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Old 09-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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Wiring transition to outdoors


Doing some work in the basement I finally have access to a wire that leads outdoors to the lamp near the driveway. It is improperly installed, they simply drilled through the sill plate from the inner edge of the rim joist (down at an angle) and pushed the bare wire through. The bare wire runs out from underneath the siding and then underground. Luckily they did use UF wire.

I know I need to fix this, but not entirely sure how. Where I'm getting hung up is how to properly exit through the vinyl siding. I picked up some PVC conduit odds and ends. The plan was to drill a new hole out through the rim joist (maybe 6" higher than it is now) but that will take me out through the vinyl siding. It seems like if I do that and caulk around it where it meets the siding I'm just asking for water to come in where I don't want it.

So what should I do here?

The other question is coming to the inside... I know the line should be GFCI protected, but can't really justify $65 for a GFCI breaker at the moment. I thought I'd connect the incoming conduit and UF to an accessible junction box with a spa type GFCI (I have an unused one) and then regular NM-B back to the box. Is that OK? Can I simply connect the PVC conduit to a metal box on a floor joist?

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Old 09-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Wiring transition to outdoors


You need one of these. Run the conduit and wire at least 18 inches under ground. It's hard to say if that wire is 18" underground. You may have to dig up that line and put it at 18 with some caution tape on top so if you or someone in the future decides to dig, they will hit that tape first before the wire You can just drill about a 3/4" hole in the siding and put that transition in place and caulk the hole around it. You could just run a new line off the panel, put a $15 gfi in a box and attach that light to the load side and it will gfi protect it
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Last edited by romex1220; 09-23-2013 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
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Wiring transition to outdoors


Here is the current wire from the inside. I assumed I'd exit in the center of the rim joist.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l6z7nc8vdd...213002_759.jpg

Here is what I intend to do but adding conduit obviously. The L on the outside and the metal box with GFCI on the inside.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/s69845p00u...213325_975.jpg
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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Wiring transition to outdoors


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Originally Posted by pick1e View Post
Doing some work in the basement I finally have access to a wire that leads outdoors to the lamp near the driveway. It is improperly installed, they simply drilled through the sill plate from the inner edge of the rim joist (down at an angle) and pushed the bare wire through. The bare wire runs out from underneath the siding and then underground. Luckily they did use UF wire.

I know I need to fix this, but not entirely sure how. Where I'm getting hung up is how to properly exit through the vinyl siding. I picked up some PVC conduit odds and ends. The plan was to drill a new hole out through the rim joist (maybe 6" higher than it is now) but that will take me out through the vinyl siding. It seems like if I do that and caulk around it where it meets the siding I'm just asking for water to come in where I don't want it.

So what should I do here?

The other question is coming to the inside... I know the line should be GFCI protected, but can't really justify $65 for a GFCI breaker at the moment. I thought I'd connect the incoming conduit and UF to an accessible junction box with a spa type GFCI (I have an unused one) and then regular NM-B back to the box. Is that OK? Can I simply connect the PVC conduit to a metal box on a floor joist?

How did you come to the conclusion that any of the previous installation is not correct?
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:46 PM   #5
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Wiring transition to outdoors


http://code.necplus.org/sample/docum...3Anecs70-300.5

just about everything you need to know.

what's it look like on the outside, where it exits the house?
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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How did you come to the conclusion that any of the previous installation is not correct?
Here was my first clue:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h13l0y7kii...215127_871.jpg



But when I was reading up on wiring an outdoor light I remember that it needed to exit through conduit.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
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Wiring transition to outdoors


what does your main panel installation look like? if it has a large backer board, you could mount a gfci receptacle in your basement on the backer board next to the panel. run nm from the panel to the receptacle and then uf from the load side of the gfci out to the yard light. you can use a pvc lb fitting on the exterior and direct bury 12" (check out the chart in the link i posted previously).

and you get a bonus recep next to your panel, in case you don't have one now.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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Wiring transition to outdoors


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Originally Posted by pick1e View Post
Here was my first clue:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h13l0y7kii...215127_871.jpg



But when I was reading up on wiring an outdoor light I remember that it needed to exit through conduit.
Where does it say you must exit with conduit? GFCI protection is not required also.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #9
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Wiring transition to outdoors


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Where does it say you must exit with conduit? GFCI protection is not required also.
300.5(D)(1) and/or (2) may apply. doesn't necessarily need to be in conduit but needs to be protected. that's why i asked for a pic of what it looks like on the outside.

gfci totally makes sense if it is only a 20 amp branch circuit direct buried. 12" deep vs 24" deep if not gfci protected.

all this assumes it runs through the yard and not under driveways, etc.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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what does your main panel installation look like? if it has a large backer board, you could mount a gfci receptacle in your basement on the backer board next to the panel. run nm from the panel to the receptacle and then uf from the load side of the gfci out to the yard light.
That's a good idea, that would be a better place for it.

Is it OK to switch to NM at any point once it's inside the house? (In a junction box of course.) The reason I ask is that the UF is currently wired into what was once a light fixture box in the basement that is now covered up so it doesn't make it all the way to the panel as it is. And I'm not going to go digging up the yard at the moment to replace the whole line.

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you can use a pvc lb fitting on the exterior and direct bury 12" (check out the chart in the link i posted previously).
Thanks for that. It's somewhat difficult for me to interpret, but it talks about a protective fitting at the end of the conduit that heads into the ground- is that not necessary if I'm using PVC? I've seen the type of fitting they mean at the hardware store for metallic conduit but never seen such a thing for PVC.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:12 PM   #11
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Wiring transition to outdoors


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Originally Posted by itsnotrequired View Post
300.5(D)(1) and/or (2) may apply. doesn't necessarily need to be in conduit but needs to be protected. that's why i asked for a pic of what it looks like on the outside.

gfci totally makes sense if it is only a 20 amp branch circuit direct buried. 12" deep vs 24" deep if not gfci protected.

all this assumes it runs through the yard and not under driveways, etc.


I know the codes, so why even mess with the existing installation?
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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Wiring transition to outdoors


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I know the codes, so why even mess with the existing installation?
that's why we need to see what it is like on the outside.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:18 PM   #13
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Wiring transition to outdoors


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Is it OK to switch to NM at any point once it's inside the house? (In a junction box of course.) The reason I ask is that the UF is currently wired into what was once a light fixture box in the basement that is now covered up so it doesn't make it all the way to the panel as it is. And I'm not going to go digging up the yard at the moment to replace the whole line.
you can transition to nm anywhere, as long as it is in an appropriately sized accessible box. uf can be installed indoors using the same techniques as nm.

need that pic of where it comes out on the outside of the house!
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:19 PM   #14
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Wiring transition to outdoors


Here is where it peeks out from under the siding and into the ground where I dug away a little bit of dirt. It's right at the corner of a poured porch where there is a garden.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qn6jt1w906...221705_476.jpg

From there it runs under the garden/lawn to the lamp post, I assume as the crow flies.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:25 PM   #15
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Here is where it peeks out from under the siding and into the ground where I dug away a little bit of dirt. It's right at the corner of a poured porch where there is a garden.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qn6jt1w906...221705_476.jpg

From there it runs under the garden/lawn to the lamp post, I assume as the crow flies.
yeah, a violation. seeing as how this circuit also splices in a buried junction box, might want to consider redoing. dig down 12", cut the uf cable somewhere inside that is convenient, pull it out to the outdoors, install a small lb conduit body on the exterior, run pvc conduit 12" down, snake the uf you pulled back up through the pvc conduit and lb back into the house, add a new junction box, run new nm from the new box to a gfci next to your panel, nm into the panel (assumes this outdoor light was on its own circuit), remove old uf at panel, done.

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