GFCI's & Garage Door openers

I learned a new lesson, before jumping into testing exterior outlets to see if they are GFCI protected, check to see if the garage door opener is plugged or wired into the exterior outlet circuit.
Why - because yesterday we tested the exterior outlet and tripped the GFCI, the reset was in the garage and the garage had no other access than to break the glass in the door!

I inspect so others may learn.

Allen I think I would call that out in my report.Just sound strange that the out door outllets are tied to the garage door opener.I have never come across that before and it becomes a problem when the only door to the garage is the car door. Just my opinion.

The owner is running a new circuit to the garage door opener only. Makes sense.


Rules 26-714© & 27-714(b)
Be supplied with a circuit used solely for the plug outlets located in the garage except that the garage lights and garage door openers may also be connected to this circuit.
Note: The garage plug outlets are not required to be protected with a G.F.I. type breaker.


Why not just reccomend an emergency release for the door?
Under $20, easy to install, and that way he can get to his car even if the power goes out completely. Every “vault” garage with an opener should have one for that reason.

Richard—you the man! Excellent idea.

Yes, very nice to know about…hade’t seen one before.

Thanx :smiley:

Larry, I am under the understanding that because of the nature of garages, being prone to getting water from whatever, that G.F.C.I. would be recommended.

That’s what I recommend, too, Gary.

Maybe (the other) Larry is referring to a Canadian thing.

In residential garages in Ontario it is not required by code, however in commercial applications the ESA Electrical Safety Authority will advise businesses to install them due to the likelyhood of snow melting off cars and washing of vehicles and the use of electrical equipment in service areas.

Allan Spisak
ACISS Home & Commercial Inspections

What ever happened to the requirement of having a man door at the back end of the garage? Either to outside or into the house, as an emergency fire exit… Was it ever a code requirement? It has only been in recent years that I have started to see townhouses with attached single car garages and only a sectional roll up door to get in and out.

What I quoted was from the code book. Code is a minimum and I always recommend GFCI,s in the garage. That way if you trip one you are already in the garage and not likely to get locked out.

Are you referring to the ceiling plug as having to be GFCI or wall outlets?
I didn’t think motor loads should be on GFCI because of nuisance trips?

Garage plug outlets Rules 26-702(20) & 26-704(10) 18th edition Canadian electrical code and Alberta amendments.
The following is a direct quote from the above code.

**"**At least one appliance plug outlet must be installed in each car space in a garage.
This outlet must:
**Be duplex type **Single type is not acceptable.

Be installed so that there is a plug outlet in each car space. To be truthful, the rule does not say “in” each car space, it says “for” each car space. However the intent seems to be that each plug outlet should be located in its own space.
Be supplied with a circuit used solely for the plug outlets located in the garage except that garage light outlets and garage door openers may also be connected to this circuit.
Note G.F.I. Protection - The garage plug outlets are not required to be protected with a G.F.I. type circuit breaker."
Carport plug outlets Rules 26-702(19)
Repeats the above and includes the following
"Be supplied with a circuit used solely for these outletslocated in a carport except that the carport lighting may also be supplied with this circuit.

I quoted the whole section exactly as it is written as there is some interpetition involved.
**My interpretation is that GFI is not required for the door opener because plugs inside the garage do not have to be GFI but if the circuit is for a carport they must be GFI and on a seperate circuit. **
To take it one step further I would interpert it that the garage circuits should also be on a seperate circuit from the exterior GFI plugs.
**Commom sence also tells me not to have the door opener plugged in to a GFCI circuit that has exterior outlets and only one door. Looks to me like somebody was not thinking when they wired the door opener plug-in. **

GFCIs do fail. I believe there is a new requirement or new design out or coming out that has a improved life span.

A Garage Door that is the Only Access to the Garage should have an Emergency Keyed Release to open the door in the event of a Power failure.

The Key with cable attaches to the release cable of the door operator

Or GFI Receptacle for that matter either…:slight_smile:


1971 Receptacles within 15 feet of pool walls
1971 All equipment used with storable swimming pools
1973 All outdoor receptacles
1974 Construction Sites

1975 Bathrooms, 120-volt pool lights, and fountain equipment
**1978 Garages, spas, and hydro-massage tubs **
1978 Outdoor receptacles above 6feet 6inches grade access exempted
1984 Replacement of non-grounding receptacles with no grounding conductor allowed

1984 Pool cover motors
1984 Distance of GFCI protection extended to 20 feet from pool walls
1987 Unfinished basements
1987 Kitchen countertop receptacles within 6 feet of sink

1987 Boathouses
1990 Crawlspaces (with exception for sump pumps or other dedicated equip.)
1993 Wet bar countertops within 6 feet of sink
1993 Any receptacle replaced in an area presently requiring GFCI

1996 All kitchen counters – not just those within 6 feet of sink
1996 All exterior receptacles except dedicated de-icing tape receptacle
1996 Unfinished accessory buildings at or below grade
1999 Exemption for dedicated equipment in crawlspace removed

lol…Jae…Was refering to the Garage Door Receptacle in the ceiling…it should not be on the GFCI circuit either Breaker or Receptacle type…lol

This is from Code book in the US.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) allows a GFCI to be installed in place of ungrounded two prong receptacles. A GFCI receptacle will work without a separate ground wire. Although a three wire GFCI protected outlet is safest, a ground fault protected two-wire receptacle is better than an unprotected one. Here are other GFCI code requirements worth remembering.
Garages — All 120 volt receptacles in garages must have GFCI protection unless they are not readily accessible. “Not readily accessible” refers to a receptacle located on the ceiling for a garage door opener or a single receptacle for an appliance occupying dedicated space, such as a freezer. (Even though it’s not required, Electrical Marketplace recommends operating a garage door opener from a GFCI receptacle, as it can save the opener from lightning damage.)
The garage rule, which dates back to 1981, holds true for unattached accessory buildings as well when their floors are at or below grade. This rule was put in place because the garage and outbuildings are the mostly likely places for you to plug in handheld power tools such as grass trimmers, electric lawnmowers and hedge trimmers.

A C Home Inspections