those would be the fault of the GFCI and it would come back to haunt the door installer.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by dtontarski

Is their a general consensus on whether the garage door opener should be on a GFCI protected circuit or not?

210.8 requires all receptacles in garages to be GFCI protected *except* those that are not readily accessible and those that serve not-easily-moved appliances that are located within a dedicated space. If you have to use a ladder to reach it, a receptacle is not readily accessible.

So, if the GDO is plugged into a receptacle on the ceiling, the NEC doesn't require GFCI protection. Of course, it doesn't prohibit it either.

I've read reasons for and against this, but I'm looking for the opinions of some of the more experienced inspectors that contribute to this forum on how they feel about this topic and what they recommend. Thanks!

Dave Tontarski

The Finger Lakes Region NYS

The issue is about to become moot. In the 2008 NEC, the two exceptions will go away. All receptacles in garages, regardless of their location or what appliances are plugged into them, will have to be GFCI-protected.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by hausdok

No, in order for the feed circuit to be protected, the GFCI would need to be at the panel.

OT - OF!!!

M.

the way I understand it, anything fed through the GFCI, is protected, meaning it could trip, anywhere on the line even passed the GFCI, and the GFCI will break the circuit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jim Katen

In the 2008 NEC, the two exceptions will go away. All receptacles in garages, regardless of their location or what appliances are plugged into them, will have to be GFCI-protected.

It isn't quite as common as it once was here, but I still see deep freezes in garages now and then. Surely the NEC knows perfectly well that this is one of the more likely "not-easily-moved" appliances, but they're changing it anyway? I'd say that position, under those circumstances, is exactly the reverse of their rules regarding GFCI's and refrigerators in kitchens. I won't be advising my clients to plug their freezers in GFCI protected circuits, no matter what the NEC says. Dumb.

Brian G.

Sometimes I Wonder Where the Common Sense Goes [:-boggled

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by StevenT

Anything that is downline, being fed from from the GFI will shut down if the GFI is tripped. (if it is wired properly).

Ok got it. Now to expand.

Suppose there is a GFCI receptacle on the garage wall. This GFCI receptacle feeds a non-GFCI on the ceiling that is used to plug in the door opener.

Isn't it possible to wire it up so that even when the GFCI is tripped the power still gets fed to the ceiling receptacle powering the door opener?

If I'm correct my point would be this. As far as how its wired, it may not always be a matter right or wrong. It may be a matter of preference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John writes: Isn't it possible to wire it up so that even when the GFCI is tripped the power still gets fed to the ceiling receptacle powering the door opener?

Sure, but the splice should be made in the line, rather than connecting two wires to one terminal of the receptacle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by ozofprev

John writes: Isn't it possible to wire it up so that even when the GFCI is tripped the power still gets fed to the ceiling receptacle powering the door opener?

Sure, but the splice should be made in the line, rather than connecting two wires to one terminal of the receptacle.

You can make the connections directly, but every GFCI receptacle I've seen has provisions for feed-through wiring with or without GFCI protection to the downstream wires.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Brian G.

Originally posted by Jim Katen

In the 2008 NEC, the two exceptions will go away. All receptacles in garages, regardless of their location or what appliances are plugged into them, will have to be GFCI-protected.

[navy]It isn't quite as common as it once was here, but I still see deep freezes in garages now and then. Surely the NEC knows perfectly well that this is one of the more likely "not-easily-moved" appliances, but they're changing it anyway?

Of course they know that. They're changing it quite deliberately. They want freezers in garages to be GFCI protected.

I'd say that position, under those circumstances, is exactly the reverse of their rules regarding GFCI's and refrigerators in kitchens.

There is no rule regarding GFCIs and refrigerators in kitchens. Outlets that serve countertop receptacles must have GFCI protection. If a fridge is plugged into a countertop receptacle, it must be GFCI protected.

I won't be advising my clients to plug their freezers in GFCI protected circuits, no matter what the NEC says. Dumb.

Why do you think it's dumb? Enumerate your reasons.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what I thought.

I just wanted to point out that it may appear as though the door opener could get interupted simply because its power source is a box which contains a GFCI outlet.

The fact is it could be intentially wired to allow the door opener to remain operable even in the event of the GFCI trip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jim Katen

Of course they know that. They're changing it quite deliberately. They want freezers in garages to be GFCI protected.

I can't tell if you're serious or this a dose of extra-dry Katen sarcasm. Judging by what you followed with, I'll assume the former until otherwise informed.

There is no rule regarding GFCIs and refrigerators in kitchens.

I thought the code specified that outlets used for refrigerators did not have to be GFCI protected. Maybe I misunderstood, or picked up a piece of HI folklore somewhere.

Outlets that serve countertop receptacles must have GFCI protection. If a fridge is plugged into a countertop receptacle, it must be GFCI protected.

Dumb. I wouldn't consider doing it. I'd install a single recepticle and leave the GFCI out of it.

Why do you think it's dumb? Enumerate your reasons.

I'll just enumerate the big obvious one. If a freezer or fridge is on a GFCI circuit and the device trips, everything inside could be lost (nobody home, nobody notices, etc., particularly on those freezers in the garages). Improved though they are, GFCI's still trip for no apparent reason at times.

Why in the world would you want a freezer or fridge on a GFCI circuit?

Brian G.

Gotta Watch Out for My Marie Callendar Dinners [:P]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...