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zinla 09-17-2009 09:36 PM

Several basic questions re: outdoor floodlight install

Recently moved from NYC (very restrictive building codes) to Los Angeles (seemingly less so).

The task is this: Got a stucco house with a medium-sized porch roof attached to the front of it, supported by columns. Over the front door is a standard outdoor porch light. I want to tap into electrical at this porch light (using a bump-out box), and run power under the porch eave for about 8 feet, then surface-mounted onto the house for another 2-3 feet. At the end will be a circle box and basic motion floodlight set. Here are the questions:

1) Home centers here are filled with PVC conduit which I've never seen before (only EMT) in NYC. Anyone know if PVC is up to code for wet locations in LA?

2) Whether it's EMT or PVC, what am I running through the conduit? Romex? I have done about a thousand indoor installs in NYC using BX because Romex is ALSO not code in NYC. But I have never done an outdoor. I can see from looking at it that BX is not made to pull through conduit. Do I use Romex, or is there something else?

3) If I am using EMT, are clamp connectors sufficient by themselves, or do you hit all the joints with silicone? Same question applies for PVC I guess.

Thanks for any and all input.

Scuba_Dave 09-17-2009 10:07 PM

Grey PVC -(is rated for electric use) ? Or flex? What's it look like ?

You can run UF romex - wet rated, but the conduit has to be sized larger
Usually individual wires THWN rated are run (wet location)

zinla 09-17-2009 10:20 PM

Yeah, grey. Definitely electrical. It's in the same section, right next to the EMT. I just don't know if it can be used above ground on an exposed wall like that.

220/221 09-17-2009 10:21 PM

PVC is acceptable but EMT looks better.

If you want to use cable. you can stay code compliant by using UF cable. It's like romex but the sheath is moulded around the conductors so it's rated for wet or damp locations.

If it's conduit all the way you can use individual THWN wires, black, white and green.

Many people still just use romex in these situations.:whistling2:

zinla 09-17-2009 10:27 PM

thanks to both of you, and just following up: will I have to silicone all the connections? i'm assuming that's a best practice, but I don't want to go nuts if I don't have to.

220/221 09-17-2009 10:33 PM

No silicone on wire connections.

zinla 09-17-2009 10:35 PM

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. I meant the conduit connections. I.e., where a conduit connector is going into a box or coupling two conduit runs together.

220/221 09-17-2009 10:38 PM

Not necessary.

If there is a gap between the stucco and the extension ring, you may want to caulk it to keep bugs and water out.

zinla 09-17-2009 10:39 PM

GREAT. Thanks for all your help! :)

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