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Thread: Should a garbage disposal be on a GFCI?

  1. #31
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I am surprised that our code goobs have not yet required ALL GFCI breakers in the main panel, less the main. That would make a safe house.

  2. #32
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    I don't have any GFCI breakers in my house and it is safe.

  3. #33
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    I am surprised that our code goobs have not yet required ALL GFCI breakers in the main panel, less the main. That would make a safe house.
    No, but they DO require AFCI's in almost every place that does not require GFIs.
    Padded walls are next.

  4. #34
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The code goobs need a month in a padded room.

    They'll dream up a automatic net that senses a fall on the stairs and shoots it across like an airbag. One per each 8' of height change.

    Since it will now be raining in our houses due to required sprinkler systems, they likely will get the idea that GFCI is needed everywhere.

  5. #35
    DIY Junior Member SteinEE's Avatar
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    I know this is an old posting but just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I think technically in most instances the electrical guys here were correct but not in all instances. If you look at the NEC specifically in 210.8(B) item (2) you will see that all 125 volt single pahse 15 and 20 amp receptacles in kitchens in OTHER THAN DWELLING UNITS require ground fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.

    Then if you want a little more info on the specific code section that allows garbage disposals to be cord-and-plug connected with a flexible cord then look in NEC 422.16(B)(1). This requires a grounded plug, a flexible cord between 18"-36", and an accessible receptacle that will avoid any possible physical damage to the flexible cord. There is no specific mention to GFCI protection here as there are with other appliances such as electric drinking fountains[422.52] which is a somewhat similar situation.

    If you try to avoid this confusion and hardwire this appliance you may still get yourself into a pickle becasue you need to comply with 422.31(A) or (B). If your permanently connected appliance is rated not over 300 VA or 1/8 HP the branch ciruit overcurrent device shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means but if it is over 300VA or 1/8 HP the branch circuit switch or circuit breaker shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means if it is within sight of the appliance (code dictates that this is also within 50') or capable of being locked in the open position. So you would have to add a padlockable hasp to the circuit breaker serving the appliance or swap out the switch for a lockable version.


    I hope that satifies your code requirements.

  6. #36
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    The switch above the counter is all the disconnect that would be required and no lock is required.

  7. #37
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Don't most disposers have an air coupled push button?

    Only the ones when the customer opts to pay for one. I am getting ready to "remodel" my sink and will install the air button, but only to fill up the sixth faucet hole on the sink. I try NEVER to use a GFCI with any motor that is "permanently" plugged in. I have seen too many instances when the GFCI "phantom trips", and the contents of freezers and/or refrigerators have spoiled, sometimes with damage to the residence when the frozen items melt and leak out.
    Last edited by hj; 11-19-2011 at 08:00 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #38
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteinEE View Post
    I know this is an old posting but just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I think technically in most instances the electrical guys here were correct but not in all instances. If you look at the NEC specifically in 210.8(B) item (2) you will see that all 125 volt single pahse 15 and 20 amp receptacles in kitchens in OTHER THAN DWELLING UNITS require ground fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.
    Yes, this is correct, but the OP Is a DIY and it is obvious he is talking about his own home kitchen.

    Without going back and reading every post, I don't think anyone mentioned a commercial kitchen.

  9. #39
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    commercial kitchens VERY SELDOM, if ever, have "plug in" disposers.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  10. #40
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Commercial kitchens should send their waste to a hog farm or a composter. Just like every homeowner can find a spot to make compost in a old trash can missing the bottom. A dog and a few chickens can live on the average familys wasted food. Never got a damn egg from a disposal. The septic pumpers LOVE them.

    Fights break out in China for who gets to clean the public toilets, and collect restaurant trash. I suppose our kids are too busy playing computer murder games to take the slop to the worms.

    I hope our water conservationists soon ban disposals. Like the toilet replacement programs, the gov can send you a bag of red worms and a plastic bin. Save water, electricity and septic tanks and treatment plant burden, all in one shot. Better program than flourescents.
    Last edited by jwelectric; 11-19-2011 at 01:32 PM.

  11. #41
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; Don't most disposers have an air coupled push button?

    Only the ones when the customer opts to pay for one. I am getting ready to "remodel" my sink and will install the air button, but only to fill up the sixth faucet hole on the sink. I try NEVER to use a GFCI with any motor that is "permanently" plugged in. I have seen too many instances when the GFCI "phantom trips", and the contents of freezers and/or refrigerators have spoiled, sometimes with damage to the residence when the frozen items melt and leak out.
    If the GFI is tripping there is a problem with the appliance. Spoiled food may be an inconvenience, but a lost life is worse. The GFI is for life safety. What is worth more, the life of a loved one or a roast?

    The UL allowable leakage current is 1/10th of the tripping level of a GFI.

  12. #42
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Jim, do you advocate GFIs on a refrigerator circuit? I've never heard any other qualified electrician say this, in fact almost every one that I've worked with has said exactly the opposite, that you should never GFI that circuit. Why is this a safety issue? When is there a risk requiring one behind the fridge?

    I hear you guys saying that in theory properly functioning appliances shouldn't trip GFIs, but as a general contractor, I also know that I will rarely choose to plug my high amp tools into GFIs if I have another option. All too often, the things trip for no reason, and its not like one tool always trips it, its totally random. My brand new and my very old tools alike will randomly trip a GFI sometimes, and be fine most other times... and I only buy high quality tools... are you telling me that a large number of my professional quality tools are malfunctioning on a regular basis?

    I generally run one circuit for D/W and G/D and no GFI on it. I run a dedicated non-GFI for fridge. I GFI ALL counter outlets on 2 or more circuits, even if not required, this just seems smart to be safe. Though I never do it, I don't have a problem with using a GFI on a disposer - worst case is you have to reach under the sink and push a button every once in a while. You probably won't, but its no big deal if it happens. I'd remove a GFI if someone put it on a fridge or freezer circuit, its just asking for it.

  13. #43
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtcummins View Post
    Jim, do you advocate GFIs on a refrigerator circuit? I've never heard any other qualified electrician say this, in fact almost every one that I've worked with has said exactly the opposite, that you should never GFI that circuit.
    As an electrical contractor of over 40 years I stand on the platform and shout at the top of my lungs that every refrigerator should be protected by GFCI as well as any other appliance that my wife and children will be coming in contact with including every freeze in the house. The food inside can be replaced but my family cannot.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtcummins View Post
    Why is this a safety issue?
    It is called ground fault
    Quote Originally Posted by mtcummins View Post
    When is there a risk requiring one behind the fridge?
    Never but that don’t mean that the device shouldn’t be protected by one. If it is behind the frig then it won’t get tested

    Quote Originally Posted by mtcummins View Post
    I hear you guys saying that in theory properly functioning appliances shouldn't trip GFIs, but as a general contractor, I also know that I will rarely choose to plug my high amp tools into GFIs if I have another option.
    the law requires that any receptacle that is being used for temporary power during construction be GFCI protected

    Quote Originally Posted by mtcummins View Post
    All too often, the things trip for no reason, and its not like one tool always trips it, its totally random. My brand new and my very old tools alike will randomly trip a GFI sometimes, and be fine most other times... and I only buy high quality tools... are you telling me that a large number of my professional quality tools are malfunctioning on a regular basis?
    This is exactly what is being said. If a GFCI device trips it is because there was a fault somewhere between the appliance and the power source.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtcummins View Post
    I'd remove a GFI if someone put it on a fridge or freezer circuit, its just asking for it.
    You have this backwards, if there is no GFCI protection then one is asking for it

  14. #44
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I think a problem that is overlooked is that there are many GFCI outlets that trip for no reason due to a problem with the manufacture of the outlet. I have found that certain brands of outlets are prone to tripping, while others do not. Maybe another case of "you get what you pay for".

  15. #45
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    hmm, maybe i'll install a ground rod on every outlet, just in case all of the 3 grounds from my panel fail simultaneously. that would be safer, right? i could then tie all of the grounds together onto a central detection system that would trip the main if it detects any leak to the ground on any outlet, and alerts the fire department that someone tried to turn on a fridge that wasn't GFI protected... you can never be too safe, right?

    while i'm at it, i'll install a sprinkler system in a residence, and arc faults on every circuit (oh wait, the code monkeys have already pushed that idiocracy through...), and locked gates at the top and bottom of my staircases. someone on here had a great idea about a net that would pop out and catch you if you fall on stairs, kind of like an airbag in a car... we could do some of that. you know, i've always thought that doors swinging was a hazard to my family, so I'm going to require them to all be garage door style, with all the sensors to be sure nobody gets crushed or hit with a swinging door.

    shower curtains pose a big asphyxiation hazard, and glass doors can break especially when someone slips in that very dangerously slippery tub and runs into it, so i think the best bet would be to require everyone to waterproof their entire bathrooms so that you can have door/curtainless showers. there should be required harnesses installed in every shower, ensuring that you remain upright at all times while lathering up. the faucet should detect that the harness is being used before it will turn on, and immediately cut out if its taken off.

    then there's windows higher than 18" off the ground. they really shouldn't be passable by a human being unless the house is on fire, so maybe they should have automated metal bars on them that only pop open when the new sprinkler system goes off.

    then there's all those drowning hazards of items that hold water... tubs, sinks, etc. what they really need is some kind of pressure sensor or something that would know if there was a person in danger of drowning, which would automatically open the drain. to be sure, there should also be a pump installed in the drain to be sure to get that water out immediately (ground/arc/fusion/nuclear/etc protected of course)

    when will it stop? this obsession with requiring more and more crap for supposed safety has gotten ridiculous. the only thing that this kind of regulation is going to do is protect the rich, while the middle and lower classes are forced to not buy or renovate houses b/c its too expensive to bring things up to code. new construction and remodeled houses that could have been brought up to a good, safe level, will remain old houses with nightmare death traps of electrical systems, etc b/c every outlet now costs $15 and the majority can't afford to do any repairs.

    on a more serious note, if there is such an immanent danger in this refrigerator, it should have its own protection suited directly to that appliance. why rely on the outlet, just build it right into the fridge so that it doesn't matter what outlet you plug it into.

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