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Electrical code News National Electrical Code:

When it comes to ground fault protection in the 2008 National Electrical Code, one turns to Article 210.8, “Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel” for all the an- swers to the locations GFCI protection is required. 210.8 states for buildings other than dwelling units, all 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms, kitchens, rooftops, and outdoors, shall have GFCI protection for personnel. That’s it, no mention of any other area, but if you plug in a vending machine anywhere not listed in 210.8, GFCI protection becomes an issue.

Article 422.51 of the 2008 NEC requires all cord-and-plug-connected vending machines manufactured or re-manufactured on or after January 1, 2005, to include a Ground Fault Cir- cuit Interrupter (GFCI) as an integral part of the attachment plug or be located within 12 inches of the attachment plug.

Older vending machines manufactured or re- manufactured prior to January 1, 2005, shall be connected to a GFCI-protected outlet.

It’s fair to say there are a large number of vend- ing machines manufactured before 2005 still in operation and being relocated on a daily basis. Vendors are probably not telling their customers of this GFCI requirement therefore putting pa- trons at risk for personal injury or electrocution.

Vending machines are not the only appliance required to be GFCI protected in the 2008 NEC. Article 422.52 requires that electric drinking fountains be protected with GFCI protec- tion. This makes perfect sense. Electricity and water have never got along.

GFCI protection is smart, it’s simple and saves lives. They are here to stay protecting us from the things we take for granted every day. The next time you go for a snack and a drink just think, am I protected from electric shock from a GFCI? I sure hope so.

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