We have exterior receptacles installed on front and back of the house. Our
city code adopts NEC 2002. We do and waterproof cover on the receptacles but
not GFCI protection. Does the weather cover alone satisfies the code, or we
need both cover and GFCI?
Is there a GFCI upstream? Standard electrical outlets can be protected
from a GFCI outlet if connected to the "LOAD" connection on the back of
It may be that your outlets are connected to a GFCI breaker. You could
buy an inexpensive outlet tester which also has a GFCI checker. All
you'd have to do is plug it into the outlet in question and press the
button on the tester.
If the outlet in question is connected through a GFCI, the outlet will
lose power as the GFCI upstream trips. Now you get to find the GFCI that
I used this method to check the standard outlets outside the older house
I bought. I found one of them wasn't on a GFCI, so I changed it out for
a GFCI outlet.
1. The home is a new contruction.
2. There is no GFCI breaker upstream.
The contractor told us when the cover is there GFCI is not required for
outdoor outlets. We are trying to find what he said is true.
_firstname pretty much nailed it. Call your building dept to find what
the rule is in your area. As _first said, however - it's possible the
contractor is right. But HIGHLY doubtful.
If it does turn out he's right, then put a GFI in on your own anyway.
They are around $5.
A GFCI protected circuit is required anywhere water is routinely or has a
high probability of being present. This would most certainly include the
GFCI is required:
Kitchens ( a minimum of 2 circuits for counter top )
Crawl-space service receptical
Laundry room (including the dedicated washer circuit)
You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
Very true, I think the wording is any outside receptacles. No
mentioning whether they are covered or not.
Now this is scary, if the builder/electrician couldn't read that
simple passage and figure the gfci protection was needed, what else
did he miss?
I would get a real house inpection while it's all under warrenty.
Might cost you a full day price for the person to pull outlets and
check breakers, pipping, insulaiton, etc.... but the cost is minimal
if something else is seriously wrong. Example, 300-500 buck inpection
cheaper than a million dollar lawsuit for electricuting someone.
tom @ www.ChopURL.com
Oh yeah, scarey thing is I think you are right. I'm sure your
insurance company can/will have some clause stating that they would
never insure an illegally wired residence, and you never mentioned it
on your application; so you(the homeowner) or another, committed
fraud. Washing them of any legal/policy responsiblity.
Not a problem, I've heard people with no coverage and high lawsuit
judgements against only have to give up 10% max of their gross income
for life till it's paid off. What's 10% after they take away all your
personal property first? :-P
Don't ask a bunch of random people here on the newsgroup. Ask your
local building department. Find them in the phone book, and give them
a call. I have always found that they are super-friendly if you
approach them with polite questions. Just because you call and ask,
they won't come around and get you in massive trouble.
Also, why are you asking about the NEC 2002? Do you indeed know that
this is the electrical code in effect at the relevant time (usually,
when the house was built, more accurately, when the building permit
was issued, although some remodels can trigger code upgrades)? For
example, when we built our house in 1998, our county was still using
the 1993 NEC, even though the 1996 NEC was already issued.
Furthermore, some localities (in particular the big ones: NY, Chicago,
LA) use their own electrical codes, or modified versions of the NEC.
Even in small localities, the NEC can be modified when it is adopted
as the local code. Or there is a local rule that certain parts of the
NEC are deliberately not enforced. Example: When we built, the rule
that exterior 110V outlets have to have covers that are weatherproof
when in use was already in the NEC, but the county handed out a
photocopy with each building permit, telling people to not bother,
because they are deliberately not enforcing that rule (and since they
were $15 a piece back then, and ugly to boot, I didn't install them,
except where the Christmas lights plug in).
Now, to really answer your question: Exterior outlets have to be GFCI
protected per NEC, and that rule has been effect for a heck of a long
time (at least mid- or late-80s). So I would bet a few beers that
your contractor is "misinformed", to put it very very mildly. But it
is theoretically possible that he's right.
The address in the header is invalid for obvious reasons. Please
reconstruct the address from the information below (look for _).
Is he/are you sure there isn't GFCI protection from an upstream outlet? Often,
a garage outlet or a circuit breaker is the GFCI device, and then it feeds
normal-looking outlets which are indeed GFCI protected.
The code does not require that the actual GFCI device be outside, only that the
outdoor outlet be protected by a GFCI.
Usually grandfather laws apply. If the outlets were installed before GFCI
protection was the law, you probably will comply, however replacing the
receptacles with GFCI type is relatively inexpensive and gives you a greater
degree of safety
The only code that is relevant is the code when the home was built. Not what
may have been just adopted.
No the covers do not meet the requirement of a GFCI.
GFCI's have been required for some time for residences in certain places. I
was installing GFCI's for bathrooms, garages and outside recpts, in the
1970's. (code then here)
If you home was built in the 1970's you may already have them installed as a
breaker instead of a outlet which is the way it is done now.
Replacing the non GFCI protected outlets is easy and fairly inexpensive. You
will need an gfci outlet and new w/p cover. Sorry the way the gfci's are
made is different so your going to need an new cover.
Under the 2002 NEC both an in use cover and GFCI protection are
required. An in use cover is rain tight even with a cord plugged into
it. The GFCI protection can be provided by a GFCI breaker or a feed
through GFCI receptacle located elsewhere as well as by a GFCI
receptacle as the outlet in question.
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