Although you can use a sump pump surge protector to power it up, it may not be equally convenient to use a GFCI. This is because the sump pump draws a lot of currents as it starts to run. However, the need for safety persists as sump pumps are associated with wet environmental conditions. Since water and electricity are not good together, it is crucial to protect your sump pump with suitable safety mechanisms. However, there are various issues related to these GFCIs.
The Problem With GFCI Outlets and Sump Pumps
The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are used as a safety mechanism that detects sudden spikes in the electrical systems. The GFCI turns off the electrical supply in case it detects a sudden ground fault or similar issue. This protects the users from possible electrical shocks and even fire hazards. But the problem with sump pumps is that they draw a very high load in the initial process of starting up. The GFCI will detect this as a fault and trip unexpectedly just when you start to run the sump pump. This is a nuisance tripping since it keeps on turning off the power supply every time you start the sump pump. If this occurs during extreme weather, your basement will flood due to heavy rain. It will be even more dangerous if it happens when you are not home. Thus, some people hesitate to plug their sump pumps into GFCI-protected outlets.
Should a Sump Pump Be on GFCI?
You should plug in your sump pump to GFCI outlets since it is a common safety mechanism used to prevent electrocution. If any fault in the electrical system leaks current, it would definitely be harmful to the people around. Hence, the GFCI renders its task by detecting any current that escapes the normal route of the circuit and shutting off the power.
The sump pump is equipment running on electricity which may even be submerged in water. As you know, water and electricity are not a good combination. This is the reason why you need to be extra cautious when dealing with sump pumps. By any chance, if electricity finds its way into the outer metal casing of the pump, it may get in contact with water. Since water is a good conductor of electricity, the water will simply electrocute anyone around. Installing a GFCI will protect your family from any possible electrical hazards.
Sump Pump GFCI Codes and Regulations
Here are some of the important factors that you need to consider related to sump pump GFCI regulations.
National Electrical Code
According to the NEC, users should connect their sump pumps to GFCI. You can check the national electrical code for more details to confirm this and also whether there are any exceptions introduced for special situations. Since most people use sump pumps in unfinished basements, the NEC regulations on this are open to interpretation. So if the sump pump is in a location where GFCI is required, then you should definitely connect the sump pump to GFCI. If the sump pump is hard-wired, then you can ignore the NEC.
The other occasion where you can ignore the NEC is if the local code replaces the NEC. In certain regions, the local code might permit homeowners to install sump pumps without a GFCI. But make sure to go through the local codes to confirm this before you work on it.
It is the manufacturer who knows the best about their product. So, the manufacturers usually have product manuals that direct the user on how to connect the sump pump. You should go through the instructions to keep track of the device requirements. It will show you what safety mechanisms the manufacturer expect you to use when installing the sump pump.
The Difference Between GFCI and Surge Protector
The function of a GFCI is to protect people from electric shock in wet regions. The surge protector safeguards the appliances from the sudden impact of voltage spikes. In general, the task of both these is to protect your family and property from the potential risks of electricity. Surge protectors come as extension cords that allow you to power up a few appliances at once. Let’s find out more about the reliable Belkin power strip surge protector.
Belkin Power Strip Surge Protector
This surge protector power strip consists of many outlets that you can use to power up a few appliances at once. The compact design makes it the ideal extension cord to use in your home. This offers 12 AC outlets that you can use to charge even sensitive electronics such as computers, mobile phones, cameras, tabs, and more. Here are some of the main features of this surge protector.
- The maximum spike voltage is 6,000 V and has other ratings of 15A AC, 125V, and 1875 W power. Every outlet consists of a safety slide lock to close the unused sockets. Thus, it protects the user and especially kids.
- Ensure open and continuous phone line connections with 1-in-2-out RJ11 telephone or fax protection. It also comes with coaxial cable protection that protects the cable box and satellite connections.
- The housing is resistant to any damages, thus protecting the circuit from fire, force, and corrosion.
- It has a reliable rating of 3,940-Joule energy, which is useful in connecting equipment such as printers and modems. It provides stable electricity to most of your electrical and electronic appliances. It provides extreme safety for your electronic devices from overload, power spikes, surges, lightning strikes, short circuits, and other possible electrical fluctuations.
- Since the outlets are widely spaced, it gives enough room to fit larger plugs and charger bricks easily despite its slender design. The power cord is 8 feet in length, with a 3-prong angle plug which makes it convenient for tight spaces.
- You can purchase this with confidence since it is offered with a lifetime warranty and comes with a $ 200,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.
- Improved safety mechanism to slide and lock unused sockets
- Provides multiple power outlets
- Safe and stable electricity
- The slim and slender design saves space
- Light in weight with only 2 pounds
- Reliable brand with a lifetime warranty
Since the product with electrical plugs is designed for use in the USA, it may not comply with international requirements. Since the outlets and voltage differ in other countries, you will have to use a suitable adapter or converter. So, make sure to check the compatibility before you purchase.
How to Fix a Sump Pump That Trips GFCI?
The main reason that your sump pump keeps tripping the GFCI is due to a ground fault. But if this is not the case, nuisance tripping may occur due to moisture which short circuits the electrical circuit. Improper wiring and deteriorated components such as worn-out bearings can also lead to this. Find out more on the reasons why your sump pump trips breaker and how to overcome it. If you have trouble figuring out why the sump pump tripping GFCI or fixing the problem, you can contact your electrician to get it done for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Sump Pump Need Its Own Breaker?
Yes, it is preferable to have a separate circuit and a breaker to power up the sump pump. It ensures stable power to the sump pump, which is not affected by the running of other appliances. It ensures that no surges or voltage spikes are affecting the appliance. So if you don’t have a surge protector, you should at least have a separate breaker powering the sump pump circuit. You should also have a GFCI installed on this circuit for additional safety.
Does a Sump Pump Need a Ground Fault?
The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter protects you from possible electrocution risks if a ground fault occurs. You should have GFCI protection if the location of the sump pump receptacle requires it. If the sump pump is in an area where non-GFCI receptacles are permitted, then you may not need GFCI protection for the pump receptacle.
Is It Better to Use a GFCI Outlet or Breaker?
The physical appearance of these two options may affect your choice. The GFCI receptacles have much larger bodies than standard receptacles. So, you may have trouble finding the required space within the wall box. If you have a standard-sized box, then there won’t be enough room to add a GFCI safely. Therefore, in such a case, having a breaker will be the better option.
Can You Plug an Extension Cord Into a Surge Protector?
You should not use extension cords and power strips together. Power strips are also known as Surge Protectors or Relocatable Power Taps (RPTs). However, there are some differences in the capabilities of these two. But for connection purposes, they are considered the same despite the different capabilities.
Can I Plug 2 Surge Protectors Into One Outlet?
As long as you maintain the current limit of the socket, it is safe to install two surge protectors in one outlet. If connected parallel, having two surge protectors in one outlet can provide extra protection over a single one. This happens as both the surge protectors will function as a backup for each other, adding reliability to the circuit.
You can find many advanced safety mechanisms that protect your electrical appliances from faults. The sump pump surge protector is only one such safety measurement. Go through the product user manual and check the local codes to confirm the safety requirements of your sump pump.