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Old 05-11-2010, 03:40 PM   #1
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


I am setting to do a new circuit to run power out to my front porch. The run has to go the length of the house inside; exit the house through 18 inches of 205 year old brick; make a 90 and go up through the porch floor to the porch. I have lots of questions. Please supply answers as appropriate.

1. 1 circuit or two? I want to feed two outdoor ceiling fans and three quadplex recs. My intention (unless my intention is wrong) is to run one 20 amp circuit. Recs on the porch that will occasionally supply an extra fan, a laptop charger, boom-box - that sort of thing. Two on either side of the porch to supply holiday lights, yard tools, etc. [SD any thoughts on calculating load for Xmas -keeping in mind that my extravaganza is large, but not as big as yours....]

2. Newbie question: how do I run it out of the house (yes, I know I need a big, slow drill). Do I make the run to the wall, install a box, run through conduit through the wall, 90 bend and conduit up through the porch?
If I do this do I have to use individual conductors? Or can I use cable in the conduit for the purposes of 'protecting' the cable? I want to traverse around 30 inches in the conduit.
If I end up running two circuits can I run the cable through the conduit?

3. Am I better to GFCI the circuit(s?) or the outlets? It's around 60 feet from my front porch to my panel.

4. How should I wire it so I can efficiently and easily accomplish my set up? I'm stuck at trying to figure out how to run power to the ceiling fan and recs. Guess I'm gonna need a BIG box.

5. Power to the ceiling fan has to run outside the home up the exterior of a wall 15 feet to an exposed ceiling. What should I run this in to minimize ugliness and meet code? Is there such a thing is exterior wire-mold? (I know, yuck, but there's no running wire through an 18 inch thick brick wall.)

6. Maybe, I've talked myself into two circuits, heck, I've got room. One circuit would feed one side of the exterior lights, the other two sets of quad recs and the ceiling fans.

Any other helpful suggestions are eagerly welcomed. THANKS!

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Old 05-11-2010, 04:47 PM   #2
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


Is there workable access under the porch floor? If so I would suggest a 12-3 MWBC through the basement to a J-box. Transition to 12-3 UF from the bsmnt J-box through the brick sleeved in pvc pipe (3/4" would be large enough) to probably a 6x6 pvc box under the porch. Branching from there with 12-2 UF to the desired locations. PVC wiremold and J-boxes are available which might work for you for the fans, simply sleeving UF inside it.

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


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3. Am I better to GFCI the circuit(s?) or the outlets? It's around 60 feet from my front porch to my panel.
Any other helpful suggestions are eagerly welcomed. THANKS!
I don't know the NEC but
if you put the GFCI upstream of the cable and outlet, the cable is one more thing that can cause the thing to trip.

Besides, its additional capacitance eats slightly into the GFCI's 5 mA 'trip budget', about 1/3 mA worth. The 5 mA is supposed to be used for legitimate leakage current which can harm people.

And when it trips, you or the next owner has to hunt for it.

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:13 PM   #4
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


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Is there workable access under the porch floor? YES

If so I would suggest a 12-3 MWBC through the basement to a J-box. I'm MWBC shy, can I accomplish the same thing with two circuits? I'd prefer that to the MWBC.
Transition to 12-3 UF from the bsmnt J-box through the brick sleeved in pvc pipe (3/4" would be large enough) to probably a 6x6 pvc box under the porch. Branching from there with 12-2 UF to the desired locations. PVC wiremold and J-boxes are available which might work for you for the fans, simply sleeving UF inside it.
Thanks - looking at ceiling fans and wanting to pull my hair out! DH wants to know why I can't just buy a cheap one.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:14 PM   #5
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


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I don't know the NEC but
if you put the GFCI upstream of the cable and outlet, the cable is one more thing that can cause the thing to trip.

Besides, its additional capacitance eats slightly into the GFCI's 5 mA 'trip budget', about 1/3 mA worth. The 5 mA is supposed to be used for legitimate leakage current which can harm people.

And when it trips, you or the next owner has to hunt for it.
Yeah Yoyizit, I'm disinclined to walk the 60 feet from the LR to the kitchen for a snack - so doing it to reset a GFCI would probably be a drag.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:12 PM   #6
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


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Yeah Yoyizit, I'm disinclined to walk the 60 feet from the LR to the kitchen for a snack - so doing it to reset a GFCI would probably be a drag.
Just to rattle your cage, I think that you and I are similar in that we both took the LSAT. More likely than not I took it before you.

How'm I doin'?

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Old 05-12-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


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Old 05-12-2010, 07:21 PM   #8
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Back to a real question. My plan is to go from JBox in the basement through conduit to Jbox outside. I got outdoor rated cable. Is it Kosher for me to run the cable out of the Jbox and just staple it to the joists under the porch?

Also, dumb question, I got these plastic outdoor boxes to use, I've never worked with plastic boxes before. How do I secure the cable in the box?

Thanks.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:48 PM   #9
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


We staple wire under porch joists all the time. I see no problem with that.

Those plastic boxes -- are they "FS" boxes? With a PVC glue-on hub? There are ways to utilize those boxes for certain applications ....
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:00 AM   #10
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Those plastic boxes -- are they "FS" boxes? With a PVC glue-on hub? There are ways to utilize those boxes for certain applications ....
Two are labeled 'FS' - with glue on hub. One is not labeled and has screw in hubs. So, how do I use these.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:34 AM   #11
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Took mine in 1999. Became a member of the OR state bar in 2002. Retired 2007.
'73, but all I could do was get on the waiting list for two schools.
If I could find a few hundred kilobucks under the sofa cushions I'd apply again.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:51 PM   #12
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New Circuit to outside front porch - need help


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Old 05-13-2010, 03:12 PM   #13
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