outdoor outlet on stucco/block house

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Old 01-04-06, 11:41 AM
wgc
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outdoor outlet on stucco/block house

Can anyone point to a thorough description installing an outdoor outlet on a stucco/block house? The previous owner already created a hole in the wall, although it is behind a downspout and not very accessible. I'd like to put an outlet within a couple of feet but am a little anxious about weather-proofing issues since block/stucco doesn't look like it would be very forgiving of mistakes. I don't want to crack the stucco, pull it off the wall or get water behind it. I don't know whether to anchor things in the stucco or how to anchor them in the underlying block. I don't know if I should use plastic or steel conduit. I don't know whether there are recommended slopes or turns to keep water from flowing down and in. I don't know what to seal the hole with. I don't know if the existing hole is too inaccessible, even if I can figure out how to use it. Actually, I also don't know whether there is a standard height (the 12" standard for indoor outlets seems awfully low for something that might get splashed). I'm pretty confident about handling the actual wiring part but have never seen or done an outdoor outlet, and always try to do a better job than necessary.
 

Last edited by wgc; 01-04-06 at 11:43 AM. Reason: added details
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Old 01-04-06, 06:44 PM
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First off you could use UF cable to feed the receptacle,it requires a smaller hole & will be easier to run.The material you'll need {in addition to the wire} is all rated weatherproof {w.p} box 1/2" threaded holes,1/2" connector,GFCI receptacle,"in-use cover"{also called a "bubble cover"},outdoor rated caulk {I usually use clear}.
Will you be coming off an existing circuit or running it to the panel & installing a breaker? If coming off an existing circuit its best to have same gauge wire.If installing a new breaker you'll need a Romex connector{to go into the panel} & a circuit breaker of the same brand/model as the panel.The breaker must also match the size of the gauge of the wire used {#12 gauge---20 amp,#14 gauge---15 amp}.If you are at all unsure about the ability to do the panel work by all means call a pro,electricity is not a hobby.
Also to mount the box you'll need access to a drill capable of drilling into masory with proper anchors.The caulk is to seal around the hole after running the wire
 
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Old 01-04-06, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wgc
Can anyone point to a thorough description installing an outdoor outlet on a stucco/block house?
Sorry, can't help with that one.

Originally Posted by wgc
The previous owner already created a hole in the wall, although it is behind a downspout and not very accessible.
You can run cable thru there, liquidtight conduit or a 90-degree bend on rigid or EMT conduit. You cannot use a conduit body or j-box if there is a downspout blocking it.

Originally Posted by wgc
I'd like to put an outlet within a couple of feet but am a little anxious about weather-proofing issues since block/stucco doesn't look like it would be very forgiving of mistakes. I don't want to crack the stucco, pull it off the wall or get water behind it. I don't know whether to anchor things in the stucco or how to anchor them in the underlying block.
You might want to ask some questions in the Exterior: Brick forum. It all depends on how thick the stucco is and how it is attached to the block, and I have no experience there.

Originally Posted by wgc
I don't know if I should use plastic or steel conduit.
Plastic is easy to work with. Expansion over a couple of feet should not be significant. EMT or even Rigid may be required in some jurisdictions.

Originally Posted by wgc
I don't know whether there are recommended slopes or turns to keep water from flowing down and in.
It's always good when drilling thru the house to slope the hole down toward the outside slightly. Not too much if you're using conduit because it will be harder to "seat" your fitting on a weatherproof box. If you are drilling for conduit and surface mounting, make sure you have room behind your box for any required fittings. Also I would get a long, very thin masonry bit to create a pilot hole. That way you can drill from both sides with a hammer drill without blowing out a chunk of block or stucco with your 1" bit.

Originally Posted by wgc
I don't know what to seal the hole with. I don't know if the existing hole is too inaccessible, even if I can figure out how to use it.
Electrician's putty is easy but won't look too good. Paintable caulk is easy and paintable. I prefer Rubber Caulk, specifically Geocel Ultima Crystal Clear UPC#079239271000. It's stinky and messy but super flexible. Stucco patch is another option for larger holes, of course.

Originally Posted by wgc
Actually, I also don't know whether there is a standard height (the 12" standard for indoor outlets seems awfully low for something that might get splashed). I'm pretty confident about handling the actual wiring part but have never seen or done an outdoor outlet, and always try to do a better job than necessary.
I think the NEC just requires it below 6' or so. I agree that 12" is probably too low. Mine are at 26-1/2" on center above grade. That's mostly because it was fairly easy to get out of the basement at that height, but it's fairly convenient too.

Remember to check your state and local codes. Around here there are some specifics that are not in the NEC, for example: EMT, IM, or rigid required in basements and garages, no UF, BX, flex or romex except stubs. PVC is permitted only outdoors or stubbed thru the wall.
 
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