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Wiring for 9 Outdoor Receptacles

1253 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  afjes2015
I am planning to install 9 outdoor receptacles around our 100 year old home. Two of the nine will be weather-proofed floor mounted receptacles on the porch used for things such as charging phones, running a box fan, or maybe a laptop. The rest will be seldom used but will be there for a variety of reasons such as holiday light displays, or an occasional shop vac or power sprayer. (I've included a very rough sketch).

Plan: I was hoping to run 12/3 wire from the panel and feed 8 receptacles with the black line and then supply an outlet in the back yard with the red "spare".

Question: Can I run all of this on a 20A, 2 pole GFCI breaker?

I am a novice DIYr. I will have an electrician install the breaker at the panel to a junction box on the exterior wall. At that point I'll be running the lines myself. Actually, I'd like to have the lines/receptacles in place prior to the electrician's arrival.

Totally open to constructive criticism and advice!


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Posting the sketch upside down makes it harder to figure out what you want. With the small amount of use you have outlined I would put all the receptacles on 1 circuit and use 12-2 . 2 pole GFCI breakers are not cheap.

All of the outside receptacles require weatherproof in use covers.
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As Niles stated, use a single pole breaker. The electrician should have told you this. I would also not zig-zag the feeders across the bottom of the porch desk. I would run parallel feeders down both sides. There may come a time when you need to replace the porch deck. At that time, you will have the feeders to contend with. It will keep all the feeders up and out of the way.
THANKS ANDY!... I'm definitely taking RJNile's advice and going with the single pole 20A gfci with 12/2. I will also happily take your advice about running those lines too.

I haven't spoken to the electrician yet. Thought I'd run what I was thinking in front of this group before approaching anyone else. So far I'm impressed with the advice you two guys have offered. Very much appreciate the help.

I'm starting to think I can do this job myself. Aside from going into the panel and replacing the 20A breaker with a gfci, I'm totally comfortable with the rest of the job. Although, I could attempt the breaker on my own but I will want someone with me who knows just what they are doing for my first attempt.
Reposting with image rotated correctly.

Will also change plans to reflect a single pole 20A GFCI, 12/2 wiring and parallel feeder pattern. Thanks to RJNiles and HandyAndyInNC!


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Keep the breaker as is and use a gfi device. No need to go into the panel.
You mentioned floor mounted receptacles; as in mounted in the floor, facing up. With the required in-use cover, you will have lumps on the floor of your deck, and I don't know if they are approved for that type of mounting.
Instead of a breaker install a GFCI receptacle in the first box and wire the rest off the load terminals.

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Jim Port and RJNiles... I was at the home depot and the guy working the aisle suggested doing the same exact thing! Makes perfect sense! So much easier and doesn't require a new gfci breaker ($ savings).

lenaitch... I found a flush mounted in-deck weatherproof box for the floor. It looks like it would work perfect for my need. grommet__81702.1490285510.jpg?c=2
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That looks like a Thomas & Betts DKG deck Grommet.

If others are interested, Amazon is one source for them.

Personally, I would avoid using them to the extent possible. They require a large hole which seriously weakens the deck plank.
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Oso954 ... You are correct on the brand of the deck grommet. I'd prefer not to put a large hole into the wood deck if at all possible. I'd be open to any other suggestions.

We really don't want to place the receptacle on the brick wall if we can help it. We like the idea of keeping a clean and low profile wherever we can.
My rear deck (you could call it a porch) is 11’ wide by 22’ long. I have 3 receptacles on the house wall. One on the wall along the 11 ft dimension, and one about 6 ft along the 22’ wall. I flush mounted these and use this type of covers on them. (The deck has a full roof so it’s damp area not wet.)

At the other end of the deck where the 11’ side is open, I have a receptacle about 3 feet in on the 22 ft wall. I used a surface box on it and have an in use cover (wet area)

I have a conduit dropping out of that box and running under the deck to a post that supports the roof beam on the 22 ft yard side of the deck. Brought it up the inside of the post (the deck side) to another surface mounted box.
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Just a comment on floor receptacles. Stay away from any that "snap" open or use a spring to
open. They always seem to be problematic. If there is any chance of water getting into them don't use them.
GISBoy: Just a heads up if you find you do need an electrician during any part of this project after you started it.

Some, including myself will not do work on a project that a home owners started on their own. Unless I did the install of all the wiring and boxes, receptacles etc I most likely would not dip in and do any work on the project due to liability issues with my insurance.

I would suggest that if you feel you may need the assistance of an electrician that you seek one out first and discuss with them what your plans are and see if they are willing to have you do some of the grunt work etc using your own materials. You don't want to find yourself in the middle of your project at a dead end and then realize you can't get an electrician over to finish/help with the project.
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