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Old 01-13-2009, 10:01 PM   #1
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Wahing Machine Outlet


Do I need a GFI oulet for my washing machine in the basement? I thought I read that it is not recommended, but I can't remember why. I am going to replace the old wire with 12 gauge romex and sleeve it in conduit to the outlet box with a 20 amp outlet. Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-13-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by joedadog View Post
Do I need a GFI oulet for my washing machine in the basement? I thought I read that it is not recommended, but I can't remember why. I am going to replace the old wire with 12 gauge romex and sleeve it in conduit to the outlet box with a 20 amp outlet. Thanks for the help.
If the basement is finished, then NO, but if it is not, then yes it needs to be a GFCI. (2008 NEC)

Below is the 2005 requirments, you can probably get away with a SINGLE receptacle, not a DUPLEX.)



(A) Dwelling Units
All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed

in the locations specified in (1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter
protection for personnel.
(1) Bathrooms
(2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade
level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and
areas of similar use
Exception No. 1 to (2): Receptacles that are not readily accessible.
Exception No. 2 to (2): A single receptacle or a duplex receptacle for two appliances
located within dedicated space for each appliance that, in normal use, is not easily
moved from one place to another and that is cord-and-plug connected in accordance with
400.7(A)(6), (A)(7), or (A)(8).
(3) Outdoors
Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied by a
dedicated branch circuit for electric snow-melting or deicing equipment shall be
permitted to be installed in accordance with 426.28.
(4) Crawl spaces — at or below grade level
(5) Unfinished basements — for purposes of this section, unfinished basements are
defined as portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and
limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like
Exception No. 1 to (5): Receptacles that are not readily accessible.
Exception No. 2 to (5): A single receptacle or a duplex receptacle for two appliances
located within dedicated space for each appliance that, in normal use, is not easily
moved from one place to another and that is cord-and-plug connected in accordance with
400.7(A)(6), (A)(7), or (A)(8).
Exception No. 3 to (5): A receptacle supplying only a permanently installed fire alarm or
burglar alarm system shall not be required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter
protection.
(6) Kitchens — where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces
(7) Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks — where the receptacles are installed within
1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink


(8) Boathouses

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Last edited by chris75; 01-13-2009 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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Why would it matter if the basement is finished?
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by joedadog View Post
Why would it matter if the basement is finished?

A finished basement does not require GFCI protection. Check out Post #2
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:57 AM   #5
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Otherwise unprotected Romex needs to be running over a hard surface such as a board, or strung, through bored holes as needed, at least 1-1/4 inches in from the edges of studs and joists, as opposed to being strung openly across the edges of studs and joists.

I read somewhere that Romex should not be strung through conduits. I forget whether this has to do with the entire cross section of the Romex cable counting against the percentage cross section of conduit fill, or whether it is not permitted at all.

The laundry area needs a receptacle served by its own 20A circuit for a washing machine. There may have other receptacles nearby served by other circuits.

In the unfinished basement you could not have a non-GFCI receptacle that is easily reached and not in use almost all of the time for large heavy "non-portable" appliances. For a duplex receptacle unit, both receptacles would have to be so occupied.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-14-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
A finished basement does not require GFCI protection. Check out Post #2
Chris; Do you know what the reasoning behind this code is?
Why are GFCI's required for unfinished basement, but not finished?
My basement is finished, but still has concrete floor with tiles, and in the case of very heavy rain for an extended period will get some water. Shouldn't I have GFCI's in my basement?
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedadog View Post
Do I need a GFI oulet for my washing machine in the basement? I thought I read that it is not recommended, but I can't remember why. I am going to replace the old wire with 12 gauge romex and sleeve it in conduit to the outlet box with a 20 amp outlet. Thanks for the help.
As Chris said, GFCI is required for an unfinished basement, but I have read several threads in this forum on issues presented by GFCI's for washing machine. Sometimes the washer will cause nusiance trips of the GFCI.

One thing for certain; If the washer receptacle is located within 1m (3ft) of a sink, then it should be GFCI, regardless of finished or unfinished.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:11 AM   #8
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>>> reasoning

Concrete is porous and a person standing on a seemingly dry bare concrete floor is at risk for electrocution if the concrete was really moist. Whereas for a covered floor, wetness will be more obvious.

GFCI protection should be used in any area likely to get wet.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-14-2009 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
I read somewhere that Romex should not be strung through conduits. I forget whether this has to do with the entire cross section of the Romex cable counting against the percentage cross section of conduit fill, or whether it is not permitted at all.
It is permitted. It does not alter the rating of the cable though, NM can't be run in wet areas with conduit, for example.

With sleeves you can ignore fill requirement and jam two 12/2s into 1/2 inch EMT, but it's a tight fit.

In a complete conduit system you need to take the largest cross section and then pretend it was a round cable as fat as the fattest part. Which means flat 12/2 or 14/2 NM is a pretty bad idea in conduits because you hit the fill limit very quickly. Surprisingly 12/3 often uses up less fill space than 12/2 because it's rounder. Go figure.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:08 PM   #10
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Well, in that case, I should have GFCI's for all of my basement receptacles. It is generally dry, as we have two dehumidifiers running as needed. But if we get a really good rainstorm, we may get some seepage, or even water on the floor.

I recall years ago we used this non-immersible pump with garden hose connectors to pump out water from the basement into buckets. No GFCI's at all. Thinking of it now, it was really stupid.

I have since gotten rid of the pump, and would only use a GFCI receptacle/breaker if I needed to work while the basement is wet.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedadog View Post
Do I need a GFI oulet for my washing machine in the basement? I thought I read that it is not recommended, but I can't remember why. I am going to replace the old wire with 12 gauge romex and sleeve it in conduit to the outlet box with a 20 amp outlet. Thanks for the help.
Ask your washing machine manuf. if your particular machine will cause GFIs to nuisance-trip more than average than for other motor loads (but no manuf. wants to say his appliance will cause problems elsewhere).
If so, you know by now what the NEC wants you to do.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 01-15-2009 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Ask your washing machine manuf. if your particular machine will cause GFIs to nuisance-trip more than average than for other motor loads (but no manuf. wants to say his appliance will cause problems elsewhere).
If so, you know by now what the NEC wants you to do.
What the heck is a nuisance trip? Oh-yeah, I know, when someone claims a GFCI trips for an unknown reason they just blame the GFCI.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Chris; Do you know what the reasoning behind this code is?
Why are GFCI's required for unfinished basement, but not finished?
My basement is finished, but still has concrete floor with tiles, and in the case of very heavy rain for an extended period will get some water. Shouldn't I have GFCI's in my basement?
You must really know why we install GFCI's to begin with to answer your questions. Then is ALL makes sense.
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
What the heck is a nuisance trip? Oh-yeah, I know, when someone claims a GFCI trips for an unknown reason they just blame the GFCI.
Perhaps you prefer "false positive"?
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&f...false+positive
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Chris; Do you know what the reasoning behind this code is?
Why are GFCI's required for unfinished basement, but not finished?
My basement is finished, but still has concrete floor with tiles, and in the case of very heavy rain for an extended period will get some water. Shouldn't I have GFCI's in my basement?
Concrete is electrically conductive, many times better than tap water and many times worse than copper.

tap water 10k to 100k ohm-cm = 1M to 100M ohm-M
copper 20 nanoohms-M
concrete 200 ohm-M
soil 300 to 500,000 ohm cm = 30kohms to 50Megohms-M

"The average bulk resistivity of the human body (apart from surface resistance of the skin) is about 5 ohms-m"

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Last edited by Yoyizit; 01-15-2009 at 08:13 PM.
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