422.5 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) Protection for Personnel.

Vending machines, cord-and-plug-connected spray washers, drinking fountains, auto vacuum and tire inflation machines installed for the public require GFCI protection.
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Vending machines, cord-and-plug-connected spray washers, drinking fountains, auto vacuum and tire inflation machines installed for the public require GFCI protection.

Code Change Summary: The rules pertaining to ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection for appliances have been reorganized.

In the 2014 NEC, GFCI protection requirements for specific appliances were strewn all through Article 422. Section 422.5 had only one purpose which was to state that any device providing GFCI protection required in Article 422 must be readily accessible.

In the 2017 NEC, all of the GFCI protection requirements for appliances were consolidated from different places in the article and placed in 422.5 for simplicity.

Another change to the GFCI protection requirements is for vending machines. Previously, the method of providing GFCI protection for a vending machine was dependent on whether the vending machine was manufactured or rebuilt on or after January 1st, 2005. Not only does the electrician and electrical inspector need to be worried about the electrical trade, but they would have also had to figure out the specific dates that vending machines were manufactured in order to verify that the appropriate GFCI device was used. As well, just figuring out if something is considered a vending machine at all is an entire different issue which is why the definition of a vending machine was deleted from Article 422 altogether.

GFCI protection can be accomplished in many ways so that the appliance has the appropriate protected and the device providing the GFCI protection is readily accessible. Section 422.5(B) is new and provides five different methods permitted to accomplish the required GFCI protection. At least one of which should provide an acceptable way to ensure protection for personnel while leaving the GFCI device readily accessible so that it can be tested as required by the manufacturers installation instructions.

Below is a preview of the NEC. 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:

422.5 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) Protection. The device providing GFCI protection required in this article shall be readily accessible.

2017 Code Language:

422.5 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) Protection for Personnel.

(A) General. Appliances identified in 422.5(A)(1) through (5) rated 250 volts or less and 60 amperes or less, single- or 3-phase, shall be provided with GFCI protection for personnel. Multiple GFCI protective devices shall be permitted but shall not be required.

(1) Automotive vacuum machines provided for public use

(2) Drinking water coolers

(3) High-pressure spray washing machines — cord-and-plug-connected

(4) Tire inflation machines provided for public use

(5) Vending machines

N (B) Type. The GFCI shall be readily accessible, listed, and located in one or more of the following locations:

(1) Within the branch circuit overcurrent device

(2) A device or outlet within the supply circuit

(3) An integral part of the attachment plug

(4) Within the supply cord not more than 300 mm (12 in.) from the attachment plug

(5) Factory installed within the appliance

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422.5 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) Protection for Personnel.

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

Which of the following is true for an appliance that requires GFCI protection?

A: The GFCI shall be readily accessible.
B: The GFCI shall be accessible.
C: The device providing the GFCI protection can be integral to the supply cord and located 24 inches from the attachment plug.
D: The GFCI protection is NOT permitted to be factory installed within the appliance.
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