Covered Patio GFI requirement

lwimMarch 28, 2011

Two questions:

1) We're in the final stages of adding a large 15x32 covered patio attached to our house. We have two 20 Amp circuits, one serving 2 outlets and the other 3 outlets, all located in the ceiling, about 12 feet off the floor. Their purpose is to be used for electric heaters. Nothing else are on the circuits. Do these require GFI protection? My electrician says they don't because they're not in a reachable location. Is this correct?

2) We have another cicuit that serves three fans with lights, rope lights and 8 can lights. There are no outlets on this circuit. Does it require a GFI breaker since it's outside?



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Ron Natalie

1. If you're subject to the National Electrical Code he's wrong.
The code only permits the "not readily accessible" outdoor receptacles to be exempted from the requirement when they are to there to feed certain loads of which space heaters aren't one of them (the permitted rules are for snow melt/deice, and pipe/vessel heaters).

2. Receptacles must be protected. If the rope lights are plugged into a receptacle, then those need to be protected. Lighting and fans do not need GFCI protection unless the manufacturer requires it in the specifications. Some wet location units do have that requirement.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 4:44PM
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