Exceptions for the garage GFCI receptacles and GFCI’s in accessory buildings have been removed by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code). The new rules apply to the structures that have a floor located at or below grade level, are not intended for use as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use.
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Always remember about GFCI maintenance and testing – those devices are worthless piece of equipment, unless they are operating properly!
Accessory building GFCI
There’s no more GFCI unprotected receptacles permitted in accessory buildings. If you are planning to put one in your barn or storage shed, it must be a GFCI type receptacle or an outlet protected by a GFCI breaker.
Garage GFCI receptacles
- Receptacles that are not readily accessible; garage ceiling outlet, an outlet receptacle serving garage door opener, etc., require GFCI protection. I personally have nothing against it, but resetting that tripped garage GFCI outlet on a very high ceiling will cost you a few hundred $$$… for the ladder that is. So, it would probably make sense to install a regular outlet on the ceiling and a garage GFCI receptacle protecting it in a readily accessible area.
Readily Accessible (2008 NEC definition) – Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.
- A single or duplex receptacle on a dedicated branch circuit that was previously identified for a certain cord-and-plug connected appliance, such as a refrigerator or freezer, it now belongs to the garage GFCI receptacle group / it has to be GFCI protected.
The new code actually made it simpler – no more guessing. On the other hand…, is it a good idea to have a freezer / refrigerator plugged into a garage GFCI receptacle?