210.8(B) Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel. Other Than Dwelling Units.

Here is a tamper-resistant, weather resistant, hospital grade GFCI receptacle with an end of life indicator.
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Here is a tamper-resistant, weather resistant, hospital grade GFCI receptacle with an end of life indicator.

Code Change Summary: GFCI protection is now required on certain three-phase receptacles.

Section 210.8(B) provides GFCI protection requirements for specific receptacles in other than dwellings. Other locations in the NEC provide additional requirements where GFCI protection is required for receptacles and specific equipment, whether cord and plug connected or directly wired.

For many code cycles, 210.8(B) has provided GFCI requirements but only when dealing with 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in specific locations. Now, this section has been reworded to include the following:

It’s always important to remember that GFCI protection can be provided at the receptacle itself or ahead of a receptacle by using GFCI type circuit breakers (if available) to protect the entire circuit.

One thing is clear, it is likely that most electrician will design around the new GFCI requirements. Not everything in the NEC requires a receptacle. Most three-phase equipment can be hard wired just as easily as making a cord connection. The main issue when hard-wiring instead of the cord and plug connection is the lack of a disconnecting means for the equipment that the cord and plug connection would have provided. As well, when hard-wiring electrical equipment, the ability to remove the equipment for cleaning behind becomes more involved.

Always be mindful of equipment listing and installation instructions that only permit a cord and plug connection. Modifying listed equipment by cutting off a factory installed cord creates other violations.

Below is a preview of Article 210. See the actual NEC text at NFPA.ORG for the complete code section. Once there, click on their link to free access to the 2017 NEC edition of NFPA 70.

2014 Code Language:

210.8(B) Other Than Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(B)(1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

2017 Code Language:

210.8(B) Other Than Dwelling Units. All single-phase receptacles rated 150 volts to ground or less, 50 amperes or less and three-phase receptacles rated 150 volts to ground or less, 100 amperes or less installed in the following locations shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

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210.8(B) Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel. Other Than Dwelling Units.

Below is a Real Question from our Electrical Continuing Education Courses for Electrical License Renewal:

Which of the following is true of the receptacle requirements for GFCI protection in 210.8(B)?

A: The rules apply to 50 amp, three-phase, 480-volt receptacles.
B: The rules apply to 20 amp, single-phase, 125-volt receptacles.
C: The rules apply to 60 amp, single-phase, 125-volt receptacles.
D: The rules apply to 20 amp, three-phase, 480-volt receptacles.
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