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Discussion Starter #1
quick question, all. getting ready to run some landscape lighting at my NC home. nothing fancy. about 7 or 8 lights, totaling maybe 210W. maybe a bit less so I can go with smaller transformer.

I have a 300W transformer now I got from Lowes that I am planning to mount to my house/deck or use the bracket stand. 300W may be overkill, but going with 300W transformer in case we want to expand (doubtful), and in case there is any line bleed (shouldn't be). 12 gauge cable. since I am doing this myself I dont want to go to all this work and find out I didn't run enough power. but would love to go smaller box since my wife thinks it'll be ugly on the side of deck. anyway....

there is a weather protected outlet by my deck (bubble outlet; says "wet location") but I dont think that it is GCFI. and I think that is an issue, right? at least it doesn't look like the GCFIs in my house with the button/reset. not sure why someone would go to the trouble of a "Wet location" outlet and not do a GCFI?

how do I know for sure? and if not, is it easy to just swap out the current socket for a GCFI?

photo attached. cheers,

Brendan
Charlotte NC
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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The outside receptacle may be fed from an inside GFCI. Press the test button on all inside GFCIs and see if you lose power outside. If it is not GFCI, swap it out with a WR (weather resistant) GFCI.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the note; I will try that. this outlet looks much older than the GCFIs on the other side of the wall; inside my kitchen. but maybe they are tied in. not too handy when it comes to electric, but even I can push a "test" button. thanks.
 

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It is also possible that you have a GFCI breaker in the main panel feeding that outlet.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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will it be very apparent on the panel if I do? sorry...maybe a dumb question
A GFCI breaker will have a test and reset button; yes it is very apparent.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks again for all the insight. sorry for so many questions. I am not too handy, but trying to get there...did some recon last night, here is what I see:

there is no fuse/switch on the box in the garage that is GCFI

there are two outlets in the kitchen that are GCF; I tripped both and neither killed the outside "wet" outlet

there is another kitchen outlet that is basically right on the other side of the wall from the wet outlet. it is not a GCFI. the outlets were all "upgraded" to a more modern look (including the plug itself) when we moved in. wonder if it got changed from gcf to normal by mistake? this would seem to make sense to be an outlet the outside would tie into location-wise

the outside "Wet" receptacle is on the same circuit as my downstairs bath. no GCF in there. or any other bath actually. there is one on the wall in the garage though; I tripped it....no dice. I verified when I flipped the switch that says "half bath/outside" on fusebox that it cut the downstairs bath and the wet outside outlet.

so all that said...not sure how this wasn't caught when I bought the house; in an inspection. be that as it may...is there a safe way to fix this? ie - that I can do myself? either making that wet outlet into a GCF? or if I made the half bath wall outlet that is on same circuit into a GCF, would that do it?

if this sounds like a job for a pro, what would they do? based on the limite dinfo I have presented, what is the most reasonable cost-effective solution?

thanks for your patience.

thb
 

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If you are OK with changing a circuit breaker, you could simply replace the existing breaker with a GFCI version.

If that outside outlet is powered from the box in your 1/2 bath, then, yes, you could install a gfci there but only if that is the box where the outside outlet gets it juice.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
the outside receptacle is on the same circuit as my downstairs bath. when I throw that switch on the box in garage, the bath and the outside both go dark.

so sounds like switching that breaker on fuesbox to GCFI is best. if I kill all power to the breaker box, is this an easy fix for me? I dont want to burn down the house.

Also...I guess I come back to the question - does the box outside have to be GCFI? I guess thats a question for the County codesman. but no one said "boo" about it before when I bought the house - assume it would be inspected.

again, I am getting ready to plug a landscape transformer into it, so I want it to be safe. dont want to take shorts but also dont want to do something that isnt really needed

thanks
 

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When was your house built?
It is now code to have outside receptacles be gfci protected.

I just completed a punch list for a seller.
No gfci protection in any bath or outside, but they all had the stickers on the receptacles.

I guess they took out the gfci's when the builder sold the house.
 

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If you shut off the main breaker the panel will be dead EXCEPT for the incoming wires that connect to that main breaker.

Don't get anywhere near them!

Breakers usually just snap in and out, if you look at the new one you should be able to figure it out.

If you are not comfortable with this you should have an electrician do it for you.
 
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