Yes, it is a good idea to plug a washing machine into a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. This type of outlet is designed to protect against electrical shocks and can help prevent accidents in areas where water and electricity are present.
If the washing machine is not already equipped with its own GFCI protection, plugging it into a GFCI outlet can provide an extra layer of safety.
It is essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your washing machine to make sure that it is safe to use with a GFCI outlet.
What Is A GFCI Outlet?
A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet is a type of electrical outlet that is designed to protect against electrical shocks. It works by quickly interrupting the flow of electricity in the event of a ground fault or other electrical malfunction.
This helps to prevent electrocution and other accidents in areas where water and electricity are present. GFCI outlets are commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas where there is a risk of water coming into contact with electrical outlets.
They are required by code in many areas and are typically identifiable by the “test” and “reset” buttons on the face of the outlet.
Should A GFCI Outlet Be Installed In A Laundry Room?
Yes, it is a good idea to install a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet in a laundry room. This type of outlet is designed to protect against electrical shocks and can help prevent accidents in areas where water and electricity are present.
Laundry rooms often have appliances like washing machines and clothes dryers that can be a potential source of electrical shocks, so a GFCI outlet can provide an extra layer of safety.
It is important to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your appliances to ensure they are safe to use with a GFCI outlet.
Additionally, you should follow the National Electrical Code and local building codes to ensure that your GFCI outlet is installed correctly and meets all safety requirements.
Washing Machine & GFCI Outlet
GFCI outlets are not required near washing machines, but all outlets within 6 feet of a sink in laundry rooms must be GFCI protected.
What Does The NEC Say About GFCI Protection With Washing Machines?
To keep you safe and prevent electrical hazards in your home and business, the NEC (National Electric Code) is constantly changing. According to the 2011 NEC, all bathtubs and sinks in residential units needed GFCI devices.
The 2014 and 2017 NEC require GFCI outlets to be installed in specific areas, regardless of whether there are sinks or wash tubs. As it says…
There shall be ground-fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel in all 125V, single phase, 15amp, and 20-amp receptacles installed in the locations specified by 210.8(A)(1) through (6), (where “Laundry Areas” is listed as (6)).
Therefore, the NEC does not require a GFCI in the laundry area but one in the washing machine area. I assume, in this case, that a GFCI receptacle would be required if the washing machine was in a “laundry area.”
So, Does My Washing Machine Need a GFCI Outlet?
Well, that depends…
When you install a new washing machine in your laundry room with a non-GFCI outlet, and the laundry area wasn’t required to have GFCIs in the house when it was built, that should be fine for an inspection.
It is based on replacing your old washer with a new one, and nothing else is added to the existing laundry room.
If you want to ensure your safety, we recommend replacing your old outlet with a GFCI outlet since it will prevent electrical shocks.
When renovating your laundry room, adding to a laundry room, or building a new house with a laundry room, you must install a ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) outlet/receptacle for the washing machine.
It is necessary to install a GFCI outlet to replace a non-GFCI outlet connected to your washing machine.
There will be a difference between existing work and new work performed under the 2017 NEC.
As far as the electrical portion of the installation is concerned, you may be fine if you install a washer in a room (any room) and use an existing receptacle that is not GFCI protected and if the house was built during a time when GFCI protection was not required for receptacles in that room.
Unless your local inspector declares a washer has just been placed in that room to create a new “laundry area.”
As we are all aware, installing a clothes washer in an area not equipped for one would require new plumbing. As a result, the inspector would have a lot of support for that “new laundry area” argument.
In an existing laundry area that did not require GFCI protection at the time of construction, adding new clothes washing machine would not likely raise anyone’s suspicions regarding GFCI protection, assuming no other changes to the laundry area are made.
I know that no jurisdiction requires an electrical permit to replace clothes washing machines in this scenario, so following manufacturer instructions is all that is required.
How Close Can A Washing Machine Be To An Electrical Panel?
National Electrical Code [NEC 110.26(B)] prohibits installing or storing anything in a space measuring 2′-6″ wide by 3′-0″ deep and 6′-6″ high in front of an electric panel. The above specification, therefore, prevents washing machines from being close to household residential panels.
As a result of this law, quick access to the electrical panel can be achieved in an emergency. You would have to climb over your washing machine if you placed it near the electrical panel in an emergency.
Additionally, it is essential to have free-way quick escape routes in case the panel is mishandled.
A previous Working Space About Equipment section was first introduced in the 1940 National Electrical Code, but the 3′-0″ depth standard was not implemented until the 1978 edition [NEC 110.26(A)(1)].
For single-use, there could be a designated 120-volt 20-amp circuit in the laundry room. Please note that this refers to a single appliance, not a single use. A single-use item is commonly used for one purpose, such as washing clothes.
Therefore, there is no reason why a cloth washing machine and a gas dryer cannot share an outlet or receptacle. It is permissible for a cloth washing machine to share an electrical outlet with a gas dryer.
Still, it should not have any other electrical equipment, even an electric 240 Volts dryer. There is no compatibility between a 250-volt electric dryer and a ten gauge, three-wired cord that requires a four-pronged cord. According to the 2008 edition of the National Electrical Code, this is the case.
To supply the laundry receptacle outlet(s) required by 210.52(F), at least one additional 20-amp branch circuit shall be provided in addition to the branch circuits required under other parts of this section. Other outlets shall not be connected to this circuit.
As a result, you will not be able to share the laundry circuit with any other area. It is possible, however, to have different receptacles on the circuit to power different devices and appliances in your home.
Can A Washing Machine Share An Outlet With A Gas Dryer?
A dedicated circuit provides electricity for washing machines. Essentially, this means that a gas dryer and a washing machine can share a receptacle or an outlet.
It is impossible to share an electric dryer outlet with a washing machine that operates at 240 volts.
When Did Laundry Room Require GFCI?
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter was first required in laundry rooms under the 2005 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC). There was a requirement that GFCIs should protect outlets and receptacles within 6 feet of laundry sinks.
In 1971, the NEC began protecting receptacles in wet areas. The number of locations requiring Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters has gradually increased with every three-year augmentation of the codes.
Many household modifications have expanded the need for GFCI protection, including the laundry room. Almost any room in a residential building that has a washing machine can be considered a laundry room.
GFCI-protected receptacles in laundry rooms were made mandatory by the National Electrical Code (NEC) in 2014. GFCI receptacles are required only if washing machines are within six feet of sinks under the 2005 edition of the NEC. As part of the 2014 adaptation, the laundry room must be equipped with GFCIs.
Need a GFCI Outlet Installed For Your Laundry Room/Washing Machine?
You need to have GFCI outlets installed near your washing machine/laundry area by a licensed and insured electrician. A licensed electrician will know how to install your GFCI receptacle correctly.
NEC requirements in these settings require that GFCI receptacles should be easily accessible for resetting/testing. Having an electrician install the washer outlet will ensure that it is wired properly, and that the washer is properly grounded.
Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when installing a product. As long as the inspector is aware of the manufacturer’s requirements, the inspector will ask you to complete the installation instructions beyond the current electrical code.
To comply with the minimum adopted electrical code for your jurisdiction, you will need to go beyond the instructions provided by the manufacturer if the instructions require less than the minimum adopted electrical code (because those instructions pertain to the electrical portion of the installation).