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#20832 - 01/23/03 11:58 AM Water Cooler GFCI?  
Jack Zaddock  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1
Auburn Hills, Mi
Does a water cooler or drinking fountain require a GFCI receptacle or a standard receptacle to meet code?

Jack J. Zaddock
Facility Elec. Eng.
DaimlerChrysler WHQ

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#20833 - 01/23/03 01:52 PM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
mountainman  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 54
Richmond Va. U.S.A.
A regular receptacle is all the code requires.

#20834 - 01/23/03 02:18 PM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
If you're dealing with an in-wall water fountain, would the area containing the cooler underneath be considered a damp area?

Would seem logical, wouldn't it?

I've only seen standard receptacles used for those when the panels have been knocked off.

#20835 - 01/23/03 10:01 PM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
swillman  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2
i would put it on a gfi it should not trip when the chiller kicks in

#20836 - 01/24/03 12:34 AM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
harold endean  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ
I have seen where an insurence co. required a GFI recpt. for water coolers, and for coffee makers where the coffee maker was hooked up to the city water. (It was in a resteraunt) (Did I spell that right?_) It is not in the NEC but the insurence co. wanted it.

#20837 - 02/09/03 09:52 PM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
OSHA Professor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 48
If the are below a water cooler were a wet location then you couldn't use a receptacle GFCI. It's not listed for that location.
Drinking fountains are NOT the same as water coolers. Drinking fountains are not electrical. They are the old porcelain plumbing only (no electrical) found many years ago and perhaps a few still exist.
Today the UL listing is for "Water Coolers". NEC Article on pools and fountains, definitions specifically state that water coolers are not to be considered fountains for the purposes of the article and therefore do not require GFCI's.
Mountainman is correct, the NEC does not require GFCI's, only regular receptacles.
If someone chose to install a GFCI then there would be an obligation for monthly tests and the normal condenser leakage current could result in tripping.
Regular receptacle is the best option in my opinion with a good low impedance ground as required by NEC.
OSHA Professor

#20838 - 02/09/03 10:02 PM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Hmmmm...Several public as well as private schools and churches under my belt and if I remember correctly,the engineer required(called out for on drwgs) GFCI receptacles on all of the EDFs.(electric drinking fountains)


#20839 - 02/09/03 10:24 PM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
OSHA Professor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 48
Your memory is perfect, I agree with you 100%. I've seen architecture firms and engineers specify same. They don't have to test them. Ask them what code requires same, why they specify same, if they know how a GFCI works, and what possible safety drawbacks are associated with GFCI's? I have, and you'll hear a lot of hum a huma huma.
OSHA Professor

#20840 - 02/09/03 11:14 PM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
You've gone and peaked my curiosity now.What possible safety drawbacks are associated with GFCI receptacle on an EDF as opposed to a standard duplex receptacle?


#20841 - 02/10/03 01:16 AM Re: Water Cooler GFCI?  
frenchelectrican  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
yeah if i remeber the french codes right they have the same probem with electric water cooler also they want to put gfci but it was not too sucessfull but right now i dont know if the techonly getting better with gfci also i know in french code and nec codes say just use the regualr outlet that all i recall it

merci marc

Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

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