is it nec 2010 for a GFCI to be on a garage door opener

I have a electrician stating that it is a nec code for a garage opener to be on a GFCI outlet. Please state the code if this is true. House was remodled in 2008 and has multiple GFCI’s in the garage almost all the outlets have one even if it is in the same run. Double tapping in the main service panel and two of the 15 amp breakers were over loaded with fans and bath ceiling heaters. IE turn them on and the breaker trips.
Thanks for your help
House 2 Home LLc.

I have it as all *general purpose *receptacles must be GFCI.
Door opener is “dedicated” usually isn’t it?

That is what i thought and I wrote it up. But the Russian contractor states that it is NEC code. Which I have inspected lots of 2010 houses that have not had the garage door opener on a GFCI. this is a 1980 house that was remodled. And all the outlets in the garage except one had a GFCI on it. Some were in line with the string. So mulitiple GFCI’s were used. Gives me the idea that someone didn’t know what they were doing.

Yes the sparky is correct. The 2008 NEC revision to article 210.8(A)(2) did away with the exceptions for dedicated outlets (e.g., freezers, irrigation controllers, etc.) and for inaccessible outlets such as those in the ceiling for garage door operators. Basically, if it’s in the garage, it must be GFCI protected.

Who puts up a ladder to test an outlet in the ceiling anyway?

LOL. I disclaim checking GFCI for inaccessible outlets, however most of the newer construction that I do has the openers on the same device as the convenience outlets. When you trip the GFCI device the garage operator stops working, when you reset it, the light will typically come on. So its pretty easy to tell.

Yes Chuck is correct. This requirement changed in the 2008 NEC. That is unless you’re in New Jersey where the State opted to keep the exception which IMO is a good idea. The 2008 would now require a sump pump receptacle to be GFCI protected. Given the possible consequences of a nuisance trip on a sump pump I like leaving the exception in the NEC.

One other point of interest, the new requirement under the 2008 only applies to 120 volt receptacles, a 240 volt receptacle would not require GFCI protection. I’m sure that when Chuck said “Basically, if it’s in the garage, it must be GFCI protected” he meant only 120 volt receptacles.

thanks for the info guys. And yes Joe F I check all outlets that are reachable. The one i don’t will be the one that does not work.

the same guy who checks those fireplace outlets i suppose Joe. :wink:

So far all of the garage door outlets I have seen with GFI have the test/reset on the ceiling or a dedicated GFI device (no outlets) on the wall. These are independent of the regular garage outlet circuit. The code people should have required the reset to be within reach of a normal height person without standing on anything.

they make a special tool for those high ones Bruce, out here they call the special tool a “Stick”. :smiley:

Good point Bruce… “my outlet is compliant, but I broke my leg resetting it”

If I see a reset in the ceiling, I write it up as “just plain stupid”.

And they come in right hand and left hand versions. I think Professional Equipment sells them. :smiley:

I get how important safety is. But a GFCI in the ceiling for a garage door opener, I wonder who really writes these codes, sounds like more income to the bortherhood & supply houses ;-)? If the door becomes energized I do not see how a human would be the path to ground when the two steel rails the door rollers move along are at least in contact in if not 99.99% of the time buried in the ground at the base of the door thus tripping a functional breaker in a bad short to door or simply travelling the channels to the ground in lower voltage leaks. Now we can argue that the breakers are once in a great while defective and don’t trip, but we could also say a GFCI unit isn’t 100% reliable either. As others above specify, a user/home dweller/ &/or inspector has more of a chance getting hurt from climbing the ladder resetting a tripped GFCI (or testing it) than actually benefiting from having GFCI protection on the door/opener. Old timers I work with say, there you go again trying to make sense, doesn’t apply in the world of red tape sadly. Hopefully they consider this in a later code revision, since as a safety conscious Engineer this makes no sense.

You clearly do not understand the concept of “Codes” when you make this statement. FYI- the folks that “write” the code are everyday electricians, engineers, designers, journeyman and master electricians, industry advocates and so on. The NEC is not written by a closed door group behind a magical door. Now I will address your statements.

First, there has been documented cases where a metal frame of a garage door opener system was energized and killed an individual. Next, if you have to reach that GFCI with a ladder as stated then it would not be “readily accessible” and so that kinda blows that analogy you have presented.

The concept is this, you can’t guarantee with 100% certainty that every receptacle in the ceiling will ONLY be used for a garage door opener. In the world of HI’s and Inspectors they see installations with drop cords and extension cords installed from that ceiling receptacle that was to be “used only for the garage door opener” so in reality it is not just about a possibility of an energized metal frame, it is the effort of the NEC to meet the scope of its purpose in Article 90.1 - Practical Safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. I should also add that most garage door frames DO NOT go down into the concrete as you stated, they are isolated from ground thus creating a potential to be energized without the ability to remove the current from the frame. Now, the fact you are talking about an OCPD versus what a GFCI does also lets me know you misunderstand the concept.

If the consumer was so intelligent that they did not have to comply to a minimum safety standard then we would have never had a movie called “jackass” produced in order to understand human nature.

However, as stated their has been a documented case of an individual being electrocuted ( I know because I had to argue it in the Virginia code adoption hearings a few years back as the NEMA Rep) as a result of the garage door opener faulting to the frame and onto the rails and the individual grabbed onto the rails and could not get off for what ever reason so it has happened.

Also notice in the 2017 NEC the requirement now for lighting outlets in a crawlspace to be GFCI protected now, that was a result of a single person electrocuted in a crawlspace on a broken filament [210.8(E)].

Just not sure why someone would argue over a $10.00 device that has proven itself since 1960.

They sell 3 foot wooden dowels at craft stores that would be good for this.

Thanks Paul! How many people have to die before all circuits associated with a pool or spa are required to be GFCI protected?

Greetings Fella,

Well it is rapidly changing as you will see in the 2017 NEC with regards to expanding GFCI protection to many circuits that are indeed associated with the pool and spa systems. In fact, we have GFCI requirements on the motors [680.21©], we have GFCI requirements on the lighting, receptacles and equipment [680.22] and on Spas and Hot Tubs as referenced in Part I and part IV where applicable.

So we do have a good set of coverages in Article 680 for such devices. However, getting people to actually install them, use them and maintain them are totally different problems.