NEMA 14-50 GFCI

raginggoat

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#1
I’m going to be running the wiring for my NEMA 14-50 outside next to my meter and up through the attic into the garage. Should I install a GFCI or will I be ok without it?
 

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#2
I’m going to be running the wiring for my NEMA 14-50 outside next to my meter and up through the attic into the garage. Should I install a GFCI or will I be ok without it?
I'm not an expert or an electrician but I believe NEC 2017 requires it. Not all states have adopted it. You can see who has here. https://www.nfpa.org/NEC/NEC-adoption-and-use/NEC-adoption-maps Doesn't look like yours has but I guess they could have their own rules as well. I've been told by an electrician that the GFCI does cause issues in some cases. The Tesla Wall connector does not require GFCI since its hardwired. Its designed for outdoor use and looks cool. It also doesn't require the neutral which saves some money. If you poke around this forum and TMC you will find lots of info on this topic including nice pictures of installs and ideas for securing outlets, etc. Good luck and kudos for DIY.
 

raginggoat

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I'm not an expert or an electrician but I believe NEC 2017 requires it. Not all states have adopted it. You can see who has here. https://www.nfpa.org/NEC/NEC-adoption-and-use/NEC-adoption-maps Doesn't look like yours has but I guess they could have their own rules as well. I've been told by an electrician that the GFCI does cause issues in some cases. The Tesla Wall connector does not require GFCI since its hardwired. Its designed for outdoor use and looks cool. It also doesn't require the neutral which saves some money. If you poke around this forum and TMC you will find lots of info on this topic including nice pictures of installs and ideas for securing outlets, etc. Good luck and kudos for DIY.
Thanks for the response! I wish I could take credit for installing it myself but my brother is the one doing it.
 

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I don't recall which, but there are reports of issues plugging either the WC or the UMC in to a GFCI breaker protected circuit. I understand code, but do a quick search and check on that before spending more on a breaker that might not work and will cause problems.
 
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#5
@raginggoat

As you do your research, keep in mind that there are two different generations of the Mobile Connector, and your Model 3 will come with the second-generation version. It's possible that one version of the Mobile Connector might "play nicer" with GFCI breakers than the other. (Unfortunately I don't have enough data to tell you whether that's the case, and if so, which version is more reliable.)

I created a poll here to try to quantify the degree to which a Gen 2 Mobile Connector + GFCI Breaker setup reliably completes a charging session. So far, the poll only has 3 responses ( :( ), with two reporting that their charging session is never interrupted, and one reporting that the changing session completes only 60-79% of the time. (I asked the person who reported the latter data point to elaborate on the specifics of their experience, but they have not done so yet.) Take those results for whatever they're worth to you.

Personally, I plan to roll with a weatherproof NEMA 14-50 mounted underneath the porch adjacent to my driveway (I have no garage), so that will require a GFCI breaker. Worst case, if this setup proves problematic, I'll replace the NEMA 14-50 with a hardwired Wall Connector and swap out the breaker, but hopefully it won't come to that.
 

garsh

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Worst case, if this setup proves problematic, I'll replace the NEMA 14-50 with a hardwired Wall Connector and swap out the breaker, but hopefully it won't come to that.
Yep, that's the code-compliant way to avoid the "dueling-GFCI" issue.
 

PNWmisty

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I'm not an expert or an electrician but I believe NEC 2017 requires it. Not all states have adopted it. You can see who has here. https://www.nfpa.org/NEC/NEC-adoption-and-use/NEC-adoption-maps
My electrical inspector flagged the NEMA 14-50 outlet in our carport for not having a GFCI breaker. He said it didn't make it into the regular NEC but was in an addendum as a requirement for outlets in garages, breezeways, outside, porches, etc. My electrician didn't know this and had to replace the 50 amp breaker with one that had GFCI. Of course, the Tesla Wall connector passed without a GFCI protected circuit.

Now my utility company (PSE) is refusing to provide the service connection from the pole above the carport without approval from the city. And the city has denied approval under the assumption the carport is new construction and should be serviced by underground power even though their own records show the carport was built in 1960. Still following up on this mess because there is a buried gas line in the way and any underground service would require tearing up most of our paved driveway, right through the carport. It's kind of funny because our small town is very conservative and the city government is very pro-business, anti-regulation and red-tape. But they can't seem to stop themselves from tripping over the red tape they put up!
 

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My electrical inspector flagged the NEMA 14-50 outlet in our carport for not having a GFCI breaker. He said it didn't make it into the regular NEC but was in an addendum as a requirement for outlets in garages, breezeways, outside, porches, etc. My electrician didn't know this and had to replace the 50 amp breaker with one that had GFCI. Of course, the Tesla Wall connector passed without a GFCI protected circuit.

Now my utility company (PSE) is refusing to provide the service connection from the pole above the carport without approval from the city. And the city has denied approval under the assumption the carport is new construction and should be serviced by underground power even though their own records show the carport was built in 1960. Still following up on this mess because there is a buried gas line in the way and any underground service would require tearing up most of our paved driveway, right through the carport. It's kind of funny because our small town is very conservative and the city government is very pro-business, anti-regulation and red-tape. But they can't seem to stop themselves from tripping over the red tape they put up!
Gotta love government.
 

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I'm not an expert or an electrician but I believe NEC 2017 requires it. Not all states have adopted it. You can see who has here. https://www.nfpa.org/NEC/NEC-adoption-and-use/NEC-adoption-maps Doesn't look like yours has but I guess they could have their own rules as well. I've been told by an electrician that the GFCI does cause issues in some cases. The Tesla Wall connector does not require GFCI since its hardwired. Its designed for outdoor use and looks cool. It also doesn't require the neutral which saves some money. If you poke around this forum and TMC you will find lots of info on this topic including nice pictures of installs and ideas for securing outlets, etc. Good luck and kudos for DIY.
I am pretty positive that 2017 NEC DOES NOT require GFCI's on NEMA 14-50's in any situation I am aware of. I have seen some evidence that they were trying to expand the GFCI requirement to cover this, but that it got struck down last minute. This would increase costs massively for basically every RV park out there that was being built, expanded, upgraded, etc...

50a 240v GFCI units are very expensive.

I don't think I have ever seen one deployed for a NEMA 14-50. I have only seen them for hot tubs and such.

I very much would like a code citation of any section of 2017 NEC that you think requires this (since I really do want to go read about it myself). You can register for free access on the NFPA web site now to go look at the code.
 

PNWmisty

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#10
I am pretty positive that 2017 NEC DOES NOT require GFCI's on NEMA 14-50's in any situation I am aware of.
Like I mentioned above, the local electrical inspector said it didn't make it into the regular 2017 National Electrical Code but the GFCI requirement made it into an addendum. So it's a very recent requirement. My inspector was aware of this and was already enforcing this, many others will not.
 

eprosenx

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Like I mentioned above, the local electrical inspector said it didn't make it into the regular 2017 National Electrical Code but the GFCI requirement made it into an addendum. So it's a very recent requirement. My inspector was aware of this and was already enforcing this, many others will not.
I believe the phrasing may be wrong. I do not have any evidence of it being in the 2017 NEC at the national level, but perhaps your state or local jurisdiction has a requirement that goes above and beyond the NEC (which is common). They can modify it to taste (sometimes making it more strict, sometimes making it less strict).

If indeed there is something at the national NEC level I would like to see it in writing because I am unaware of it.
 

JWardell

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#12
Just put in the GFCI breaker. Get your inspections and approvals. If you start having problems with it, swap it for a normal one.

I'm almost at three weeks, 5 significant rain storms, and not a single trip.
 

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#13
For what it's worth, your Mobile Connector has built-in ground fault detection/protection.
It shuts off charging (no green lights) when it detects a ground fault.

Source

 

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#14
I am pretty positive that 2017 NEC DOES NOT require GFCI's on NEMA 14-50's in any situation I am aware of. I have seen some evidence that they were trying to expand the GFCI requirement to cover this, but that it got struck down last minute. This would increase costs massively for basically every RV park out there that was being built, expanded, upgraded, etc...

50a 240v GFCI units are very expensive.

I don't think I have ever seen one deployed for a NEMA 14-50. I have only seen them for hot tubs and such.

I very much would like a code citation of any section of 2017 NEC that you think requires this (since I really do want to go read about it myself). You can register for free access on the NFPA web site now to go look at the code.
If you read 210.8(B) it contains a new part in 2017 that says:

"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."

Now you'll say but NEMA 14-50 is more than 150V but you can also get 120V from it. Not sure if that counts.

There is also this in the electrical vehicle charging system section:

"625.54 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel. All single-phase receptacles installed for the connection of electric vehicle charging that are rated 150 volts to ground or less, and 50 amperes or less shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel."
 

eprosenx

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If you read 210.8(B) it contains a new part in 2017 that says:

"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."

Now you'll say but NEMA 14-50 is more than 150V but you can also get 120V from it. Not sure if that counts.

There is also this in the electrical vehicle charging system section:

"625.54 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel. All single-phase receptacles installed for the connection of electric vehicle charging that are rated 150 volts to ground or less, and 50 amperes or less shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel."
So my reading of 210.8(B) is that it does not apply to "dwelling units". But to your point: Even if the receptacle was a 6-50, it is still less than 150 volts to ground since residential service is a center-tapped neutral which is bonded to ground. Nominal voltage to ground should be 120v from either hot (even though hot to hot is 240v). So yeah, sounds like GFCI's would be required in commercial settings.

But WOW- I was unaware of 625.54. Good find! I had not read that section before and nobody had mentioned it. The one question I have is if a standard "split phase" 240v NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 counts as "single phase", but I suspect it does. The single phase reference is to differentiate from "three phase".

So originally the 2017 code was targeting making GFCI basically mandatory just about everywhere, but then they stripped it out last minute. But it sounds like the 2017 code also missed out on allowing for 30a and 50a 240v charging (using portable adapters) and so that was added in as an emergency last minute, but yeah, that is also when 625.54 came in.

This may mean that a crap ton of the advice we give on this forum has been incorrect. I have not see any other discussions of requiring GFCI that referenced this new code section. That could make finding breakers for some panels difficult or impossible (or at least vastly more expensive).

I wonder how this rulemaking process works? Did that last minute change officially make it into the version of the 2017 code that all the municipalities have accepted? Or are some states striking that out manually (Oregon has quite a list of things they modify).

My inspection had no issue at all on a non-GFCI breaker.

I totally get how a GFCI on an outdoor receptacle makes a ton of sense, but an indoor one seems kind of overkill. The EVSE has a GFCI in it, so really a GFCI for an indoor receptacle is really only protecting about 12" of cable...

https://www.ecmweb.com/nec/limited-time-comment-tia-related-ev-charging-systems

http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/AboutTheCodes/70/70_A2019_NEC-P12_Log1242_tiaballot.pdf

P.S. I am not suggesting this, but now I need to go read the RV and welder sections of the code. Perhaps if you permit an outlet as an RV it does not require a GFCI since this code section was dedicated for EV's? I think it is kind of crazy to require GFCI's for EV receptacles, but as far as I know, they are not required for campgrounds. People plugging in RV's daily seem just as dangerous or more dangerous than doing EV's (since most folks leave their EVSE's plugged in most of the time to the wall and just unplug the car end daily).
 

eprosenx

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#16
My electrical inspector flagged the NEMA 14-50 outlet in our carport for not having a GFCI breaker. He said it didn't make it into the regular NEC but was in an addendum as a requirement for outlets in garages, breezeways, outside, porches, etc. My electrician didn't know this and had to replace the 50 amp breaker with one that had GFCI. Of course, the Tesla Wall connector passed without a GFCI protected circuit.
Wow, so now with the discovery of NEC 625.54 (GFCI requirements) and 625.56 (receptacle covers for wet locations) I find the above statement (of the inspector) to be half right and half wrong:

My reading of 625.54 is that *all* EV outlets basically need to be on a GFCI breaker, but only ones in "wet locations" need to have the cover.

FWIW though, yeah, it seems more logical to require the GFCI for receptacles in "wet locations" than it does for receptacles in garages, but my reading now is that they are required everywhere. Ugh. This is going to double most folks hardware cost to put in a 14-50 (for short distance runs in the garage which is the typical install).

A 50a regular 240v breaker is under $10 from Home Depot. The GFCI version of that breaker is $106.18.

Damn.
 

PNWmisty

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Wow, so now with the discovery of NEC 625.54 (GFCI requirements) and 625.56 (receptacle covers for wet locations) I find the above statement (of the inspector) to be half right and half wrong:

My reading of 625.54 is that *all* EV outlets basically need to be on a GFCI breaker, but only ones in "wet locations" need to have the cover.
I might have bungled the exact requirements as relayed to me verbally by the inspector. At that point, I was primarily surprised that my electrician wasn't aware of it. In hindsight, if the requirement is specific to outlets for EV charging, I could have called it an RV outlet but, in Washington State, then the entire job wouldn't qualify for EV charging additions/improvements sales tax exemption.

In many jurisdictions, the inspectors exercise their judgement. If they think the requirement for GFCI is silly, they might overlook it. In other jurisdictions, the inspectors aren't necessarily up on the latest additions to NEC. And in other jurisdictions, the NEC code must be adopted each year so it's not in effect yet.

The bottom line is there will be plenty of EV charging outlets passing inspections in various jurisdictions in the next few months/years without GFCI protection and they will be plenty safe and serviceable.
 

eprosenx

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#18
If you read 210.8(B) it contains a new part in 2017 that says:

"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."

Now you'll say but NEMA 14-50 is more than 150V but you can also get 120V from it. Not sure if that counts.

There is also this in the electrical vehicle charging system section:

"625.54 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel. All single-phase receptacles installed for the connection of electric vehicle charging that are rated 150 volts to ground or less, and 50 amperes or less shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel."
Hah, so I just went looking and Oregon must have not liked the changes in 210.8(B) for 2017 NEC and so they modified it. I suspect this language was likely what the previous code version accomplished:

screen-shot-2018-08-06-at-12-09-02-am-png.12676

That was from the Oregon Specialty Electrical Code 210.8 which basically matches 2017 NEC, except with the modifications stated.

It would however appear that Oregon code does indeed include this code section:

screen-shot-2018-08-06-at-12-12-45-am-png.12677