Electrician Talk banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

Super Moderator
Elechicken!
Joined
3,553 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Heya fellas,

Installed some cameras on a pole today (back again tomorrow to finish the other poles) and the electrician the site used installed the receptacles at the top of the poles... Which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't a GFCI receptacle on each pole at the top... Anywho. I know that for Residential occupancies do not require GFCI protection when the receptacle is installed greater than 2.5M above grade... But this is a commercial setting. The GFCI is mounted at the top of a pole that is approx. 15' tall. See image below.
154108


Now, I was told to fix it. I told the site project manager that the GFCI protection technically isn't even needed because it's plugged into a GFCI on the generator... Well that set him off on a rant about the power and the poles and everything and I really don't care. I was told to fix it so when it trips I don't need a 12' ladder or a boom lift to reset a GFCI...

So tomorrow I am going to lower the receptacles on the poles to around the height of my enclosure to make everyone happy. But is the GFCI protection really necessary if the receptacle is mounted that high above grade? I normally only deal with resi stuff, but I thought the rule that said above a certain height didn't need it, and I was sort of right, but it's wrong because it's a resi rule that I am thinking of...

Tl;dr - GFCI required on top of 12-15' tall pole in commercial?
 

Super Moderator
Elechicken!
Joined
3,553 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
How tall is the biggest guy there ? :p
Uhhh, probably the site's project manager but sill need at least 3 of them tall to do it haha
 

Band Member
DIYer Extrodinaire
Joined
7,148 Posts
Not req'd in commercial, but I think I remember Eddy saying it might be added ?? (2021)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin

Journeyman
Joined
129 Posts
You wont find a rule requiring gfi outside in commercial because it doesnt exist (yet).
Just swap the plugs to regular ones and be done with it.
unless this is considered a temporary installation?
maybe spec on a plan?
 

Super Moderator
Elechicken!
Joined
3,553 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
unless this is considered a temporary installation?
Section 76 covers temporary installations.

This Section of the Code applies to temporary wiring installations for buildings or projects under
construction or demolition and experimental or testing facilities of a temporary nature.

76-016 Receptacles
Receptacles having CSA configuration 5-15R or 5-20R installed to provide power for buildings or projects
under construction or demolition shall be protected by ground fault circuit interrupters of the Class A
type.
Now the question is, what is considered temporary? There's no definition in the CEC for Temporary.

One could argue it's not temporary as it's installed as if it's staying there permanently (bubble covers, RAB boxes, TECK90, straps, etc) although there's no mechanical protection to stop the cable from getting damaged... Hmm...
 

Super Moderator
Elechicken!
Joined
3,553 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Okay so EC&M did an article on temporary installations.

Here is what they said in their article:
A temporary installation is different because it has an expiration date; in other words, there are time constraints on the use of temporary installations. In some cases, temporary installations must be removed after completion of the purpose for which it was installed, such as for construction or repair purposes [590.3(A)]. In others cases, there is a specific time limit for the use of a temporary installation. For example, a temporary installation for holiday displays can鈥檛 last more than 90 days [590.3(B)].
If we use that as the definition of temporary in my case, then yes, it needs GFCI protection.

Which brings me to option #2... Hardwire my devices. Then we don't need GFCI protection... lol
 

Light Bender
plumber
Joined
6,150 Posts
As @quick_2 and @emtnut say, there is no requirement right now for typical exterior receptacles within 2.5 m of grade to be GFI protected, it鈥檚 for residential only. 26-722

There are special rules for within 1.5 m of a sink, rooftop units and temporary installations, but those cameras on top of poles don鈥檛 strike me as temporary.

And yes the 2021 CEC does have a rule that all receptacles within 2.5 m of grade to be GFI protected, [26-704(2)] but that won鈥檛 be adopted for a while.
 

Super Moderator
Elechicken!
Joined
3,553 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Should we have concern that the GFCI is tripping?
I mean, that was my point, if a brand new GFCI trips there's something wrong...

The ONLY things that are plugged in are a short section of extension cord, a tri-tap adapter, and 2 switch mode power supplies...

But I don't get paid to argue that the GFCI should never trip. I get paid to do what I'm asked to do, and today that means lowering the receptacles 10'.
 

Registered
Retired EC and Fuel distribution contractor
Joined
938 Posts
I mean, that was my point, if a brand new GFCI trips there's something wrong...

The ONLY things that are plugged in are a short section of extension cord, a tri-tap adapter, and 2 switch mode power supplies...

But I don't get paid to argue that the GFCI should never trip. I get paid to do what I'm asked to do, and today that means lowering the receptacles 10'.
I agree that GFCI should be able to be reset w/out a ladder.
 

Super Moderator
Elechicken!
Joined
3,553 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I agree that GFCI should be able to be reset w/out a ladder.
Still going to need a ladder, but only 6 foot ladder not a 12 foot ladder. We want them up high enough to discourage people unplugging them.
 

Registered
Joined
24 Posts
The few of these that I've ever done, the receptacles were installed in an 1110 on the backplate of a lockable weatherproof 10x10 around 5' above grade. Conduit up to the cameras. (No idea what the a/v guys did up top for weather seals after.) No gfci though.
These were in a production yard, so the other issue with cameras being unplugged was power tools being plugged in instead and tripping the breaker.
 

Registered
Joined
1,315 Posts
It baffles me that GFCI's are not required for outside receptacles in commercial installations. Your protected at home but not at work? A receptacle that is 10 feet above grade might not require it but the ones that are accessible to the common lay person really should be protected IMO. The installation in the photo seems more like a permanent installation and the cameras need to be reliable so in this case no GFCI would be necessary or practical. I have probably been doing things wrong for many years as I always install GFCI's outdoors regardless if it's a commercial or industrial if it's accusable from ground level.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top