Sump Pumps and GFCIs

Just curious if anyone has any good verbage for a sump pump plugged into a GFCI outlet?



That’s a bit of a fight. I report that it can cause nuisance tripping when the sump pump is needed and to consult an electrician.

Electrocution supercedes flooding. Still, having 1000’s of hours of water damage restoration under my belt, I think it is best to have a non-GFCI receptacle running the pump. People are like lemmings and will go in their basement and walk in the water if it is there. If the water is pumped off, to me, there is less of a chance for a life threatening event to occur. Any municipality that is serious about their code will require a GFCI receptacle in this location however.


Current standards of building call
for the use of GFCI protected outlets anywhere that contact with water is possible to the user of the outlet including sump pumps. Due to nuisance trips of the outlet that will leave the sump pump inoperable it is recommended that a back up pump be used also. As there are several different styles of back up systems, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed plumber to review the styles and determine what will work the best for your situation.

I’m not particularly a fan of GFCI anywhere. Never needed growing up.


Your interpretation is only partially correct; it would apply if a duplex receptacle was installed. The requirement would typically be there if there was trhe possibility that something else could be plugged into the outlet in proximity ot the sump pit. So, the compliant solution it to install a non-GFCI protected simplex receptacle. That is all that is required. If you plug the sump pump into the simplex, it does not require the GFCI protection.

Please provide more information regarding your exemption in wet areas for simplex plugs.


From Mike Holt’s Electrical Forum…

Apparently, this was written by Mr Holt, himself, as there is some debate on the subject. Ultimately, it is up to the local AHJ, and we are not Code inspectors… but the exemption has existed for some time. The only thing I would research, if one is so inclined, is whether this exemption went away after 2008. I do not think so, however, as this is how the units are wired and municipally inspected in my area.

Paul Abernathy por perhaps Jeff Pope would be possible sources for an in-depth answer and the evolution of the Code in this area.

Thanks Joe.

As for Jeff Pope knowing about sump pumps, that is highly unlikely. They would probably need water for a reason to put a sump pump in his area. :wink:

Anyone who would report that a GFCI is required at a sump pump would just be labeled as an idiot from the electrician who was hired to repair the “defect”. Recommend a single recep if the sump pump is the only appliance ugged into it whether it’s GFCI or not.