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Old 12-26-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


Hey folks,

My holiday yard lights have grown to the point of needing to add some wiring. *The total number of strands being used is approximately 20; the running of splitters and *the like will be crazy. *Also, the dual receptacle on the front porch can't handle it as it is tied into a downstairs GFCI line.

So,*

1- I'd like to have a dedicated circuit for decoration lights outside.*

2- I have mapped out the yard and would like to have four, 4-plug receptacles throughout the area to minimize extension cords and keep things cleaner;

3- I'd like to have whatever final solution is reached have the ability to set the entire show to either OFF/ON/AUTO so I may use the receptacles for other things throughout the year that don't require any sort of timed use.

4-I'm estimating the total amperage to be in excess of 20A, but I can't be certain I won't have some crazy thing one year that pushes the envelope.*

***Q:Is this a case where a sub panel would be sensible, having one breaker for each of the aforementioned 4-plug receptacles (see #2)?

***Q: I haven't checked the code yet, but are there limitations on where a sub-panel must be located? *It's quite a run from my existing box to the front yard, and running 4 lines out there would be pricey. *I was exploring the reasons for and against placement in a lock box near the front porch. *The distance from my breaker box to the farthest point in the front yard is easily 100 ft.

I don't have any friends that do their house up as much as me so I don't have any examples from which to draw.

Thoughts?

Thanks as always.

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Old 12-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


I would think adding a deciated 20A breaker to your box for thoes outlets only, a GFI would be your best bet, and run 12-2 wire to thoes gangboxes. Should be an easy install.

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Old 12-26-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


But if later add-ons to the decorations exceed 20A then I'll need another breaker. Technically less than 20A, right?
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


If you know that you might exceed the 20 Amp breaker then from the start just do a 40 amp breaker adn run 10 gage wire and set it up to the gang boxes, that would be more than enough.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertoAguiar View Post
If you know that you might exceed the 20 Amp breaker then from the start just do a 40 amp breaker adn run 10 gage wire and set it up to the gang boxes, that would be more than enough.
General use receptacles can not be used on a breaker larger than 20 amps.
Run 2 or more circuits and don't worry about it.
I would hate to have a sub panel sitting in my front yard.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
General use receptacles can not be used on a breaker larger than 20 amps.
Run 2 or more circuits and don't worry about it.
I would hate to have a sub panel sitting in my front yard.
Since I have three or four spots in the yard for receptacles can I run three circuits in one pipe through the yard?


Is there a way to put a timer, or light sensitive switch, on each line to accomplish the christmas lights need--and then put it to a normal line after the holidays for normal use?

Last edited by Dornier; 12-27-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


I'd like to have whatever final solution is reached have the ability to set the entire show to either OFF/ON/AUTO so I may use the receptacles for other things throughout the year that don't require any sort of timed use.

I just finished setting up a timer system for the Christmas lights. I set up two Intermatic T103 timers off of my panel which is 4 circuits (2 separate circuits for each timer). I ran 1 single pole double throw switch with an off position in the middle and (3) regular three way switches for the other three circuits. The switches when in the up position send the power through the timer and when in the down position they return the circuit to normal. The switch with the off position in the middle is for the patio circuit which we like to be able to switch off when not in use in the summer. The other three circuits are for receptacles underneath the windows throughout the house for my window candles. I ran three wire to these receptacles so that one half is always live when the timer is in use. Need advice adding power to yard for lights-063.jpg

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Need advice adding power to yard for lights-069.jpgSee attached pictures.

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Last edited by teamo; 12-28-2012 at 08:52 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:41 AM   #8
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


That's what I'm looking for. I don't think I need three way as the circuits would be in the yard and on timers for the Christmas lights--ON the rest of the year.

My main box is on the side of my house, brick. Would those need to be in a waterproof box or are they (the timers) designed for outdoor mounting?
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:24 PM   #9
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


Those are not outdoor timers they are for dry location. They do make outdoor timer cabinets.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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Nice.

Looking into all of the aforementioned.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Need advice adding power to yard for lights


Here is a link to the T-103 at one of the sites. From the looks of the chart at the bottom it looks like you can use the same timer guts inside a weather proof plastic enclosure. Intermatic also makes some plug in outdoor timers that can be used with an outdoor in use covered receptacle.

http://www.westsidewholesale.com/125...me-switch.html

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