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#207720 - 11/21/12 08:37 PM So what are these?  
trollog  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
San Diego California USA
And how would you classify them for NEC purposes as regarding distance a GFI receptacle must be from them? At one end of the spectrum, as I see it, is a swimming pool. At the other end of the spectrum is a bucket of water I use to wash mycar. These troughs have a large volume, like a swimming pool or fountain, but are portable, like a bucket or cement mixing trough, not fixed like a swimming pool, spa or fountain. Unlike a swimming pool or spa, they are not made, used or intended for human occupancy of any kind. What would you call them? How would you classify them? I could see arguing this a couple of different ways. I put this up here because it seems like these occupy a gray area of the NEC. They don't fit a "definition" per-se- they're not pools, spas, fountains or man made bodies of water, in their strictest sense, which leads me to defining them by "what they are used for" which seems like an even murkier and subjective discussion. What say you?

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#207722 - 11/21/12 10:08 PM Re: So what are these? [Re: trollog]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,878
Brick, NJ USA
Hmmm...sounds like something good ol' George would ask.

Looks like it's outside; looks commercial or ind., or something other than resi. Not a comm pool.

Outside? GFI yes, wherever there are 120 volt, 15-20 amp receptacles. Required distance? N/A

Let the fun begin...


#207724 - 11/21/12 10:25 PM Re: So what are these? [Re: HotLine1]  
trollog  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
San Diego California USA
Fun indeed.. that 10 foot distance is the thorn in my side. I'de like them
closer due to tight space constraints, but just can't seem to glean a meaning
out of the code that will let me argue it convincingly. The original post is the
farthest evolution of my thinking on it. I'll spill the beans after a few posts
on what it is and what it does, if no one guesses it first.

the picture was taken standing approx 10 feet away..

Last edited by trollog; 11/21/12 10:25 PM.

#207725 - 11/21/12 10:55 PM Re: So what are these? [Re: trollog]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Absent the intent for folks to enter the water, there's no requirement that there be any receptacle ... or, if you prefer, you can have one right at the waterline.

Though ... you know, I COULD put one of those to use in my yard, sort of a 'poor mans hot tub.' To be honest, the things probably cost as much as a real Jacuzzi - heavy plastic isn't cheap - and, by the time I got done, I'd have a $20K DIY tub. Some savings.

Just got my Cabela's catalog and .... yup, they have INFLATABLE, portable hot tubs, just plug into any receptacle.

#207726 - 11/21/12 11:15 PM Re: So what are these? [Re: renosteinke]  
trollog  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
San Diego California USA
Not a requirement, but the operators would like some GFI's nearby to
run portable pumps and equipment to drain the ponds at harvest time. Already giving away their purpose here. The reason this issue comes up is because the nearest receptacles are over 40 feet away, and that gets farther as you move the pump/centrifuge down the line of ponds. The reason they are unhappy with
the current scenario is because it's a pain to roll out that much cord and deal
with it, and cords lying on the ground have gotten wet and caused "nuisance"
(use that term broadly) GFI tripping. It would be for the best to have the GFI's
as close as possible so as to minimize cord lenght, both for convenience and for
safety/reduced chance of nuisuance tripping. Question is, how close in this application. I see a lot of gray area, open to interpretation. On the practical side, the acutal equipment used is heavy and on wheels. There is almost zero chance that a 300lb centrifuge on wheels would rise 2.5 feet in the air, then over 2 feet horizontally to fall into these like a radio or other corded appliance placed on the rim might. While a GFI inside the 10 or even 8 foot zone might present little danger in the case of a heavy pump or centrifuge on wheels, the same cannon be said of
a work light or drill or whatver other kind of hand held tool you can imagine.
As you all know very well, things often get red tagged not for what did happen, but for what could.. I want to stay on the right side of the line, in word and in spirit, but this one is ambiguous, at least to my mind. I can see it
being "ok" on account of the (technically) mobile and non permanent nature of
the ponds, and "sort of ok" based on the nature of the electrially powered equpiment that will be used in proximity to the ponds, but "not so ok" in terms of what might happen with a drill, radio, work light, or whatever cord conncted appliance someone might see fit to plug in and use in close proximity to water at some time or another. In spirit, these are semi-permanent ponds.

Last edited by trollog; 11/21/12 11:18 PM.

#207727 - 11/21/12 11:47 PM Re: So what are these? [Re: trollog]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
Article 682

Greg Fretwell

#207730 - 11/22/12 02:53 AM Re: So what are these? [Re: trollog]  
Lostazhell  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,431
Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
So what I'm gathering from 682 is a horizontal plane 2 feet above the highest normal water level (or "electrical datum plane")?

Here's the thing I'm looking at. The customer has electrical equipment that they are already using within this area via extension cords. There's a concern about power tools and such being dropped into the ponds. This is already a possibility should they use 40' of extension cord and what is currently present. Placing a GFI recept at 2' above the top of these ponds per what I got from 682, PLUS I would also keep the recepts >6' from the ponds, being that this is the de facto power cord length for all things from radios to refrigerators. Thus not allowing anything to happen that couldn't already happen under current conditions. Should someone want some tunes while working in the ponds, without an extension cord, the radio should be kept far enough away from water to negate it being a hazard issue.

#207733 - 11/22/12 04:39 AM Re: So what are these? [Re: trollog]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
Like John says they are not pools, spas, fountains or any other 680 thing since people don't actually bathe in them and they arent decorative. I doubt you can call them a sink so we are left with 682 by default if we look at the water at all. Assuming this is not at a coast or a flood plane the datum plane thing is moot so we are left with a GCFI needs to be used on outside receptacles. If they drop a tool in the water, the GFCI will trip.
I don't see any equipment in the water so we do not have an equipotential plane situation.

Greg Fretwell

#207734 - 11/22/12 05:38 AM Re: So what are these? [Re: gfretwell]  
trollog  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
San Diego California USA
These are 1000L livestock watering troughs used for algae cultivation at a university. Probably fits the definition of aquaculture most closely, but not at the scale discussed in 682, as I read it (high & low water marks,
floating docks, large ponds, etc.) Their non-fixed nature also seems like an additonal curve-ball. There are no
floodplain issues in this location, high atop a mesa in SD County. The only time a human places any part of their
body in one is to "dip" for a sample, or to scrub them clean after they have been emptied.

I have had lots of back-and-forth with the powers that be over other things, this is my next tussle. Wanted to walk
in with a good argument. My thinking tends in the direction John points. Just wanted to throw it out to this forum to see what kind of consensus there is around this "facility".

On another note, regarding a different post about the same place- isolation transformer fixed the centrifuge right up..
no more nuisance tripping on the GFI's..

#207735 - 11/22/12 05:42 AM Re: So what are these? [Re: renosteinke]  
trollog  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
San Diego California USA
@John: All ten are powered by a jacuzzi pump, enclosed in that beige outbuilding behind the guy standing in the pic. It amazes me that one
pump can mix them all. Designed by a clever old engineer who has a lot of background in designing aquaculture systems.

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