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I’m upgrading wiring in my detached garage (in Burbank, CA), and I’m not 100% sure about a few things.

  • It seems every branch circuit needs GFCI protection, but not necessarily AFCI protection, is that right?
  • Does hard-wired EVSE need a GFCI breaker? What about hard-wired IR patio heaters?
  • Do all receptacles need to be Weather-Resistant? It seems the garage is considered a damp location, but I can’t find clear confirmation of this. A guy YouTube video said he failed his inspection because “every receptacle that could touch slab-on-grade” needed to be WR. Not sure what he meant by this.
  • Receptacles above 5'6" need to be Tamper-Resistant. But below 5'6" they don’t? What’s the rationale for this?

Note that it seems there is no Decora 20A WR/TR receptacle, at least not from Leviton.

I have a copy of the 2017 NEC Handbook, but not the 2020, and I think some of these might be 2020 changes.

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    Having a stupid GFCI is always a mistake on an EVSE, since it contains its own "smart GFCI" which can re-try several times to see if the fault has cleared, so it can resume charging. Adding a stupid GFCI breaks that feature. Commented May 12, 2022 at 23:10
  • Yeah, I happened to encounter that video in other surfing, and confirmed - this person is a very confused novice. This is the kind of "travelogue" video I prefer to see novices make, instead of explicitly giving electrical advice. People on Youtube are not Walter Cronkite/Wolf Blitzer. Commented May 14, 2022 at 21:04

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It seems every branch circuit needs GFCI protection, but not necessarily AFCI protection, is that right?

Yes. 120V receptacles need GFCI protection in a garage. It can be at breaker, at first receptacle, or at every receptacle, pick your poison.

When NEC 2020 lands in California, unless they amend it, 240V receptacles will need GFCI protection.

Does hard-wired EVSE need a GFCI breaker? What about hard-wired IR patio heaters?

Hardwired loads do not need GFCI protection.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment is required to have an internal GFCI. It is tied into the onboard computer and uses its main contactor as the current interrupt. UL authorizes it to be a "smart GFCI" and attempt a number of self-resets - to assure a transient ground fault does not leave a dead car in the morning. As such, putting a redundant, stupid GFCI on an EV charging circuit is completely moronic, and will defeat thus most useful safety feature.

The only time a stupid GFCI needs to be on an EVSE is when a) the state is on NEC 2020, b) the consumer insists on using a plug-in EVSE, and c) the local AHJ refuses to give a waiver for an "EV only" socket. If you can't change C, change B.

Do all receptacles need to be Weather-Resistant? It seems the garage is considered a damp location, but I can’t find clear confirmation of this. A guy YouTube video said he failed his inspection because “every receptacle that could touch slab-on-grade” needed to be WR. Not sure what he meant by this.

99% of Youtubers know nothing - the format favors fools with cameras, and promotes people who "play the monetization game" not experts. And those "watch me homestead" types give you their interpretation of facts, not facts.

You do not need WR receptacles in a garage wall. WR protects the receptacle innards from weather damage, which is not relevant except perhaps for a floor mount.

Receptacles above 5'6" need to be Tamper-Resistant. But below 5'6" they don’t? What’s the rationale for this?

The entire point of TR is to keep children from poking paper clips into the slots, so any advice saying they are required above 5.5 feet is wrong.

Note that it seems there is no Decora 20A WR/TR receptacle, at least not from Leviton.

Who gives a foo about Decora? Never understood the "posh garage" thing. It's a garage for Pete's sake.

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    Who gives a foo about Decora? +1
    – JACK
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 0:07
  • "99% of Youtubers know nothing" I tend to agree, although I cite it because he was citing his inspector.
    – Rick
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 0:18
  • One source was this article that said above 1.7 m, but I found 2017 406.12 that expressly exempts above 1.7 m.
    – Rick
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 0:25
  • 406.12 says TR required in "Dwelling units in all areas specified in 210.52", of which G specifies garages, so I think that means they must be TR below 1.7 m?
    – Rick
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 0:31
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    Do you really intend to use devices with 20A plugs? 15A receptacles are allowed on 20A circuits as long as there’s more than one (and a duplex counts as more than one).
    – nobody
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 3:27

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