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Old 05-21-2008, 01:41 PM   #1
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Exterior xmas light outlets


Hello all:

I'm in the process of building a new home in Portland OR, and could use a little wiring advice.

I would like to install outlets in the soffit under the eaves of the roof, and have a few questions/points of advice that I'm struggling with.

1. With an outlet under the eaves, do I need to have the new full plastic cover that are code for other standard exterior outlets? These outlets will be installed "upside down"... and it seems that this cover would simply hang open rather than doing it's intended job of protecting the outlet.

Or, can I use the more traditional hinged covers which snap back into position regardless of orientation?

2. Has anyone seen any "round" outlets. It would be much easier for me to drill a hole with a hole-saw... then use a round remodel gang ... rather than trying to make the exact cuts to fit a rectangle single gang box.

Thoughts?

Thanks!!

Dave

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Old 05-21-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
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Exterior xmas light outlets


The soffits of your house would typically be considered a wet location, just like the ceiling of a shower. Although its not necessarily going to get rain, there's always a potential for icing, spray, etc.

There are those that would consider this a damp location.

The receptacles must be GFCI protected, and must have weatherproof covers. The bubble covers are popular, but I don't think they're supposed to be used face-down. A NEMA 3R cover would be more appropriate.

As for round receptacles, they make round boxes, but I'm not aware of any weatherproof covers in that shape. Its easy to cut a rectangle...Just use the box as a template and use a jigsaw!

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Old 05-21-2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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Exterior xmas light outlets


Use standard outlets and standard weatherproof cover. Not the bubble you're talking about, the hinged ones will be fine. Do not use GFCI outlets unless you have to. You'd be much better off using a 20amp GFCI breaker to keep you from dragging out that extension ladder if the damned thing trips. Also it'll be on a dedicated ciruit so you can string more lights without any problems. Pull #12/2.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:50 PM   #4
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Exterior xmas light outlets


I run a switched receptacle in the soffit so you can turn the lights on and off from inside the house.
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:30 PM   #5
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Exterior xmas light outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Silk View Post
I run a switched receptacle in the soffit so you can turn the lights on and off from inside the house.
That's always a great feature. And it sure is smart to use GFCI breakers instead of GFCI receptacles.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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Exterior xmas light outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Silk View Post
I run a switched receptacle in the soffit so you can turn the lights on and off from inside the house.
Good idea. While you're up there, screw one into the chimney for the plastic Santa.

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