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Can Arc Welders on cord and plug connected equipment be exempted from the requirement for GFCI protection for personnel?

Question asked by david.austin on Feb 21, 2018
Latest reply on Feb 23, 2018 by brian.baughman

NEC 2017, GFCI protection for personnel, Non Dwelling Units

I have been working with an Electrical Engineer who is helping an Auto Body repair shop expand their facility, and this includes adding new three phase, 60 amp, 208/120 volt welding receptacles.

The Authority Having Jurisdiction is insisting, according to the 2017 edition of the NEC, that these receptacles must have GFCI protection for personnel (being less than 150 volts to ground (phase voltage) and less than 100 amps. However, the owner of the facility is not aware of any portable welding machines that he can buy that will not trip a GFCI, due to the very nature of electrical arc welding.

Does anyone have any ideas on how this requirement can be lifted for Arc Welders? I cannot find any specific permission that would allow you to ignore the requirement of article 210 in article 511 (garages) or article 630 (electrical arc welders).

Any ideas would be welcome.