sump pump dedicated outlet GFCI

Hello All
Happy New Year
Does anyone know if nec has anything about a sump pump being on a dedicated circut and also being a gfci outlet.
Or any reason that this should be.
thank you

Unfortunately, 2008 version required it to be on a GFCI.


There is no NEC requirement for GFCI protection for a sump pump. The 2008 NEC removed the exception for 120 volt non-GFCI receptacles in dedicated spaces in garages and unfinished basements. If the location of the sump pump *receptacle *requires GFCI protection then you must have GFCI protection. If the sump pump were located in an area where non-GFCI receptacles are permitted then you wouldn’t need GFCI protection for the pump receptacle.

Personally I dislike this requirement and would not use a GFCI protected receptacle or circuit breaker for a sump pump. One option would be to use a pump rated for 240 volts and use a 240 volt non-GFCI branch circuit.

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I have a gfci protected sump pump .
I put in a watered back up sump pump.
Gfci never dumped but during a power failure the water powered sump sved the day .
You have to be on town water of course .
Home Depot Canada $150;00

Perhaps sumps should not be plug in devices as that would solve the issue.
Make them hard wired.

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That would be nice. I see them unplugged all the time so the homeowner can plug in their dehumidifier, or other such thing.

Furnaces are not required to have GFCI because they are hardwired.(condensate)

I thought this was a “sump pump” thread! :stuck_out_tongue:

Bob… as in "portable DEhumidifiers. Ya know, that thing that homeowners with basements use!

Sorry to confuse anyone as I was simply trying to give an example as Furnaces are hardwired.

Junction box and switch rather than a plug.Also they are associated with water but you would never need a GFCI because they are switched.
Perhaps a bad metaphor.

Mark -

I would leave my sump pump on a dedicated outlet WITHOUT a GFCI (don’t wanta find out my GFCI tripped accidently when I’m 6" deep in water on my finished basement floor).

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A legitimate concern but the NEC doesn’t really care if the device trips and you’re underwater because of it. The code requires that the receptacle be GFCI protected if it’s installed in an unfinished basement or garage.

When I see the crawl space sump pumps around here, most are non GFCI protected.

I recommend they be GFCI protected but let the client know that the best place to put the reset is in the main family room near the tv. If the light comes on, they know they need to reset the pump. Don’t like having the resets in the now flooded crawl space.

Why only in unfinished basement? Why not in finished basement? What’s the theory behind this?

I agree with stephen, I find it ridiculous when installed in a out of reach area. I prefer GFCI be located visible in the family room having it protect the sump pump connect to the protected plug.
A GFCI can protect up to 12 outlets. Then for this one, two could do the trick and avoid forgetting to reset it.

"A legitimate concern but the NEC doesn’t really care if the device trips and you’re underwater because of it. The code requires that the receptacle be GFCI protected if it’s installed in an unfinished basement or garage’.

Never seen a sump pump in a garage in my area. In a basement thats totally unfinished, and no storage on a floor to damage / Put your sump pump on a GFCI if you want.

In a basement thats partly or fully finished, I don’t want my sump pump on a GFCI nor would I ever recommend it to someone.

AND I’m not doing a code inspection / Mostly common sense.

Personally… if I were purchasing a home, and a gfci was required and installed, the first thing I would do after closing is (rip) that gfci out of there, partly for the same reason I would never have a refer or freezer on gfci.


If the outlet is out of harms way , I don’t see the need for it . Once sump pump is plugged in you don’t normally touch it again , unlike your tea kettle or toaster where you do it every day . ;):D:D

Does this mean that on the remote chance of tripping a GFI by doing its job and preventing a shock hazard to a human life is less important than a freezer of food or a flooded basement?

Certainly not in my book, food can be replaced and the basement can be dried out or replaced.

Personal preference, for use in “my” home.

Minnesota and Maryland are worlds apart in climatic conditions. In rural areas (like I am in) we have constant threat of rain, snow, ice, thunder storms, lightning, tornado’s, extended periods of high humidity, etc… Power failures, voltage spikes, etc… are a common occurrence. I inspect homes all the time that have damage from sump failures, even those with backups. I would guesstimate that 75% of homes I inspect, have issues with the sump system. Almost as many homes have defective gfci’s in the basement.

Remember, this is a decision I make for myself, in my own home, When I inspect for a client, I always follow Industry Standards and stringent Safety Guidelines. I never place my clients at risk of harm.