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Old 08-01-2008, 10:30 AM   #1
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outside electrical outlets


I am planning on adding two additional outside electrical outlets on the side of my house in the front and side yards. Can anyone give me the proper material I should use for this job (wire gauge, breaker type, etc) It will be installed through the wall of the house so I don't need to run any wire underground. Just want to make sure I do it right the first time.

Thanks.

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Old 08-01-2008, 11:04 AM   #2
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This is definately a job that requires experience with wiring, familiarity with the NEC code, as well as proper grounding, and working in the electrical panel. If you're not sure what you're doing, please seek professional assistance.

Also be sure to pull the required electrical permit so you can have a professional inspector check your work to make sure it is safe.

You'll run 12/2 with ground type NM romex in most applications, provided romex is permitted in your area. You can install a 15A or 20A breaker in your panel. Be sure to install appropriate boxes and weathertight conduit if you're face-mounting this on the outside of the house. NEMA 3R weathertight hardware all around. If you're recessing it in the siding, be sure to use a weathertight cover. All exterior receptacles must be GFCI protected.

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Old 08-01-2008, 11:28 AM   #3
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Also, don't do what I did and mount the outside outlet directly on the other side of the wall from an inside outlet.
This seems to be against the 1999 NEC but I can't figure it out for sure.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Also, don't do what I did and mount the outside outlet directly on the other side of the wall from an inside outlet.
This seems to be against the 1999 NEC but I can't figure it out for sure.
Back to back boxes within 24" (horizontally measured) of each other are an issue in fire-rated assemblies. Not sure what the violation would be on a single family residence. I'll have to look into that one.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:29 PM   #5
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outside electrical outlets


Thanks for the insight. I will be recessing it into the siding and will be getting the proper permits needed. They will be individual outlets not from the back of the box. One more thing do you think I can put both of them on the same breaker or should I split them up? I have plenty of room, just don't want to oveload them. They would be used for lawn tools in the summer (weed wacker, hedge trimmer, etc) and Christmas lights in the winter.


Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Back to back boxes within 24" (horizontally measured) of each other are an issue in fire-rated assemblies. Not sure what the violation would be on a single family residence. I'll have to look into that one.
[The wall is paneling over firring strips over narrow cinder block over brick].

Mr. Termite, do you know if there is some voltage, current or power below which the NEC doesn't care about? The NFPA wouldn't answer this question for me because I'm not a member.
Thanks.

One of these days I'm going to have to wade through my whole copy of the 1999 NEC.
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
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Low voltage is 30 volts or less, but the NEC still governs the installations. I don't have my book with me. Hopefully someone can check this one for you.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Low voltage is up to about 1000 volt

The really low voltages are called Extra low voltage and should be isolated well from Low voltage (120 / 240 volt) circuits and sometimes even from other Extra low voltage circuits

For more information search for PELV SELV FELV
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:33 PM   #9
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Depends on local code ordinances. For my town, you do not have to pull a permit if just adding to, or doing a basic re-wire. Our local ordinance states up to 12 outlets can be added without need of a permit, or running new wire to a Garage. Even better, is that you do not have to have a inspector come out, so you can imagine some of the stuff that is seen.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:46 PM   #10
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Low voltage is up to about 1000 volt

The really low voltages are called Extra low voltage and should be isolated well from Low voltage (120 / 240 volt) circuits and sometimes even from other Extra low voltage circuits
For our purposes on a residential DIY site, and in residential construction as a whole, low voltage is classified under 30 volts. To classify 120/240 as low voltage may technically be accurate in the grand scheme of electricity distribution, but is somewhat misleading in my opinion.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:25 PM   #11
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Thanks all. Thanks for the links.

I once read somewhere that in the whole history of the U.S. Navy only one person was electrocuted on 47v; DC or AC or what freq., I don't know, but I'd say the risk from these low voltages is "down in the noise."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but
if you disregard an OP's possible future needs for more power, and if there is no current limit on the 30v except what you lose in the (I^2)* R loss and the I*R drop in the wire, I think some people on this forum can ship quite a bit of power over wires, essentially without having to observe the NEC and without compromising safety.

And if they can use batteries/flywheels/whatever-kind-of-energy-storage, the peak power can be high.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-01-2008 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:52 PM   #12
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One more thing do you think I can put both of them on the same breaker or should I split them up? I have plenty of room, just don't want to oveload them. They would be used for lawn tools in the summer (weed wacker, hedge trimmer, etc) and Christmas lights in the winter.
Sorry, your thread has gone off the analytical deep end. Let's bring it back to reality here!

One 20A circuit would be more than adequate for general exterior use, and all the receptacles can be on the same circuit.

For Christmas lights, I often see people install switched receptacles so they don't have to unplug them to turn them off. Just an idea, but it is pretty handy.
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:08 PM   #13
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Haha, my christmas light display one year was over 100 amps of power draw. it was over 38,000 lights, setup a small sub panel in the garage and ran it through a mechanical meter as well so I could see how much power just the christmas lights used. I also had several relay boxes setup in custom power distribution blocks, so I could have multiple points of power (due to the number of circuits required) and power everything on all at once and from one location. Even managed to trip the 100 amp mains a few times, mainly because I would add more lights and not have it quite balanced out on the two legs of power. Had to use the air compressor to cool the main breaker down, it was so hot it would not reset right away even after killing the breaker to the sub panel for the lighting (which was only a double pole 60 amp breaker).
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #14
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outside electrical outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Also, don't do what I did and mount the outside outlet directly on the other side of the wall from an inside outlet.
This seems to be against the 1999 NEC but I can't figure it out for sure.
That is exactly how I do these projects. I simply extend the circuit from an inside receptacle, out through the wall to my new outdoor, GFCI receptacle outlet. Exterior walls of dwelling units are not fire rated so this is NEC compliant. I use the same size wire I find in the indoor receptacle outlet.

You cannot use a required bathroom circuit or a kitchen counter circuit, or certain other dedicated circuits for this method.
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Last edited by jrclen; 08-02-2008 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:19 AM   #15
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Exterior walls of dwelling units are not fire rated so this is NEC compliant.
Thank you!!! I was never sure about this installation.
You have links to "fire rated" as it is applied here, or is this in the NEC?

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