Heat pump unit in front of GFCI outlet

I’m pretty sure this is No Bueno but I’m not finding the code reference to support my gripe. It’s just not safe to try and plug in something when you can’t see the outlet, but I need a bit more bite than that on this one. The code to reference would be great. Sorry the photo loaded sideways. Heat pump installed directly in front of the GFCI service outlet. New construction home.

Ok…Since you said it is NEW construction I will assume it is not a “code” inspection since clearly it passed that. But, since we are kinda leaning towards the question of “code” since you stated that in your question…we are going to look at it as code.

Let’s examine section 210.8(A) first -210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (E). The ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

So what is “readily accessible”, let’s look at that -Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to take actions such as to use tools (other than keys), to climb over or under, to remove obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth. (CMP-1)

So I gotta ask you this important question. Did you TEST it without moving anything like the AC Unit? If the answer is YES then chances are it is readily accessible.

Now, since it is new construction and I quite frankly can’t tell as it could be one of those fancy FLUSH model in-use covers…otherwise I would say (you said code now) it needs to meet the requirements of 406.9(B)(1) since this is a wet location. Here is what that section states -

(B) Wet Locations.
(1) Receptacles of 15 and 20 Amperes in a Wet Location.
Receptacles of 15 and 20 amperes, 125 and 250 volts installed in a wet location shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof whether or not the attachment plug cap is inserted. An outlet box hood installed for this purpose shall be listed and shall be
identified as “extra-duty.” Other listed products, enclosures, or assemblies providing weatherproof protection that do not utilize an outlet box hood need not be marked “extra duty.”

So what solutions could you offer the client…well if you feel it is not readily accessible then place a GFCI upstream and simply convert this to a standard WP TR Receptacle and protect it via a upstream device. If it also needs that in-use cover then simply state that fact.

Here is the old saying…if these people (experts) feel that a receptacle under a sink is readily accessible to a 90 year old grandma then most certainly this receptacle is considered such…

Just some food for thought.

Although it’s a pretty lousy installation IMO it’s code complaint as per Paul’s description of readily accessible.

My long winded description…lol…you are too nice to say that Robert…lol

Actually I loved your post and didn’t have much to add other than to agree with your assessment and provide Juliet with a second opinion. :cool:

Receptacles installed outdoors must have a weatherproof cover that are acceptable for damp location. These are gasketed covers that seal the unit from moisture and retard rain and snow.

That’s it.

it’s ok fella…I was just actually teasing myself…sometimes I get carried away on the simplest things…:wink:

Now does that look like a damp location to you fella…lol

I keep calling these out for incorrect covers on new homes. That is a wet location, which requires an in use cover, correct? The location is debatable.

See my first thread in response…

That is more lax than the NEC requirement. The NEC does not require gaskets, but does require the cover to be weatherproof in use. The older spring loaded door flaps don’t cut it anymore.

For the record that is an in-use style cover.


In-use covers are rated for wet location, other outdoors locations not exposed to weather are damp locations so those type covers are permitted.

Quit being so nitpicky!

Thanks Paul!

That is my middle name!:wink:

The GFCI is OK, the HVAC unit is too close to the house though.

The A/C is fine where it is. They just put the house too close to it.

Thank you for all the input guys. Sorry I stepped away from my report writing to tend to dinner & kiddos. Yes this is the recessed in-use cover type but was not the type with any gaskets or seals. After reviewing my older code books and searching the interweb it reminded me of the weather resistant vs’ weather proof in-use cover catch 22. In my past life as a builder we had moved away from gasketed bubble type boxes because they end up broken off and/or missing within the first year of use. It’s not very weather proof once that cover is off. This particular outlet was protected by the GFCI outlet upstream in the garage and I was able to test it, but I was literally stabbing blind to get the tester lined up correctly. I have fought and lost the battle with this same builder to have the heat pumps set a min of 12" from the home. The extra 3" of elbow room would have made this a non-issue in my book. Thanks again for the insight, I really appreciate the help. :smiley:

This is the Electrical Forum…take that crap over to the HVAC Forum…LOLOLOL…

Hay, “that crap” runs on your electricity! :mrgreen:

Leave me alone!