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Old 07-06-2009, 03:58 PM   #31
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Thanks CodeO5;

Sorry about that; THWN, not THHN.
Also, I would agree with CodeO5 and don't use the plug. Just hard-wire to the receptacle's terminals, or use pigtails. If you use a GFCI, make sure you wire the feed wires to LINE, and the wires to the light to the LOAD terminals.
Be sure to connect all ground wires, and bond to the box if it is metallic.
Also, check the breaker size. If it's 20A, you will have to run #12 wire. For a 15A, you can use #14.

If you really want to use a plug, you will need to transition as CodeO5 stated, into SJ cord in a j-box. IMO, it's not worth doing that. Just hard-wire.

And one more thing that no one mentioned. Before you dig, call the 1-800 number to have underground plumbing/electrical marked off.
It's the law in NJ, and I'm sure in most other states as well.

FW
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:11 PM   #32
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Good idea about the 1-800 number.

THe outlet that the old wire was plugged into is not at the end of the circuit. I'm not too familiar with installing new receptacles enough to know how to direct wire a light fixture to an outlet that's in the middle of a circuit. I have replaced an outlet before, but never installed a new one.

That's why it seemed easier to use the plug, and simply replace the outlet with a GFCI one.

Is it easy to direct wire?
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:11 PM   #33
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You know, for underground splices someone makes a clam-shell plastic housing that you put the splice in, then you force some compound into that shell that becomes a rubbery blob, then you remove the plastic shell.
Weatherproof, waterproof, etc.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:39 PM   #34
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Pretty sure the "Call Before You Dig" guys only locate utilities. They ain't gonna help you find the wiring to your post light.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:48 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Pretty sure the "Call Before You Dig" guys only locate utilities. They ain't gonna help you find the wiring to your post light.

I know that I just don't want to hit my water pipe, which is the only pipe that runs through the yard. No gas to my house, and all the electric and telcom wires are above ground.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:17 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I know that I just don't want to hit my water pipe, which is the only pipe that runs through the yard. No gas to my house, and all the electric and telcom wires are above ground.
Here in NJ, where temps get down to below 0F some winters, the water lines are at least 48" below the surface. Probably deeper in colder regions, and maybe not so deep in warm ones.

Here is how to wire the pigtail for the receptacle. Note that in this illustration, there is no ground wire going to the box itself. The box used for the illustration is plastic, which does not require it.
If you have a metallic box, add another pigtail to the ground (so you have two), and secure it to the back of the box using the green ground screw.
If there is not a screw, there should be a threaded hole for one. You can buy ground screws at any electrical supply, hardware, or home improvement store.


Note 1:
If you are going to use a GFCI receptacle, you may want to install it in the 1st position on the run so that all of the receptacles downstream plus your outdoor light will be protected.

Note 2: Check the following url for box-fill limitations. http://www.frentzandsons.com/Hardwar...iresinabox.htm

There is a maximum number of wires that can be run into any box, depending on its size (volume), the wire size, whether or not there is a device (a receptacle or switch) in the box, and whether or not there are internal cable connectors. The ones that usually come with metallic boxes are considered internal, while those you buy separately, punch a knockout hole and install from the outside of the box are not counted as internal connectors.

Also note that GFCI receptacles take up a lot more space than do standard ones, so if you are just making the box-fill limit, you may not be able to fit the GFCI into the box after it's all stuffed in.
You need to lay your wires in neatly, to avoid using up more space than necessary.

If you decide to go with the plug idea to avoid all of this, just make sure you use an approved junction box to transition between the UF cable and the cord to the plug.
Use SJ, 3-wire cord. I would not use a wire smaller than that which you use for the underground run to the lamp.

FW
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:46 AM   #37
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Wow...thanks. That is a ton of good info. Ideally, I would just replace the outlet that I currently have with a GFCI outlet, then splice in a switch using the pigtail method in the picture you posted, then wire the lamp to the other side of the switch. Does that make sense?

The junction box holding the outlet I plan to replace is very small, it only has room for one outlet. Ideally, I would just replac this with a big J-Box that can hold an outlet and a switch, and stuff the pigtails in behind it. This would mean I'd have three 3-conductor wires coming out of the box...the source, the output to the lamp, and the output to the interior of the house. Is this too much, should I separate the switch to its own j-box?

Since I will be buying a new j-box (or 2), should they be plastic or metal?

Here are some pictures of the situation in the basement, along with the old wire with the plug on it. The small outlet is the one I want to replace. Actually, the box with two outlets right next to it could probably go also, There's no need for 6 outlets right there. THe J-box on the right is plastic.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:16 AM   #38
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Oh, and I live in upstate NY, so I'm not too worried about the water pipe. My meter is about 3" above the basement floor, which is about 5' underground. I just got a message from another town inspector who said I only have to go 12" deep if I use GFCI protection, and that I only need conduit where it comes up out of the ground. I will use conduit the whole run, though.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:00 AM   #39
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If you want to put a receptacle and switch in the same box, I think you can use a double-gang plastic outlet box.
Get one that is fairly deep, to accomodate the wiring.
I would definitely use a "new work" plastic box. Since you have exposed studs, nailing it in is simple.

All cables coming into the box must be secured within 12" of the box, and at 4-1/2ft intervals between boxes. Use insulated NM type cable staples to avoid damage to the cables.

I notice that the box-fill tables apply to metallic boxes. I didn't see one specifically for plastic.
In any case, you are much safer using plastic. No worry about anything shorting to the box.

As for the GFCI, I would definitely install it as the 1st receptacle on the run. Not only will that protect all of the receptacles downstream, but it will allow you to use a standard receptacle in the box with your switch, and the wires to outside. As I said before, GFCI's take a lot of room in the box, making wiring more difficult.

Just make sure you wire the downstream receptacles to the LOAD terminals. If you need to, use pigtails on the downstream wires from the GFCI to feed another receptacle in the same box.
(I noticed that you have two receptacles mounted in one box; not sure if this is the 1st on the run or not)

I would assume that you are going to get an inspection for this work. It is required in most localities, and since you have already contacted your local code person, it would be wise to do so.
It is always a good idea to check other work in the area that your new work was done, so the inspector doesn't find some other violation to nail you on.

FW
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #40
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Any idea how much an inspection for work like this costs, or is it usually free?

I'll just replace the first outlet in the run with a gfci one. Then, I can pigtail off of any outlet later in the run to my lamp and it will be protected, right?

Also, what type of wire should I use for pigtails & internal wiring?

Last edited by secutanudu; 07-07-2009 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:38 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
Any idea how much an inspection for work like this costs, or is it usually free?

The inspection fee is included in your permit. You did get a permit, right?

I'll just replace the first outlet in the run with a gfci one. Then, I can pigtail off of any outlet later in the run to my lamp and it will be protected, right?

Correct

Also, what type of wire should I use for pigtails & internal wiring?

Strip out a piece of correct sized romex.
Where is this room? Is it a unfinished basement or garage?

Last edited by Code05; 07-07-2009 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
If you want to put a receptacle and switch in the same box, I think you can use a double-gang plastic outlet box.
Get one that is fairly deep, to accomodate the wiring.
I would definitely use a "new work" plastic box. Since you have exposed studs, nailing it in is simple.

Good idea.

All cables coming into the box must be secured within 12" of the box, and at 4-1/2ft intervals between boxes. Use insulated NM type cable staples to avoid damage to the cables.

Careful, some single gang plastic boxes do not have clamps and must be stapled 8" from box.

I notice that the box-fill tables apply to metallic boxes. I didn't see one specifically for plastic.

Plastic ones will have cubic inches on them.

In any case, you are much safer using plastic. No worry about anything shorting to the box.

Good idea, but properly grounded steel boxes are just as safe imo.

As for the GFCI, I would definitely install it as the 1st receptacle on the run. Not only will that protect all of the receptacles downstream, but it will allow you to use a standard receptacle in the box with your switch, and the wires to outside. As I said before, GFCI's take a lot of room in the box, making wiring more difficult.

Good idea.

Just make sure you wire the downstream receptacles to the LOAD terminals. If you need to, use pigtails on the downstream wires from the GFCI to feed another receptacle in the same box.
(I noticed that you have two receptacles mounted in one box; not sure if this is the 1st on the run or not)

Yes.

I would assume that you are going to get an inspection for this work. It is required in most localities, and since you have already contacted your local code person, it would be wise to do so.
It is always a good idea to check other work in the area that your new work was done, so the inspector doesn't find some other violation to nail you on.

again, good idea.

FW
Nice work on your answers.

Last edited by Code05; 07-07-2009 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:24 PM   #43
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Thanks again to all. That room is an unfinished part of the basement.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #44
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Quote:
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Thanks again to all. That room is an unfinished part of the basement.
Are going to finish it?
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:44 PM   #45
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I didn't get a permit, I talked to 2 different inspectors and they both told me how to do it with no mention of getting a permit...is it certain that I would need one, or is it possible my town doesn't require it?

Quote:
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Are going to finish it?
No, the rest of the basement is finished, this is in the boiler room/workshop area. It will never get finished.

Last edited by secutanudu; 07-07-2009 at 01:47 PM.
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