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GFCI Requirement


Steven Hockstein
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We are designing a pool house for a client and the exterior glass walls of the rooms facing the pool will slide open to create a continuous space between the exterior and interior. The walls are located under large covered porches.

Do the electric outlets in these rooms have to be GFCI protected?

These rooms are more than 20 feet from the pool so this is not an issue.

Is this a judgement call or covered somewhere in the NEC?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Originally posted by Steven Hockstein

We are designing a pool house for a client and the exterior glass walls of the rooms facing the pool will slide open to create a continuous space between the exterior and interior. The walls are located under large covered porches.

Do the electric outlets in these rooms have to be GFCI protected?

These rooms are more than 20 feet from the pool so this is not an issue.

Is this a judgement call or covered somewhere in the NEC?

Thanks in advance for any help.

I can't find anything in the NEC that would require them in that location. 210.8 certainly doesn't require it. If the structure is more than 20 feet from the pool, I suspect that the requirements in 680 don't apply at all. My understanding of pools is weak though. Ask Cramer or Hansen to be sure.

On the other hand, if you're the architect on this one, why not just go ahead and spec them? The cost is minimal and the present generation of GFCIs rarely nuisance trip.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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You are right, the cost is not a problem (there is no budget restriction). My instinct says that they should be GFCI protected. I just was not sure of the exact requirement and what is considered "Exterior" space in the NEC.

I was hoping that someone from areas where this situation is more common could tell me how the GFCI requirement is enforced.

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Originally posted by inspector57

Exterior outlets need to be GFCI protected. IRC E3802.3 Says ALL exterior outlets. I would think if it is EVER part of the exterior room, then it needs protection. There is no reason NOT to protect it, especially if it is near a pool area. This is cheap life insurance.

Jim

Well, except that Steven describes the outlets as being inside the rooms. 3802 doesn't say anything about requiring GFCIs in rooms that have exterior doors.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by inspector57

and the exterior glass walls of the rooms facing the pool will slide open to create a continuous space between the exterior and interior

From the description, the interior and exterior line is erased when the WALL is removed and it would then be an exterior room.

Um, no. Opening a door doesn't make an interior space into an exterior space.

My living room has large glass doors that I leave open throughout most of the summer. That doesn't make my living room an exterior space.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by inspector57

and the exterior glass walls of the rooms facing the pool will slide open to create a continuous space between the exterior and interior

From the description, the interior and exterior line is erased when the WALL is removed and it would then be an exterior room.

Um, no. Opening a door doesn't make an interior space into an exterior space.

My living room has large glass doors that I leave open throughout most of the summer. That doesn't make my living room an exterior space.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

You both debate this issue very well. Now I feel even more justified in my question.

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Originally posted by Steven Hockstein

. . . You both debate this issue very well. Now I feel even more justified in my question.

I suspect that the building's details make a big difference. If the building has a concrete floor that's continuous with the surrounding area and if the sliding walls are likely to be slid open in spring and left that way till fall, then I'd agree with Jim L -- it's an exterior room.

On the other hand, if the interior floor is wood or carpet and the walls are likely to be closed when the room isn't in use, then it's just a poolhouse with big doors.

Either way, it's cheap easy and safe to just install the GFCI protection and not have to worry about it anymore.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I'm not totally clear on the set-up and, therefore, the "requirements", and this may be over-simplifying it, but...I would ask myself; "Is anyone ever likely to come in contact with anything plugged into the various receptacles while still wet from the pool or even just wet feet from the yard?" I'm guessing the answer to that would be yes.

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Originally posted by AHI

Well, technically speaking, porches are considered exterior. So anything under them is also exterior, correct?

Either way, when considering the expense of the project at hand, why not just add the GFI protection anyway? How much more could it cost?

Ditto.. I would consider the porch to be exterior, so right there, it should be GFCI protected. Since these things only cost $7~$10, put 'em in.

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Originally posted by chicago

The very fact it is being debated says to er on the side of safety.

In three months it will be required anyway.

In Three months meaning the 2008 NEC? Are GFCI requirements changing too? I've heard some thngs about AFCI's being required in more places. I guess we'll all need to be up on he new stuff fairly quickly.

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