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Old 03-17-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


I want to connect 4 new outdoor electrical outlets to my home. I have already installed the outlets and have run 12-2 outdoor wire through conduit under the house. Each outlet has its own wire. All that's left to do it connect the wires.

Our builder left a junction box under the house (I assume for future expansion such as this). I'm not sure if it is on an independent circuit or not.

So, here are my questions:

1) How can I find out what circuit this new junction box is on?

2) If the new junction box is on a circuit with noting on it, what do I need to do?

3) If the new junction box is on a loaded circuit, how do I know if I can add these outlets to it?

BTW, these outdoor outlets are just intended for general use such as a radio or an outdoor fan, etc.

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Old 03-17-2009, 10:53 AM   #2
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


Is it a diy project? Sounds like you already did most of the work. Did you install GFCI outlets for your receps? There may be other code issues you need to be sure you meet with outside receps. As far as finding out what is on that circuit I would start by flipping breakers and testing that junction box to see when power is cut to it and then try and find what else is off when that circuit is dead. If it was me I would just run a new line back to the panel and make this a dedicated circuit.

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Old 03-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #3
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


Well...the easy, no brainer stuff is done, yes...the connection part is where my DIY "expertise" stops. I've wired ceiling fans and changed light fixtures before but that is about it.

As far as running a new line to the breaker box, that's not really feasible since the builder put the box on the outside wall of a garage and I can't get to it unless I run wire under the vinyl siding on the outside of the house. Not sure I want to do that.

Let's say the circuit is indeed empty, how would I connect the four wires coming from the new outlets to the one wire in the junction box? Seems like a lot of wire to try and splice all together with wire nuts.

I did not use GFCI outlets.....can they work with 12-2 wire?
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:20 AM   #4
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by beachparty View Post
I want to connect 4 new outdoor electrical outlets to my home. I have already installed the outlets and have run 12-2 outdoor wire through conduit under the house. Each outlet has its own wire. All that's left to do it connect the wires.

Our builder left a junction box under the house (I assume for future expansion such as this). I'm not sure if it is on an independent circuit or not.

So, here are my questions:

1) How can I find out what circuit this new junction box is on?

2) If the new junction box is on a circuit with noting on it, what do I need to do?

3) If the new junction box is on a loaded circuit, how do I know if I can add these outlets to it?

BTW, these outdoor outlets are just intended for general use such as a radio or an outdoor fan, etc.
You can NOT run romex style cable in conduit outdoors. It is not designed for this use and is a codeviolation.

What kind of conduit did you use?

Is it burried at all? How deep?

Can you post some photos of your conduit, your panel and the junction boxes you speaking of.
thanks
Jamie
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by beachparty View Post
Well...the easy, no brainer stuff is done, yes...the connection part is where my DIY "expertise" stops. I've wired ceiling fans and changed light fixtures before but that is about it.

As far as running a new line to the breaker box, that's not really feasible since the builder put the box on the outside wall of a garage and I can't get to it unless I run wire under the vinyl siding on the outside of the house. Not sure I want to do that.

Let's say the circuit is indeed empty, how would I connect the four wires coming from the new outlets to the one wire in the junction box? Seems like a lot of wire to try and splice all together with wire nuts.

I did not use GFCI outlets.....can they work with 12-2 wire?
You need to use gfci outlets or a gfci breaker, both are fine with 12 awg wire.


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Old 03-17-2009, 11:25 AM   #6
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


I'll see if I can get some pics. The wire that was run to the outlets is direct burial cable. I put it in conduit just to be safe. It is buried at 20" (18" is code here). I used Sch-40 electrical conduit.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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I'll see if I can get some pics. The wire that was run to the outlets is direct burial cable. I put it in conduit just to be safe. It is buried at 20" (18" is code here). I used Sch-40 electrical conduit.

Conduit is good but you need to use single strand thhn/ thxn style wire in the conduit. As far as I understand it, it is never legal to use any romex style cable outside in conduit.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


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Conduit is good but you need to use single strand thhn/ thxn style wire in the conduit. As far as I understand it, it is never legal to use any romex style cable outside in conduit.
Jamie

Not true! It is allowed as he installed it, with UF.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #9
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


JBFAN -

Can you help with this part of my project:

"Let's say the circuit is indeed empty, how would I connect the four wires coming from the new outlets to the one wire in the junction box? Seems like a lot of wire to try and splice all together with wire nuts"

B.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:29 PM   #10
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It sounds as if you did a "home run" from each outlet to this junction box? You could have also "daisy-chained" from one outlet to the next so you didn't have so many wires in one box. There is a limit as to how many 12g wires can be used in a box as well as how many can be within a given wirenut. I don't have my guides with me but someone will likely have that info. Regarding locating a circuit, other than using a fancy breaker locator type of gadget, in a quiet house I like to use a radio and crank it up, then note which breaker shuts it off. I turn it on and off to be sure its the one and code it appropriately.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:48 PM   #11
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by beachparty View Post

Our builder left a junction box under the house (I assume for future expansion such as this). I'm not sure if it is on an independent circuit or not.

So, here are my questions:

1) How can I find out what circuit this new junction box is on?

2) If the new junction box is on a circuit with noting on it, what do I need to do?

3) If the new junction box is on a loaded circuit, how do I know if I can add these outlets to it?

BTW, these outdoor outlets are just intended for general use such as a radio or an outdoor fan, etc.
The conduit was not necessary with UF cable but it is not a violation. You also only needed one cable for the 4 receptacles. Then you would only have two cables to connect in the box.

Go and open the J-Box under the house. With a meter or tester check for voltage. Do this by turning off breakers one at a time until you find the right one. Get someone to assist in this step.

If the cable in the box is not connected to any wires it is a spare circuit.

If it is connected to anything it is not a spare and just leave it alone.

I would run a new 12/2 cable from the panel to another J-Box that is in a place that makes it easy to access and close to where you want to leave the underside of the house. You will not make the box fill calculation with a standard 4x4x1.5 inch box. You ideally should only have 2 cables in the new box. The feed and the load (recepts).

They make blue wire nuts and they will hold the 5 #12 wires. A red one may work if you are good.

Since you have run a separate cable to each receptacle you have cost yourself some money. Now you need 4 GFCI recepts.

Is there a way for you to daisy chain the recepts? From one to the other?
This way you only need one GFCI recept.

Sure wish you would have posted before you did all the work and did it wrong.

Last edited by J. V.; 03-17-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:57 PM   #12
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


I wouldn't nessecarily say he did it "wrong" there are many ways to do this setup. Its very possible that the J-Box was intended for furture outdoor recepticals and is possibly already on a GFCI breaker. The only thing the op would need to do then is to make all the wire connections in the J-Box. Admitedly it uses a lot more wire to home run each outlet rather than daisy chain them, but it works either way. Also, I prefer GFCI outlets over the breaker in the event one device trips the GFCI, I can reset it at that outlet, rather than going back to the breaker or finding the GFCI outlet.

If the breaker is not a GFCI, then i'd just put in individual GFCI outlets, it would still be cheaper than a GFCI breaker.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:34 PM   #13
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


GFCI outlet or breaker is required outside
I prefer individual GFCI outlets as I have a large Christmas display & if something kicks out it only effects that outlet

What are you going to use the outlets for?
Lights, radio - light duty?
I have 8 dedicated outside circuits due to my display

5 wires is a bit much to twist all together
If the box is a "normal" size junction box:
I would add a junction box & run 3 wires into that box with a 4th wire to go to the exisiting junction box. Then only 3 wires will be going to the exisitng junction box
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:41 PM   #14
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Is this a DIY project - Outdoor Outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by beachparty View Post
JBFAN -

Can you help with this part of my project:

"Seems like a lot of wire to try and splice all together with wire nuts"

B.
Wago wire nuts.
Sorry for the confusion on the uf cable.
Jamie
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:32 PM   #15
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These are a easy solution for people that are not comfortable with twisting together large numbers of wires. They are UL listed and code approved and people here generally speak of them favorably. They are defiantly better than a poor connection with a wire nut, so if your not comfortable that you can make a good solid wire nut connection, I would use these. They can be found at Big Box stores.


This is there page:

http://www.wall-nuts.us/home773.cfm

This is what they look like:

Name:  6pos773.png
Views: 181
Size:  32.2 KB

Jamie

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