GFI in garage, can't find it

jbanderMarch 7, 2012

The three original plug ins, in my garage don't work. The one on the farthest to the electric source has "protected by GFI" written on it but inside there just seems to be a switch and a plug in it but no reset button, for the life of me I can't find a GFI. The house was built in the early 70's. What should I be looking for, do they look like the way they look now or are they different?

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ranger619

No they still have the test and reset buttons check the bathroom gfci outlets if you have them that may be the problem or check the panel for a gfci breaker or check elswhere check all the gfci outlets in your house odds are one is tripped that protects the garage they used to do it that way.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:27PM
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Ron Natalie

As ranger points out, the common mode in the 70's was to have one GFCI receptacle protecting all the receptacles (bathrooms, outside, garage) that required it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:42PM
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jbander

Success, The main (GFI)was the one that the automatic garage door opener is plugged in, in the ceiling. Now since I took every outlet apart to look for the GFI , I will be spending my morning putting things back together. Thanks everyone

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 11:57PM
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brickeyee

"The main (GFI)was the one that the automatic garage door opener is plugged in, in the ceiling. "

One of the few places in a garage that does NOT require GFCI protection.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 9:41AM
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dennisgli

Yeah - I'd replace that GFCI with a single outlet and move the GFCI downstream to a more accessible outlet. Or install separate GFCIs at each location - they're no longer prohibitively expensive.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:48PM
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bus_driver

In the 2008 and 2011 NEC, I do not find an exception that would exempt the garage ceiling receptacle from the GFCI protection requirement. If it was up to me, that location would be exempt. Why any thinking electrician would install a GFCI receptacle on the ceiling and use it to supply other receptacles downstream is simply beyond reason.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:49PM
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hexus

"One of the few places in a garage that does NOT require GFCI protection."

That is not true. Garage door opener receptacles DO require GFCI protection as of the 2008 code.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 3:04PM
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dennisgli

Then I'd leave it. But install a second GFCI for the other outlets.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:01AM
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btharmy

I would change it to a duplex or single receptacle and install a gfci breaker. That way, if it ever trips again, you don't need a ladder to reset it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 5:18PM
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jbander

Thanks everyone, you people are great!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:36PM
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ranger619

HEXUS.....Our local AHJD or head electrical inspector does not make us put the opener on a GFCI. Instead he allows that outlet to be a single outlet that only the opener is then pluged into. Thus eliminating the issue of the door not being able to open when you return from shopping in the rain and cant get into the house cause the outlet is tripped.....Some of us dont have keys for any of the house doors with us and we always just open the garage door to get into the house so he lets that one go. LOL.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 11:16PM
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hexus

"HEXUS.....Our local AHJD or head electrical inspector does not make us put the opener on a GFCI. Instead he allows that outlet to be a single outlet that only the opener is then pluged into."

then he isn't following 2008 and up NEC. If you're under 2005 code, that's wonderful. It's not an issue if you or I agree with it. I especially don't agree with local AHJ's changing things to fit their opinions if that's the case. People can't do what they want because they think they're smarter and know what's better than the NEC.

All receptacles in a garage are required to be GFCI protected.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 12:59AM
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hexus

since I can't edit my post...

make the last line of my above post "All 120V 15 and 20 amp receptacles in a garage are required to be GFCI protected."

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:01AM
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texasredhead

Recently we had a lengthy power outage in our neighborhood because a poll fell down. Many neighbors could not get in their homes because the garage opener wasn't working and they didn't carry door keys! All of the doors in our home all use the same key which I always carry on the car key chain. Also, my garage opener is NOT on a GFCI.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:45AM
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brickeyee

The risk from a ceiling mounted receptacle to power a garage door opener not being GFCI protected is infinitesimally small.

That is why the exception was there in the first place.

It sounds more like lobbying by the GFCI manufacturers than anything actually safety related.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 3:30PM
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hexus

It really doesn't matter what you think or how smart you are, or think you are. Unless you're on the code writing panel and can actually implement the exception again, you can complain all you want.
The SER exception removal, required neutrals at every switch, arc fault implementation, etc... etc... were all lobbyist too, right?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 6:30PM
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brickeyee

I actually have participated in code panels (I was a second for my employer for many years) though not for the past few cycles.

It requires an enormous amount of support from an employer, and I am simply no longer active in that area.

That does not mean my knowledge suddenly evaporated.

There is plenty of industry lobbying on many of the panels.

It is an excellent method of ensuing sales, especially if you can also establish patent protection on the underlying technology.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:14PM
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hexus

"I actually have participated in code panels"

that matters why? Are you on a panel currently? Can you change the current code requiring GFI protection to all garage receptacles?
No? Then you're argument means nothing, and telling people to do things against code just because in your opinion it doesn't matter is complete BS.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 10:29PM
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bus_driver

I saw no post advocating code violations. The NEC panels are populated with, among others, representatives of manufacturers of electrical equipment and devices plus labor union representatives of both the installing trades and the manufacturing trades. Combined, their interest is in requiring the use of more material and more labor. The consumer pays.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:10AM
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hexus

his post of
"One of the few places in a garage that does NOT require GFCI protection."

I would say that he made a mistake and didn't know or understand the code except he kept arguing that he doesn't agree with it and how foolish it is.
You're missing the point. It doesn't matter that lobbyist, representatives, or drunk monkeys are on the NEC panels. If it's in the book, it must be followed. You and no one else are exempt from following the NEC just because you think you're smarter and know better.
If you don't like it, get out of the trade, or do something to change it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:13AM
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brickeyee

It was a legitimate excretion for many years.

Since no one probably continued to ask for its inclusion, out it will go.

I am not under the most resent NEC revision.
Virginia adopts codes under the 'Uniform Statewide Building Code' law and adopting every version of every code is not a high priority.
We typically do no better than every other version.

No one claimed an exemption, just a comment that it is a foolish requirement, and mot in keeping with numerous other code exceptions like 'n place equipment' exceptions.

Your failure to realize that there is politics at play among the code writing participants is just foolish.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:35AM
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hexus

The exception was removed two code cycles ago...
I never said I didn't realize politics play a role, but I'm not going to sit around and complain about it. I have to play the game and jump through hoops and do things I don't agree with. However I don't claim that I'm superior to the nec and smarter like you do though.
The SER cable exception was removed two code cycles ago too and I don't agree with it. So I guess I can go around telling people to use the wrong size cable for their sub panels?
Arc faults? Pssshh just a scheme from the manufacturers to get more money, you don't need them.

Your arrogance and repeated attempts at trying to argue your opinion over hard written laws and rules is ridiculous.
Trust me, you're really not as smart as you think you are.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:14PM
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bus_driver

The NEC is not law until adopted by some body with lawmaking authority. Federal law incorporates the latest version of the NEC into OSHA by reference. States and/or cities may adopt it with or without amendments if they wish. The easy path is for lawmakers is just to adopt it as written. Takes only few moments and no effort. To show the careful deliberations that occur with respect to codes, one state building code council goes on a week-long vacation, expenses paid, to the beach in an adjoining state and then comes back with a few amendments to the code. The jaunts have to be justified somehow.
It is best not to watch while sausages or laws are being made. Individuals can express their concerns to the officials in their state or city.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 5:10PM
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lbpod

A 'legitimate EXCRETION',. ..KEWL!!!
I had one of those this morning, Brick.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:01AM
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