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SavvyCat 03-16-2009 09:55 AM

GFCI Outlets Outdoors/Garage
I was plugging in my bug zapper for the season and it occurred to me that the outdoor outlet was not GFCI. I'm assuming it should be and would like to replace it, but I wanted to make sure that's the right thing to do and if it's as simple as just buying a GFCI outlet.

Additionally, when the house was inspected (by a lazy old guy named "Junior" :mad:), he said he assumed there was a GFCI outlet in the garage even though the former owner had put a 6 outlet adapter over it. I got curious this weekend and took the adapter off, and there is none. Should there be there, too? It's dead center-vert and horz--of the wall that has the water heater on it.

There are GFCIs in both bathrooms and one in the kitchen for the outlet on one side of the sink, but not the other. What is the rule here? If someone could tell me every place that should have a GFCI, I'm happy to go around and correct it.


speedy petey 03-16-2009 11:58 AM

The "rule" is whatever it was when the house was built.

You can do whatever you want to upgrade to recent code requirements.

Here is a history. Click on the 2008 link for current requirements: GFCI Outlet Purpose and GFCI Location History

SavvyCat 03-16-2009 01:19 PM

That was a very interesting site. If I understood what I was reading, since the house was built in 1982 neither the garage nor outdoor outlets were to code unless someone "uncoded" them later. I suppose nothing could be harmed by making a few changes.


speedy petey 03-16-2009 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by SavvyCat (Post 28535)
I suppose nothing could be harmed by making a few changes.

You have only safety to gain by adding GFI protection. ;)

kok328 03-16-2009 06:55 PM

Before you go to the trouble of installing new outlets, check to see if these outlets are already GFI protected. Trip all the GFI's in the home and then test these outlets for power. It might be that these are regular oulets being GFI protected from one (or more) of the existing GFI's in the home. If you find you have no power then, reset the GFI's one by one and this will tell you where your protection is coming from. If you have power at the outlets in question with all GFI's tripped then, the outlets are not GFI protected and GFI's would be in order.

triple D 03-17-2009 10:33 PM

you can also go to any hardware store that sells electrical stuff and get a plug tester that has a gfi test button on it for around five bucks. You can plug it in anywhere and push the test button, if power stays on, it is not on a g.f.i. If you use these on an arc fault protected circuit, they will trip the breaker. Good luck....

SavvyCat 03-18-2009 09:23 AM

Good advice from both. I'll add it to the list (my list is getting kinda lengthy).

electrical contractor 05-03-2009 11:30 PM

A GFI tester shouldn't trip an arc fault breaker. Arc faults are sensative to power spikes and arcing voltage where a GFI measures the difference between the power going out and coming back to make sure there is no leakage to ground. The tester is the best option. Most houses from 82' had either a GFI breaker or a GFI in the garage that controlled both the garage and outdoor receptacles. If you test to find the first outlet in the sting and install a GFI there, your one GFI will protect all the outlets after it.

electrical contractor 05-04-2009 12:25 AM

you can find more info about this at Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter(s) GFCI (NEC Code - Tripping GFI - Installation)

triple D 05-04-2009 09:29 PM

welcome new guy or girl...
If you are on a arc fault protected circuit and you have any load running on that circuit (any) and you touch the ground and neutral together, it will trip the a.f.c.i. breaker. It just so happens that this is how a g.f.i. plug tester works. Try one out sometime, youll be re-setting the arc fault.

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