I can only add 6 pcs of GFCI 2-pole breakers so I am prioritizing what areas or appliances to plug them in.

  1. In multipoint water heater in bathroom.. is there a possibility that the water can become electrified? For example, one of the hot line in the heater is shorted to its small heater tank (but without forming short circuit to 2nd hot line), can the water become electrified as it flows in the pipes and to your body electrocuting you? Has anything like this ever happened? References welcomed.

  2. My GFCI outlet trips when connected to refrigerator. Are all refrigerators like that? I heard it has something to do with leakage current that is normal in refs.. does it mean you don't use GFCI in your refrigerators?

1 Answer 1

  1. If you will remember about 16 years ago during the gulf wars, an article came out about several military men were electrocuted while taking a shower. So yes you can be electrocuted in your shower. In you example you point out a violation of the 2017 NEC. Articles 210.2(A)(4) Bonding of Electrical Conductive Materials and Other Equipment & (5) Effective Ground-fault Current Path. Basically these two articles state: All metal parts of a water system must be bonded back to the Grounding System. I know you could say something like "there is no way my metal shower head could come into contact with electricity so why bond it?" I can't say since that is something you should take up with your local AHJ. I can say follow the NEC.

  2. 2017 NEC Article 210.52(B)(1) Exception 2 does allow a non GFCI receptacle for a refrigerator, but it cannot violate other parts of the NEC. The most commonplace being, it must be a separate circuit dedicated to the appliance, it must be at least 8' from water and it cannot be in the garage. It does not eliminate AFCI devices.

    Hope this helps

  • 1
    So does the exception in your point 2 automatically become inapplicable for any refrigerator with an ice/water dispenser?
    – brhans
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 17:21
  • I mean even without touching the shower head. Supposed the live wire touches the heater metal tank, can it remain electrified if the water is continuous and it flows down from the shower head and touches your body, would you get a shock? Our heaters were never grounded because we never have ground, that is why I'm justifying if I'll install GFCI in the heater. Or another example. Supposed the rain is continuous (or a building has leaked water from the tank), and it touches the power line hot wire.. can you get a shock if there is continuous path of water between you and the power line?
    – Samzun
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 22:01
  • @brhans - Interesting question. I would say be on the safe side and install a GFCI, but you could also get a ruling from your local AHJ. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 14:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.