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Thread: Washer hookup electrical outlet box

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member DIY's Avatar
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    Default Washer hookup electrical outlet box

    I want to hook up a washer. The place that it Is going is pre wired with a 20amp breaker,and 12-2 cable running to the box. The outlet box is 7" from the drain standpipe. In this case would it be best to install a GFCI outlet or a 3 prong 110/115v outlet?

    THANKS ALL

  2. #2
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    If this is a new installation then GFI protection is required.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I defer to the electrical contractor, but under previous codes, as long as you used a "single device" receptacle, (which could not have anything other than the washing machine plugged into it), you did not need a GFCI.

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Sorry, brain fart on my part.
    I made the mistake of thinking there was a sink. Why, I have no idea.
    So, that said there is NO requirement for a GFI in this case. If there were a laundry sink within 6' then a GFI would be required.

    Prior codes did allow a receptacle behind the washer to omit GFI protection where a sink existed.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

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    DIY Senior Member DIY's Avatar
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    Thank you Speedy and hj

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    One thing not mentioned is that if it is in a basement, then I believe it does require a GFCI.

    Maybe a better question is why NOT use a GFCI?

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    DIY Junior Member partimer 31's Avatar
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    He could install a GFCI receptacle for the washer. But depending on the code, its not a legal requirement.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I have had so many customers with GFCIs which "false trip" when motors are permanenty plugged into them that I try to avoid them whenever possible. It is particulary "inconvenient" when the motor is inside a freezer or refrigerator and it happens when the owner is away for a period of time, or he does not notice the device is not working.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member partimer 31's Avatar
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    hj I agee with you, about "false trips". But if the DIY was to hire a license sparky in his area to do this work, he would have to install to the current electrical being enforce in this DIY area. The DIY could change out the GFCI after the sparky leaves.

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Also if the freezer or something else is "false tripping" the GFI it is way above the UL allowable spec for leakage. The UL spec is 0.5 mA, the GFI trip level is 4-6ma or about 10x the allowable leakage. The NEC is concerned with LIFE safety, not a freezer of food.

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; The NEC is concerned with LIFE safety, not a freezer of food.

    I had the same conversation with our fire marshall regarding the connection of the home fire systems to the water supply. HE wanted it connected AFTER the house main shutoff. I explained, that if I did that, and the homeowner left on vacation and turned the valve off, the fire system would also be turned off. He replied, " If the water is off, there probably isn't anyone inside the house, and we don't care if the building burns down, as long as nobody dies in the fire." His logic was about the same as the NEC.

  12. #12
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Lord have mercy on these poor innocent souls.
    If the freezer is tripping a GFCI then the freezer is a life issue. By just touching the freezer could result in death.
    Now if there is even one of you out there that can’t understand this concept then you do not need to have electricity in your home let alone trying to install or repair circuits.

    The UL Standard for GFCI devices is they are to open at .004 to .006 amps or 4 to 6 milliamps not .0005 or one half milliamp.

    The fire system being on the load side of the valve is like the smoke alarms in your home. If you are on vacation who is going to call the fire department if they go off? They are in place for your safety not to call anyone. This don’t even come close to the freezer that has its case energized sitting there waiting for someone to com e along and lift the lid or open the door.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member partimer 31's Avatar
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    Default freezer on GFCI

    One begs the question, why not use a cord set with a grounding conductor, plug into a grounded receptacle.

    Was not the grounding conductor inside the cord set place there to shunt the leakage current away
    from the freezer metal parts that would come in contact with the home owner.

    I believe GFCI are a good thing, but I now believe that the code changes are put their by the MFG. to
    sell more of their product. With good wiring and proper grounding, no GFCI should be require.

    But if your a license sparky, your better install it to protect your ....

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    First off, not all power cords have a ground. Second, a GFCI is a safety device for when things go wrong - it should never trip except when you test it under normal circumstances. If everything was perfect, we wouldn't desire health, auto, home, etc. insurance. A GFCI is even better since it will protect you BEFORE you have a loss - the others (generally) only after you have a loss. Think of it like putting on your seatbelt. You may never need it, but it can save you from major injury if some idiot runs that red light (or you fall asleep).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    A 15 amp branch circuit that would be supplying a freezer would have the ability to allow 1800 watts of energy flow indefinitely. This would be 120 volts times 15 amps the branch circuit rating.
    Should there be a resistive ground fault where the resistance of the fault was maintained at 15 amps then this ground fault would continue ad infinitum without opening the overcurrent device.

    With a GFCI device in the circuit a ground fault would open the GFCI device at 72 watts.

    Quote Originally Posted by partimer 31 View Post
    One begs the question, why not use a cord set with a grounding conductor, plug into a grounded receptacle.

    Was not the grounding conductor inside the cord set place there to shunt the leakage current away from the freezer metal parts that would come in contact with the home owner.
    Yes you are correct but should the fault to ground be a resistive fault I would rather have the heat of one 75 watt bulb that will only last for two cycles or one thirtieth of a second than have the heat from 18 100 watt light bulbs on me continuously. This is what the GFCI device affords the user.

    Quote Originally Posted by partimer 31 View Post
    I believe GFCI are a good thing, but I now believe that the code changes are put their by the MFG. to sell more of their product. With good wiring and proper grounding, no GFCI should be require.
    I do believe that if you research the proposals you will find that most of the requirements for GFCI over the years came from electricians not manufacturers.
    Quote Originally Posted by partimer 31 View Post
    But if your a license sparky, your better install it to protect your ....
    I can only speak for myself but I install them to protect my client. I also spend the time to explain the purpose of the device and why it is so important to their safety.

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