GFCI required in crawlspace

Is a GFCI required for a crawlspace sump pump outlet ? if so how do you know if has tripped ?

Yes. If I come accross an inspector who is a hard but about it, I’ll use a GFCI breaker feeding the dedicated receptacle, and also supply the door bell transformer(or some other regularly used circuit).


The TV in the living room

lol…Yes, the NEC states a receptacle in a crawl space needs to be on GFCI. This came up in another conversation on here as well where I pointed that out.

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for

FPN: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection
for personnel on feeders.

**(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
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).

Receptacles installed under the exceptions to 210.8(A)(2)
shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of
(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.

Receptacles installed under the exceptions to 210.8(A)(5)
shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of

[FONT=Times-Roman][size=2](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
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

And for info sake…the items in RED ( along with some other small revisions ) will be removed in the 2008 NEC coming down the road. Also look out…GFCI on other than dwellings is expanding as well…changes…changes…changes…get your 2008 NEC today !



They require them in my area, whether in a Crawl, Basement, Attic or Garage setting.
As for knowing when it trips, when the owner realizes the A/C isn’t running (getting hot), they will find out.
A tripped GFCI stops the pump, and a stopped pump locks out the cooling circuit, starts getting hotter, owner starts looking and cussing.

I guess over time I have become less concerned with the “CRYING” and “MOANING” of the homeowner, builder and others in regards to the WHAT IF theory. Electricity kills and it is proven, atleast 1 " Electrician " is electrocuted daily in the USA because of electricity…and WE are supposed to know better…GFCI’s are always better for raising the bar of safety, while not FOOL proof it does protect so I dont worry about someones MEAT in the freezer the floor in the basement flooding when they KNOW it is raining anyway…I am more concerned with someone being killed…

So GFCI’s are a good thing and the 2008 NEC expands on it even more…both in dwellings and other than dwellings and removed ALOT of the exceptions provided for dedicated equipment in previous cycles and why…

Because the acceptable leakage of mA is normally under 1 …and GFCI’s dont detect until 4-6 mA…so if the equipment is causing the GFCI to trip…focus your attention to the equipment and not the GFCI…as it is doing it’s job !

Thanks Paul for the “complete” info on this, Ron


Thank you, Paul, for saying this.

I have run into many situations (mostly, in new construction) where the “licensed electrician” (electricians are not state licensed in Illinois. Around Chicago, “licensed” means “union”) who are not concerned with safety or protecting the public, but only with meeting

Da Code

Read this as the current, local, municipal code which is the lowest standard legally allowed (If they even pulled a permit!) by the local AHJ to pass a minimal local code inspection.

No concern for professionalism (by definition, if you are in a union, you are not a professional, but a tradesman), public safety or just plain taking an interest in doing a good, quality job for your clients.

People get hurt or killed. This is serious, people.

And who holds the workman’s feet to the fire.

Sure, I have run into many a situation where the homeowner thinks that they can do a better (read: Cheaper) job than the local sparkies (and, more often then not, the job is a death wish!

But, shouldn’t we (the public) expect a certain level of professionalism from those who claim to be professionals? (Like Union electricians and municipal employees, who are supposed to work for us.)?

Sorry if this seems harsh, but I have seen way too much :frowning:

OK, now I need an example. Tell me how meeting current codes is “unsafe” or “not protecting the public”.

Myself, do I do jobs to simply meet minimum codes? Yes, on occasion. When I have to.
Do I do jobs that exceed minimum does, Yes, typically.
Do I do jobs with no restrictions and where money is no object? Yes, I actually do have a couple of clients like this. It is VERY nice.

Don’t offend me by saying when I do have to do a “code minimum” job that I am unprofessional.

If code minimum is so unsafe, why don’t we see tract homes burning down at an alarming rate???

Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT defending the unions. I have my own opinons about them, but they are for different reasons.

Example. 8 Unit condo. Distribution panels all with neutral bonded to ground. Done by a union electrician and OKed by the city inspector. But still wrong.

I had to find it, report it, argue with the electrician that it was wrong and quote him NEC and, finally, fix the problem myself (after closing, just remoived the bonding clip) for the client. Not necessarily a big problem, but indicative.

Seems like some people want all the authority, but will accept no liability.


If you are speaking of the " Remote " distribution panels ala " SubPanels" then I would simply consider that it might not be a professional thing at all but a HUGE case of ignorance.

Trust me…after doing seminars with electricians ( some great and some not so great ) i have learned it does not matter if it is Union or Non-Union…ignorance is in everyone…regardless of the card they carry.

Education should be our greatest equalizer…problem is some don’t seek it like they should and it gets worse in a state that has no licensing or CE requirements…only education can clear up the myths and enlighten the ignornant ( here is where I go into my the world is burning lecture…not )

Speedy is correct in that even meeting the minimal of code is stills safe as that is the basis for the standards, going above and beyond can sometimes be figured as safer until someone goes to far and then it becomes unsafe yet again ( damn I am wise today…)

Probably would have been better to explain to them exactly what " objectionable currents" are and how they effect the system and being in Chicago it becomes even worse with all that METAL around…

Again we can only educate them…if the ignorant seeks to become enlightened…then we remove the ignorance that develops in us all for future generations.

Sometimes, I thing there is alos a large amount of self-pride, where these guys wouldn’t admit they are wrong even if they were because that would mean that they would have to admit that they were wrong.

Paul -

Please explain how Exception number two to 210.8(A)(5) , providing for the use of a single unprotected receptacle for one appliance, would not allow an unprotected receptacle in a crawl space for a sump pump.




That exception is gone in the 2008 code

Meaning that a sump pump installed in a crawl space in 2008 cannot be plugged in to a GFCI. Right?

The crawlspace requirement, #4, currently has NO exceptions. Receptacles must be GFCI protected.


In 2008 there will be virtually no exceptions from requiring GFCI in any unfinihsed area of a dwelling (You will need GFCI for sump pumps, garage door openers, freezers or fridges) and in the finished spaces you will need AFCIs, even on these circuits. I see a surge in appliance sales when people figure out their old stuff trips the GFCI in their new house.