Sump pumps -- GFCI required?

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Doug Miller wrote:

Then it is not UL listed - it was designed and tested on a 20A ckt.

I would replace the GFCI with a single (not duplex) 15A receptacle. If at some point in the future (like a home inspection) this is flagged it is not that hard to reinstall a GFCI.
I would call 7 1/2 feet high not "readily accessible". If it was installed before the 2008 NEC and is a single receptacle it should be compliant now. (And who is to say if a single receptacle is not what was installed.)
Or if you are having any electrical work inspected, ask the inspector if they would theoretically approve a single receptacle in that case. If they would, have it inspected. An inspector has discretion to modify what is required, and this is a reasonable modification. If passed, it IMHO is compliant in the future.
--
bud--

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bud-- wrote:

I am having a little trouble figuring out the "single (not duplex) 15A receptacle" option.
When I do a search for single 15-amp receptacles, all I see are receptacles that have differently-shaped holes for the plug to go into -- there is a ground hole and then 2 flat slots that are in the same line, not parallel with each other. So, I would need a different style plug than the standard one that is now on the sump pump.
Meanwhile, I can find a single 20-amp receptacle that has a slightly different configuration than a standard 15-amp plug, but it looks like a standard plug could go into it (I don't know if that's true). But, then I would have a receptacle that looks like it is for a 20-amp circuit, but the existing sump pump circuit is on a 15-amp circuit breaker. I would have to go to the property and check, but I suspect that since it is a dedicated 15-amp circuit that is only for, and only connected to, the sump pump, it probably is wired with 14/2 wire not 12/2 wire.
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If the area is an unfinished area/workshop, then the exception to the rule would seem to apply, if I read earlier posts correctly.
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*I had the same problem several months ago trying to find a 15 amp, 120 volt single receptacle. My usual supply house doesn't stock them anymore and apparently Home Depot does not or was out of stock at the time. I wound up going to another supply house that had them. They are available, but you may have to look more. The fifteen amp that you found is for 220 volts and you should not put a 20 amp single there.
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On Fri, 18 Dec 2009 08:05:31 -0500, "John Grabowski"

Don't overlook the idea of installing a GFCI breaker back at the box.
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John Grabowski wrote:

Thanks. I'll keep looking around.

Oops.
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So what? It's not a Code violation to plug unlisted equipment into a receptacle.

So would the Code -- the definition of "readily accessible" includes not needing portable ladders to reach it.
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Doug Miller wrote:

>>

You usually have good advice. This one isn't.
The pump, float switch or line cords designed for 20A may not fail safely when operated on a 30A circuit. In addition to higher current the trip time can be longer. I would particularly wonder about the line cords.
A smart person uses UL listed equipment.
--
bud--

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I've got news for you: the line cord on a sump pump isn't "designed for 20A". Go have a look at one. Tell me what gauge the conductors are.
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Doug Miller wrote:

>
The line cords are designed to be safe to operate on a 20A ckt. That means, for instance, that the conductors will survive the available fault current for the time until a 20A breaker/fuse will open. That is why you can have 18ga extension cords on a 20A ckt. I wouldn't bet that is true on a 30A breaker, which may have a higher fault current or will take a lot longer to trip at the same fault current.
A smart person uses UL listed equipment.
--
bud--



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Go have a look at the line cord on a sump pump. Tell me what gauge the conductors are.
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On Sat, 19 Dec 2009 16:29:38 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Then look at 240.5(B)(2)
(2) Fixture Wire. Fixture wire shall be permitted to be tapped to the branch-circuit conductor of a branch circuit in accordance with the following: (1)     20-ampere circuits 18 AWG, up to 15 m (50 ft) of run length (2)     20-ampere circuits 16 AWG, up to 30 m (100 ft) of run length (3)     20-ampere circuits 14 AWG and larger (4)     30-ampere circuits 14 AWG and larger
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Does not apply. We're talking about a cord-and-plug connection. A line cord is *not* "fixture wire".
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On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 01:37:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Same chart applies
240.5 Protection of Flexible Cords, Flexible Cables, and Fixture Wires. Flexible cord and flexible cable, including tinsel cord and extension cords, and fixture wires shall be protected against overcurrent by either 240.5(A) or (B). (B) Branch-Circuit Overcurrent Device. Flexible cord shall be protected, where supplied by a branch circuit, in accordance with one of the methods described in 240.5(B)(1), (B)(3), or (B)(4). Fixture wire shall be protected, where supplied by a branch circuit, in accordance with 240.5(B)(2).
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You're obviously another one of those misguided souls who believes that breakers are there to protect the stuff that's plugged in to the receptacles.
Repeat after me: Breakers are there to protect the branch circuit wiring. Breakers are there to protect the branch circuit wiring. Breakers are there to protect the branch circuit wiring. Breakers are there to protect the branch circuit wiring.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Hummm, is that true of GFCI and arc fault breakers too? I be scared 'O lectwisity. Dat's why I don't be messin wit nuttin over 13.8kv.
TDD
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Doug Miller wrote:

That ignores what I wrote.
Using time-trip curves for SquareD, and based on over 1500 field measurements made by UL, a short circuit at the end of a 6' #18 line cord plugged into a branch circuit is very likely to trip a 15 or 20A breaker on "instantaneous". In all cases the breaker would trip in 3 seconds and in that case the fault current was 80A.
In fact, breakers do provide significant protection for "the stuff that is plugged in to the receptacles". Why do you think the NEC has the tap rules that were provided by gfretwell?
And GFCIs and AFCIs increase the protection for "the stuff that is plugged in to the receptacles".
David Dini from UL has written "The branch circuit overcurrent protective device (OCPD), (i.e. a fuse or circuit breaker), is specifically designed to protect electrical circuits, including the branch circuit conductors and flexible cords, against the unwanted effects of overcurrents."
------------ Regarding your kludge of the sump pump on a 30A circuit - if the pump was UL labeled (highly likely) it is a code violation under 110.3-B. Your point of a 30A circuit was to avoid a code violation.
--
bud--

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wrote:

To be technically correct, he may then have to install additional outlets, as per habitable rooms rules

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Not in Oregon. There are local amendments to this rule and a GFCI is not required on a sump pump (in Oregon).
Check with your local electrical inspector.
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To the O/P
does the pump trip the GFI whenever the pump is underwater, or only during the on/off surge?
If it trips whenever the pump is underwater, then you may want to investigate the source of the leakage. And don't put your hand in the water when the pump is plugged in.
Mark
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