Q. Is it a violation of the Code to protect temporary lighting circuits with a GFCI? I’ve seen exposed temporary lighting wire (wire nuts fell off or were missing) touching metal studs, thereby presenting a potentially deadly work environment.

A. The NEC is silent on this issue, so this means it’s okay to GFCI-protect temporary lighting circuit conductors. However, to prevent a construction site from being placed in the dark by a ground fault, temporary lighting shall not be installed on the branch circuit that supplies receptacles [527.4(D)].

Note: Receptacles rated 15A or 20A, 125V used to supply temporary power for construction, remodeling, maintenance, repair, or demolition of buildings, structures, equipment, or similar activities shall be GFCI protected [527.6].

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