Soffit outlets


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Old 11-11-20, 07:29 AM
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Soffit outlets

I would like to install some outlets under my house soffits for Christmas lights and I have a few questions and would like to ideas on how to do this. My soffit is fully in closed and my first thought was to install old work junction boxes but since this is going to be outside and sure that the box has to be weatherproof. So I am not really sure if I want to tear into my soffits. I would in stall dedicated circuit breaker which would service 3 outlets that are are connected to a light switch in my garage to be able to turn on and off. So here are some questions and please feel free to let me know if am missing something or not thinking of something.

1. Do all outlets have to be GFCI or just the first one in the series?
2. Wire size, should this bee on a 20 amp or 15 amp, I would have about 100 feet of total lights.
3. What type of weatherproof box do I need to get?
4. How do I seal the box up air tight so moisture doesn't get to the box?
5. Ideas on how to install the boxes in the soffit (with pictures if possible).
 
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Old 11-11-20, 08:22 AM
J
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What material is the soffit made of?
If it's plywood, marking the hole for the box and using a 1/2 paddle bit to make 4 holes in the outside corners making sure to start the bit so the outside of the hole does not go out beyond your lines, and using a jig saw, or just use an ossilating saw.
Only the first outlet needs to be GFI.
14-2 will work
Just going to need an outside box cover.
 
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Old 11-11-20, 09:21 AM
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Installing boxes in the soffit is the easy part, running the wire to and between the outlets might be the headache. How steep is your roof pitch? Do you have blown-in insulation?
 
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Old 11-11-20, 10:10 AM
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Do all outlets have to be GFCI or just the first one in the series?
Having a GFI outlet in a soffit that may be hard to reach could be a real PITA. Use a GFI breaker or install a GFI outlet in a location (at the switch, near panel, in garage) that is convenient for testing/resetting the GFI if it trips. Feed the soffit outlets from the load side of that one.
 

Last edited by 2john02458; 11-11-20 at 10:13 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 11-12-20, 07:22 AM
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The soffit is LP smartside vented. I got a a Commercial electric 1-gang in - use cover.
 
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Old 11-12-20, 07:27 AM
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I think I am able to run the wires fine, it might be a little tight but I would be able to reach.
 
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Old 11-12-20, 10:13 AM
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To go back to one of your original questions:
If the box is recessed into the siding/attic, it can be a standard old-work box. If it's mounted outside the siding, then you'd need to use an exterior box.
Also, since it's a covered, and not technically a wet location, I believe you can use the standard (old style) receptacle covers and you don't have to use an in-use bubble cover.

If it were me, I would use a faceless GFI (the GFI device without the outlets) next to the switch you install in the garage. That way if it does trip, you don't need to get a ladder to reset it.

Lastly, I would absolutely install a timer switch... but that's of course up to you!
 
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Old 11-12-20, 11:30 AM
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ok, thanks for the suggestion and I was able to locate a switch/outlet combo with GFCI.
 
 

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