The 2008 NEC has eliminated most of the exceptions for GFCI installations. That means sump pumps, furnace condensate pumps, and in the garage, the garage door operator receptacle must be protected. many people do not carry house keys, they use the door operator. When that trips and locks out the owner, expect a complaint. I can only suggest routing the door operator receptacle through an outdoor, accessable GFCI so it can be reset. In the basement start installing battery back up sump pumps. Freezer manufacturers should start putting in battery alarms for power loss. 90.1 refers to the practical safeguarding and inconvienience. It seems to some that practical got lost and inconvienience now includes property loss or damage.
When do you suppose that we are going to have to go back to the age-old assumption that electricity is dangerous when not handled properly? It seems as if we got along without GFCIs, AFCIs and T-R receptacles for over a century and now electricity is too dangerous for our own good? I know, I know, safety is one thing, but this is getting ridiculous.
Of course, the argument is that we use electricity much more than we did even thirty years ago. Safety wasn't as much of an issue. Still, I don't remember ever hearing of mass numbers of accidental electrocutions.
It is going to take years of inconvenience, flooded basements or spoiled food due to nuisance tripping before the general publics outcries are heard by the code writing panels. I'm sure that the manufacturers won't be happy about this, but come on...
I can't tell you how many service calls we still get for tripped GFI receptacles. With today's typical house filled with a dozen reset buttons scattered all over the place, Harry Homeowner is going to figure out a way to put an end to this situation quickly.
I agree that the past few code cycles have shown a dramatic increase of involvement in what I consider to be "design" issues.
I disagree as to the public outcry ever being heard by the code panels, though. Instead, the occupant is simply going to replace the devices with ones he likes.
I don't expect this to bother the 'code wonks' one bit. Rather, they will run around with their cameras, snapping pictures that they can present with gusto at the next seminar they run. I have to marvel at the person who can point to a non-TR receptacle on the ceiling of a garage, and piously insist there's a risk that some kid will poke a paperclip into it!
The good news is that modern freezers and pumps are far less likely to trip the latest version of the GFCI. These days, when someone has a nuisance trippping problem, it's quite likely that there is a problem with the appliance - not the GFI.
I do wonder how we managed to make it this far ... why, we rode bike without helmets, rode in cars without seat belts or car seats, cooled our homes with freon, and had real sugar in our soft drinks
I don't think the issue is "modern" refrigerators as much as simply "new" refrigerators. When they get old they develop ground faults inside the compressors. Since the old one is the most likely to be the one in the basement or garage, expect to get calls.
The problem is also in new installations, even restaurants. Within days of completing a restaurant last year, I was getting calls about the GFCI breakers tripping. All the equipment was new and good quality. I did check the drink mixers, coffee machines, compressors and other equipment for resistance to ground with a 120 volt D.C. megger test. All of it seemed to be OK. I tested all of the 40 different circuits with an Ideal Sure Test and they all tested exactly the same. The breakers tripped in about 6 milliseconds at about 5 milliamps, as I recall. I did check some of the wiring with a megger as well, no problem. I also checked some of the neutrals to be sure that they were not crossed. I also checked for shorts between the neutrals and grounds. The breakers (bolt-on Siemens) seemed to be well made and were in four different panelboards. The wiring was thhn in conduit, both emt and pvc.
After spending a day there, I had no answer other than inductive and capacitive type loads on GFCI breakers are maybe not compatible. I have had this problem at other restaurants that I have wired over the years.
One of the results of this type of problem as some of you have alluded to is that customers then come to not trust either the work of the electrician or the equipment they install and seek to bypass the protective features by installing different devices just so they can have reliable power for either homes or businesses. They do not know who to believe when they are told that we cannot fix their problem without violating the code. What the heck do we do?
Well, while we are on the topic of complaints, does anyone remember those goofy little 22,000 AIC micro fuses that were required in high-density housing in lieu of main breakers? Man, those things would blow at the drop of the hat. I just thought of them when I stopped by to look at the remodeling progress of a 1986 townhouse that I'm getting ready to rent. The place had been winterized and had all utilities cut off a few weeks ago. Sure enough, when we went to plug the pullout back in, *poof* went one of the fuses! As I'm sure you know, these aren't home center items either.
Back in the days when I was doing service work, we blew them all the time just trying to change a switch while hot. One slip and you guessed it...*poof*. Of course, our company made us pay for them. I seem to recall that they were about $12.00 a piece which took a big bite out of a 1982 pay check after a few slips.
Man, I have a feeling I'm going to be replacing that panel before I even move in and I don't even own the place.