Switch, to light to 2 outside receptacles.

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Old 01-31-07, 08:51 AM
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Switch, to light to 2 outside receptacles.

Ok so heres the setup. I have a standard switch that runs to a front patio light. The switch has another switch right beside it that runs just the foyer light. I just recently bought 2 outdoors trees with the small christmas lights interwove in them and i want a place to plug each one in (one on the left and one on the right side of the door)and have it so that when I flip on the front patio light it will also turn on anything plugged into the 2 recepticales which will be outside. I am also wondering since the receptacles are outside is there any minimum distances form the ground the receptacles must be installed, etc. If i left anything out please post back and I will add it ASAP. Thanks in advance for the help.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 09:35 AM
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Do you want to control two existing receptacles, or two new receptacles?

Assuming that you want two new receptacles, and there is already a code-mandated existing receptacle outside the door, then there is no minimum height. But common sense should prevail and keep you from putting it so low as to get covered with snow.

Wiring the new receptacles from the switch box may or may not work depending on how it is currently wired. But wiring the new receptacles from the light fixture box will always work.

The receptacles will need to be GFCI protected, and will need to have "in-use" covers.

Just to cover all the bases, you should check the wattage requirements of these "small" lights.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 09:51 AM
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I am wanting to add 2 new receptacles and yes there is already a outlet outside but it has constant power and is only on one side. Just curious but why is that outlet outside the door "code-mandated"? I figured that I would put it about a foot up off the walkway. I live in lower Alabama so I figure if snow gets that high then Ive got bigger problems considering the state shuts down at the slightest sign of flurries. I noticed on the existing outside receptacle that it doesnt resemble a typical GFCI outlet with the test and reset buttons, is it though? Is there a wiring diagram anywhere for wiring from the light fixture to the 2 outdoor receptacles? Ive seen that the GFCI outlets are a little more complicated, wiring wise then regular outlets.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 10:13 AM
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The "why" questions about code are always difficult to answer, and are usually a matter of opinion. In this case, I think the committee just didn't want people running extension cords out the door or window.

Outside receptacles do not need to be GFCI receptacles. They only need to be GFCI protected. That isn't the same thing. GFCI protection can be provided by a GFCI breaker or receptacle upstream.

In your case, you are going to need a GFCI receptacle, because that light is almost certainly not already GFCI protected. You only need one, however, since the first one can protect both itself and the second one.

Go get a few basic books on home wiring. They commonly describe basic skills such as how to add a receptacle and how to wire a GFCI, and how to route cable safely, and how to know what kind of cable to buy, and a hundred other important safety tips.

The basic outline is to run a cable from the light box to the first receptacle box, and another cable from the first receptacle box to the second receptacle box. At the light, you would connect the new cable to exactly the same wires that the light fixture was currently connected to (without disturbing any other connections). The books will fill in all the other details.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 12:10 PM
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Any particular books in mind? I already have hte Lowes Home Improvment and repair book and it tells whats stuff is called and the tools but no applicable diagrams or instructions, esp when it comes to exactly how to extend a circuit.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 12:20 PM
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Go browse the books at your local home center (or library). Get one or two that seem to speak to you, have lots of nice colorful pictures, and cover basic skills and safety information. Make sure at least one of them shows a step by step guide (with pictures) on extending a circuit to add a receptacle. Most of these guides show you how to extended one receptacle to another, but you'll have to adapt that as I covered previously. Black and Decker has several at different price points and in different depths.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 06:33 PM
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I always recommend the book "Wiring Simplified", which is available at the big box stores and from many on-line sources.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 07:31 PM
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I live in lower Alabama so I figure if snow gets that high then Ive got bigger problems ##

If this was in your profile.... we could have saved some time.

The rules are different across the country.

The home supply house books have many non-code compliant drawings.

Extend the two wires from the light fixture to the first rec then the next.
Thats the short of it. There are many more things to consider. The wireing methods etc.

Please read up and post back. Or hire it out.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 07:51 PM
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Exactly what are "home supply house books"?
 
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