Garage door operator on GFCI?

I found a garage door operator plugged into a GFCI protected outlet yesterday on new construction. The reset was inside the garage. I spoke with the building manager and asked why. He told me the city requires everything to be either GFCI or AFCI and they are required to do it now. He said he’s only had 1 homeowner in the development call so far because they can’t get in their garage since the outlet tripped.

A call to the city building inspection office has not be returned yet to verify.

All receptacles in garages are to be GFCI protected on new construction.

Non issue. This is also a requirement of the newest NEC.

It was a first for me as most cities here aren’t using the latest NEC.

I sure wouldn’t have it in my house.

Going back to 2002 (?) GFCI’s were required in all, but allowed one non-GFCI for certain exceptions, like Freezers, etc. I don’t remember openers being one of the exceptions. I could be wrong though.

One exception, I believe through 2008;

All, except outlets not readily accessible (6 feet 8 inches or higher) and outlets for dedicated appliances which are not easily movable (freezer,
refrigerator, etc.).

So if the outlet for opener is at ceiling it was not required to be gfci protected.

These exceptions have been removed in latest edition.

They now have GFCI’s that beep when there is no power to the outlet for freezers and units that need constant power. Ideal for Garage door application.

And there you go. Thanks Chris. :wink:

Also under the 2011 NEC the GFCI protective device needs to be readily accessible. So if you have a garage with a high ceiling the GFCI protection cannot be in the receptacle mounted in the ceiling.

This is what I go by in Fort Pierce, FL. It is common sense. No one in their right mind would want a single plug dedicated receptacle for a refrig or freezer to be GFCI protected.

Could you please explain why you are so against something that protects human lives? Do you know the acceptable leakage level for appliances and how it compares to the trip level of a Class A GFI device?

I think the problem stems from old outdated appliances that “nuisance trip” the GFCI. Upgrade to newer stuff, and the problems all but disappear. Some old dogs never learn new tricks. :wink:

I always recommend that they install a battery backup for the opener if there isn’t one there already.

The so-called nuisance trip is actually a sign that the appliance is leaking voltage and creating a potential shock hazard. The GFI is doing its job and protecting a life.

This is what I was going by, and didn’t realize the exceptions were removed. Thanks for the info.

As far as the ‘freezer’ outlet. Its very popular here in TX. I’ve learned to look in the garage for the reset before I start testing exterior outlets. I got tired of moving cabinets and shelfs full of junk to reset the outlet when there is a freezer full of meat in the garage.

I was in a new home today that had a ‘Freezer’ labeled outlet in the garage. It was GFCI protected and tripped when tested. Duh.

How about openers which are switched? What say you all?

Not sure why that would matter Cam?

For Door Operators installed on the switched ceiling light circuit,
I note as defective installations.

I note, report and recommend installation of dedicated circuit / receptacle mounted adjacent to the door operator…

Not sure that is what he meant but you are of course right.
I rarely see it done other than a switched plug however.

Joe could you explain what the real world issue is with it being on a plug however
Many appliances are plugged in throughout the home including pumps,laundry equipment,etc.

If the circuit is sized properly, how is would you consider this a defect?