Installing porch ceiling fan switch

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  #1  
Old 10-15-02, 07:13 AM
dsjohnston
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Installing porch ceiling fan switch

Hi folks- I have a Siemens box that had one remaining breaker blank. I am running cable to two ceiling fans on our front porch. After trial and error attempting to find the proper breaker (I opted for a twin pole 15 amp, Siemens- the only one I could find that fits was a "Not to be used for CTL assembly"), I installed the new twin pole Siemens, two lengths of 14-2 wire running from service to a dual switch outside (the switch is on one of the porch columns, facing inward, covered by the porch ceiling), and then to each ceiling fan.

Okay, I know that the 15a are overkill for two motors that draw about .7a apiece, but here's my question:

This is an outside application (and I got two heavy-duty Hunter Mariner outdoor ceiling fans), which is working fine at the moment. I know, however, that I need to have an outdoor switch (which the one there right now is not) and a GFCI either breaker or switch. The breaker was a nightmare to find one that fit the service, so if I can get away with just the switch, I'd love to.

I'm looking for recommendations on what type I should be seeking and what to look out for when I install it? Any experience/guidance would be greatly appreciated as I want to ensure that this is an ultimately safe install.

Thanks in advance!!

David
 
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  #2  
Old 10-15-02, 07:29 AM
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I do not believe that GFCI is required. But it might be a good idea anyway. The easiest way is to install a GFCI receptacle in the line. You can put it close to the breaker panel if that's more convenient.
 
  #3  
Old 10-15-02, 08:29 AM
Sparksone42
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John is right!

There is no requirement in the National Electrical Code to GFI protect that circuit. The only time that it has to protected by GFI would be when you have a receptacle that is tied to that circuit and it is accessible from grade level while on the patio or anywhere outdoors, for that matter.

Since the fans are mounted to the ceiling and there is no receptacle on this circuit, according to your post, then GFI is not required for this circuit. If you however, add an outlet in the future, that circuit would then require GFI protection.

The rule is really quite simple. If you are installing receptacles that are readily accessible from grade level on the outside of a home, then you must provide GFI protection. If the circuit has no receptacles, No protection required, speaking in general. There are a few exceptions to this but they apply only in special situations.
 
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Old 10-15-02, 09:51 AM
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Sparksone42, look again. There's no "readily accessible" exception for outdoor receptacles. Even not readily accessible outdoor receptacles must be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 10-15-02, 11:02 AM
dsjohnston
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Some clarification

First, thanks very much for the reponses this far- the information is great! One important thing to note that speaks to both replies-

(unfortunately?) I thought I'd be clever and place two combo receptacle/switches on the plate. So, the switches are currently wired to operate independently of the outlets, but outlets there be- so I'm thinking I'll need to get two (if they make such critters) GFCI switch/outlet combos?

Question- even if I only had a dual switch there (no outlets), is there code requiring that I have "outdoor" elements for the junction? (plastic versus metal plates/boxes, etc.?)

Thanks again,

David
 
  #6  
Old 10-15-02, 12:40 PM
texsparky
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The only exception to gfci protection applies to dedicated branch circuits for snow-melting or de-icing equipment.
.They make gfci rec./sw combos,but they're a bit pricey.You should use metal or pvc outdoor boxes and covers (weatherproof )
 
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