Is there any place that says a device GFCI has to be readily accessible? I am thinking about a device that is feeding downstream outdoor receptacles at grade. Can the GFCI be mounted in the soffit, out of reach to the user without a ladder? I saw this today and I can't find a reason it isn't compliant. Lousy "design" tho.
We do not install the GFCIs for whirlpools under the tub, we install 'faceless' ones in the wall beside the tub.
404.8 Accessibility and Grouping. (A) Location. All switches and circuit breakers used as switches shall be located so that they may be operated from a readily accessible place. They shall be installed so that the center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, is not more than 2.0 m (6 ft 7 in.) above the floor or working platform.
[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 12-02-2005).]
Bob Badger Construction & Maintenance Electrician Massachusetts
For the record, I usually stick the tub's gfi across the other side of the bathroom, and feed another receptacle outlet under the tub with the first one. (this isn't the sinks gfi, thats another story). I am just saying is accepted practice to do it the other way around, and that requires sombody to remove the access panel cover to reset the gfi. To have to climb a ladder to reach a gfi as the original poster was wondering about - I can find no reason in the code book to prevent this.
I knew this would be thought provoking. Simply to say switches must be readily accessible brings you to the switch inside an attic access. You usually need a ladder to get to that. I would also not have too much trouble if the soffit mounted GFCI did not serve any "at grade" outlets (only soffit outlets) since you need a ladder to use it. It would still be a bad design. In this case the GFCI serves the required "at grade" outside outlets but the control is not "at grade" if you trip it. I like Bob's cite but I am see everyone wouldn't agree.
Clearly GFCI are circuit breakers. That they are integral to a receptacle makes little difference. When they trip a non-electrician should be able to find and re-set them in reasonable time.
A circuit breaker that trips on faults instead of thermal overloads is still a breaker.
Circuit breakers are switches. They change state from on to off.
A light switch in the attic that controls an attic light while you're up there.... Not relevant.
I object to chaining GFCI around a house such that an upstairs bathroom circuit goes dead when a receptacle in the garage is tripped. To me that GFCI is not accessable. The homeowner ends up calling an electrician to reset the circuit. Who would know that the circuit was chained everywhere?
"Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (KCXS)...The "test" and "reset" buttons on the GFCI's are only intended to check for the proper functioning of the GFCI. They are not intended to be used as "ON/OFF" controls of motors or other loads unless the buttons are specifically marked "ON" and "OFF."
[This message has been edited by Tom (edited 12-02-2005).]
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.