GFCI Protection on Lamppost


Old 06-03-04, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 80
GFCI Protection on Lamppost

I have a lamppost in my front yard that is powered by 14/2 UF. It has a lamp and a single receptacle on the post. The switch inside our house controls both the receptacle and the light together. What was bothering me was the receptacle has no while-in-use cover on it, or GFCI. That is the pic of the outlet. It has one of those flush raintight covers that keep rain out when it is closed. However when I plug Christmas lights in that outlet I have to keep the cover open so I can keep the timer plugged in. To me that worries me, letting water get in. I tried duct taping it but water still leaked in. I can't find a while-in-use cover, or GFCI, that fits that size. The receptacle mounts directly to the post.
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Old 06-03-04, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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In-use covers for outdoor outlets are a relatively new requirement. The requirement for GFCI has been around for a while, but your setup may predate that requirement.

Your link does not work, so I can't see the outlet. If you can't find an in-use cover then you will have to rig something up, or use it as it is, or plug your Christmas lights in somewhere else.

Your options to provide GFCI protection are to put the circuit on a GFCI breaker or to install a GFCI somewhere, either before the wire leaves the house or at the outlet on the post.
Old 06-03-04, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695

It should be possible to close nipple a weatherproof box to the side of the pole about one foot above the ground. You can then install a GFCI in that box and an inuse cover on the box. It may be a good idea to run the wiring to were you actually want it, such as near the base of a tree or bush, and mount a box on a post or patent stand at that point.
Tom Horne
Old 06-03-04, 11:10 AM
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Old 06-03-04, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
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In-use covers are only required if a plug will be left connected while unattended. If you can't find an in-use cover, you should either look harder for one, replace the receptacle with one that you can find an in-use cover for, or plug your Christmas lights in somewhere else.

If the installation is thirty years or more old, there may be no GFCI. Otherwise it is very likely that the GFCI protection is provided earlier on the circuit, such as at the breaker box or a GFCI receptacle in the house or garage. It is typically done this way because it reduces the burial depth requirements on the cable. Finding an actual GFCI on the post would be rare.

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