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Old 05-14-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
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Power for sump pump


My electric panel is full. I must install a sumpump in my crawl sapce. I have the option of using either: A) the circuit that just powers my washing maching or B) the circuit that just powers my garbage disosal and dishwasher.

Is there a problem with either of these choices?

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Old 05-14-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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Power for sump pump


The laundry area circuit (also a bathroom circuit or kitchen counter circuit) may not be tapped off to power something located elsewhere.

I would not suggest sharing with a single circuit that serves both the dishwasher and disposal. Generally a circuit with hard wired appliances or devices (without plug in connection) that use more than half the circuit amperage should not have receptacles or additional appliances or devices tied in.

You could run a new cable to the panel and have it share a breaker with a living room or bedroom circuit.

You could see if you could put in a tandem breaker (single wide double breaker) in one of the slots (not all panels accept them, also the panel has a limit to the number of breaker handles).

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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-16-2013 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:54 PM   #3
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Power for sump pump


Generally, a sump will require its own circuit either by the NEC or manufacturer specs. It will also need a GFI receptacle if it is cord/plug connected.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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Power for sump pump


I understand that it is preferable to have a dedicated circuit, but my box is full and I will have to destroy plaster to get at it. Given the location of things the easiest way is to go up to my laundry room and tap into my washing machine outlet. It is 20 amp. Is there an actual code that says a sump pump must be on a GFCI? I do not want to have to crawl under the house when the outlet trips.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Power for sump pump


Quote:
Originally Posted by crescere View Post
the easiest way is to go up to my laundry room and tap into my washing machine outlet.
Sadly, the laundry room circuit may not serve receptacles in other rooms, per 210-52(f). However, unless the sump pump instructions require a dedicated circuit, you can plug the sump pump into a laundry room receptacle -- if it's close enough that you don't need an extension cord. (Laundry room receptacles don't have to be dedicated to the washer and dryer, they just have to be limited to that one room.)

Quote:
Is there an actual code that says a sump pump must be on a GFCI?
I'm afraid 210-8 says you need GFCI for receptacles in unfinished basements and crawlspaces. There is a lot of angst about this, because a tripped GFCI can lead to a flooded basement. But, the NEC would rather your basement flood than someone get electrocuted. The workaround is a loud alarm that sounds when the sump pump loses power (and a battery backup for when you're not home).

BTW the link I found that has info on these requirements is here: http://www.mikeholt.com/technical.ph...%20Code%20Tips

Quote:
I do not want to have to crawl under the house when the outlet trips.
Actually, code now requires GFCI to be "readily accessible", so a GFCI reset button in the crawlspace is not acceptable. What you'd have to do is put the GFCI in the living space somewhere, then run wire from the GFCI "LOAD" terminals to the crawlspace and put a regular receptacle there. (Or, put a GFCI breaker in your panel.) That way the crawl is GFCI protected, but you can still reset it easily from the living space.

AllanJ's advice for a tandem breaker is really the best solution if your panel will accept one. If it doesn't, you could install a sub-panel. A 6-space sub-panel is fairly inexpensive.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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Power for sump pump


as AllenJ says .....

take out 2 20 amp breakers put in 2 of these ... for what ever manufactured panel you have ...

http://compare.ebay.com/like/2512631...Types&var=sbar
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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Sadly, the laundry room circuit may not serve receptacles in other rooms, per [/FONT][/COLOR]210-52(f). However, unless the sump pump instructions require a dedicated circuit, you can plug the sump pump into a laundry room receptacle -- if it's close enough that you don't need an extension cord. (Laundry room receptacles don't have to be dedicated to the washer and dryer, they just have to be limited to that one room.)

If I could plug the sump pump into the laundry room receptacle then why not tap into the washing machine outlet, then run it to a GFCI, and finally down to the crawl for my sump pump? The GFCI would be in the laundry room and could easily be reset if needed. Is there any safety concern that would be encountered with this set up? Thank you for your help.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crescere View Post
If I could plug the sump pump into the laundry room receptacle then why not tap into the washing machine outlet, then run it to a GFCI, and finally down to the crawl for my sump pump? The GFCI would be in the laundry room and could easily be reset if needed. Is there any safety concern that would be encountered with this set up? Thank you for your help.
No safety concerns... just a code violation.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tylernt View Post
No safety concerns... just a code violation.

Thank you for your help and honest answer.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Generally, a sump will require its own circuit either by the NEC or manufacturer specs. It will also need a GFI receptacle if it is cord/plug connected.
What's the NEC's recommendation when the GFI flips and lets your house flood?
Quote:
But, the NEC would rather your basement flood than someone get electrocuted.

If there are people occupying the house, it might be both in spite of the GFI.

I guess it's obvious I have issue with this impractical part of the code.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by operagost View Post
What's the NEC's recommendation when the GFI flips and lets your house flood?
Like I said earlier in this thread... the NEC would rather your house flood, than someone get electrocuted. The NEC's primary goal is life safety, property damage is secondary.

Get an alarm that sounds when the sump pump loses power. And/or a battery backup. You can also get a water-powered backup, that will use city water pressure to pump water out of your sump.

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Originally Posted by operagost View Post
I guess it's obvious I have issue with this impractical part of the code.
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Don't blame you... lots of people do.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:10 PM   #12
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Power for sump pump


Quote:
Originally Posted by operagost View Post
What's the NEC's recommendation when the GFI flips and lets your house flood?

If there are people occupying the house, it might be both in spite of the GFI.

I guess it's obvious I have issue with this impractical part of the code.
[/FONT][/COLOR]
If the GFCI trips, there is a problem creating a serious safety hazard. A power failure alarm should alert you to the problem very quickly, so you can fix it and avoid flooding your house. A normally functioning pump does not trip a GFCI.

I once bought a brand new 3/4 HP submersible Gould pump. It was to replace a burned out 30-year-old one in a fountain, which had leaked internally and developed a ground fault. There was no GFCI, so the ground fault persisted until the pump corroded away its internal wiring and stopped working. Thankfully no one was injured by it. I tested the replacement pump by plugging into a GFCI, and it immediately tripped. A little investigation revealed that the hot and ground connections on the cord were reversed at the factory. Thankfully I had not just installed the pump in the fountain and walked away. Conclusion: GFCI is important for submersible pumps. In fact, submersible pumps without GFCI protection give me the heebie jeebies.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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Power for sump pump


I have seen twice molded (from the factory) plugs wired backward, white and black reversed. Also, a factory made power strip wired backwards also. gfci and safety first.

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Old 05-16-2013, 02:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bernie963 View Post
I have seen twice molded (from the factory) plugs wired backward, white and black reversed. Also, a factory made power strip wired backwards also. gfci and safety first.

bernie
And? It's AC, not DC.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:20 AM   #15
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And? It's AC, not DC.
White and black reversal makes a difference in 120 volt AC circuits also. Electrically, no. Safety wise, yes in some circumstances (in light fixtures the socket shells should be connected to the neutral aka grounded conductor). Code wise, yes.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-16-2013 at 06:24 AM.
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