Running outlets outdoors


Old 12-10-06, 02:51 PM
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Talking Running outlets outdoors

When the weather gets warmer in the spring time, I want to install 4-5 120v two outlet receptacles on the outside of my house. These will be basically for Christmas lights during Christmas time so I do not have to have extension cords all over the place. I am not going to have thousands of lights, just enough to run strands along the perimeter of the roof and windows. My questions are as follows:

1. What size breaker should be installed at the box, 15, 20 amp and how many? I planned on them having their own circuit and will be GFCI protected.

2. Is it okay to trench over the gas main pipe to run cable? I planned on running conduit the entire length instead of just the bends. I will also make sure utility companies come out to mark their locations.

3. What type of cable, 14/3, 14/2?

Any insight and suggestions would be great.
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Old 12-10-06, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
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If you are going to use conduit then I would not use any cable. Use THWN wires in the conduit.
Old 12-10-06, 04:29 PM
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I would go with 20 amp., while right now you say you only want to use it for Christmas lights down the road you may want to use an electric blower or something that would require more amps. If you go 20 amp you will use 12 wire if you are 15 you can use 14 wire. When running through conduit you will need to run thhn. If you use a jacketed cable in conduit it will not meet code and you may build up too much heat. As long as you are running that many outlets I would suggest running two circuits. If you decide not to use conduit and want to use cable then you can run a 12/3 and share the neutral for the two circuits but be sure to use a double pole breaker so when you have to work on either circuit you will be sure to have both off because if you put them on the same phase in the panel you will end up with a hot netrual. I personnally do not like sharing a neutral or ussing anything but conduit and thhn outside.
As for the gas line question. That is one you will have to check with the gas company on, remember, electrical current increases oxidation therefore I am quite sure they have stringent requirements as to the distance from their lines.
Old 12-10-06, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Two corrections to palmcoast's post.

Since you ar etalking about outside conduit, THWN wire is required. The 'W' means water proof. This is a moot point, since most THHN is dual rated THHN/THWN.

It is perfectly legal to run cable inside conduit. The NEC does not prohibit this. However, it would have to be UF cable, for the same reason it needs to be THWN, it needs to be waterproof.

While you can certainly run conduit outside, you do not have to. If you can access the walls from inside the house, eother from in the basement or from the attic/crawlspace, then you can use NM cable inside the house and in the walls.

You do need GFCI protection, since these are outside receptacles. Further, you need in-use covers for these receptacles.

I recommend a 20 amp circuit, which means 12 gage wire or 12-2 cable. You get 33 percent more power with a 20 amp circuit than you get with a 15 amp circuit.

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