Outdoor electrical outlet too low to the ground

Hi. The electrical outlet by my front entrance is about 1/2" above the dirt. Looking from inside, it's within the top course of cinderblock of my basement wall. Looking from the outside, it's physically built _into_ the cinderblock, just below the bottom of the aluminum siding. I can't lower the grade, or I'll loose the pitch away from my house. I'd like to raise the outlet up a respectable height (say 12") so it's not getting muddy or lost in the flower bed. While I'm at it, I'll make it a GFCI outlet.
1. Does the electrical code obligate me to run a pipe up the siding and stick it onto my exterior wall, or can it be some type of free- standing outlet on a pole or stanchion? 2. If ok on a pole or stanchion, any idea what this would look like? Is there a special way to anchor it into the ground so a stray soccer ball won't crack it off?
Thanks. Theodore
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/10/2010 8:59 PM millinghill spake thus:

It sounds as if mounting the outlet higher up on the wall and running raintight conduit to it would be the easiest way to solve the problem and meet code. You could use either PVC conduit and raintight fittings, or raintight flex hose. Shouldn't be hard to do, if I understand your situation correctly.
--
The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Any thoughts on how I'd mount it to the siding? Or would I have to remove the siding and trim around it? Also, I've used metal and pvc for electrical conduit, but I'm not familiar with a "flex hose" for electrical conduit. This is something available from a typical home center?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/11/2010 8:21 AM millinghill spake thus:

I forget what the official designation of the raintight flex is, but it's probably not available at big orange stores: you'll need to find a real electrical supply house. But it's probably overkill; PVC would be fine (just be sure to get the raintight fittings with the rubber inserts; not sure the big orange store has these either). And you can simply screw the box to the siding (you'll want to caulk the holes where the screws go through the box).
--
The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you decide to use an aluminum outdoor box use a double gang box. Do not use a single gang box, the single gang ones that most hardware stores sell are built like crap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the existing outlet is in a rain tight box sitting on top of the cinder block, you could run a pipe out of it to a higher location, but it sounds like it's flush with the block, in which case an extension box has to be installed first. If you can, I would just kill it from the basement and install a new outlet, back to back with an existing interior out. Less work, looks better
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/11/2010 7:13 AM, RBM wrote:

I'd agree- you don't want an electrical box that close to the dirt anyway. Pull the wire back through the wall, and fill or cover the hole. Go up and come through the band joist above the sill plate, and install a surface-mount weather proof box designed for entry through the back. The ones I have seen were attached to a little stub of conduit with a plastic bushing on the end, and had a rubber gasket behind them, to make weather sealing them trivial. Just drill the hole, poke the conduit through, and drive a couple screws through the back of the box. Then fish your wire through, hook up the device, and put the front cover/ weather shield on. No idea what the proper name for them was, or if they are still available. They sell adapter plates to put a box on top of siding, or to cut out a square and inset it in the siding, but still provide a finished edge. Hardest part will be figuring out where to drill the hole without running into something, but still hopefully have the wires long enough. If you have to extend the wires, you will need a junction box in basement ceiling.
--
aem sends...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

.
re: "Hardest part will be figuring out where to drill the hole without running into something"
Here's the trick I always use when I need to drill a hole from inside a house to the outside. This works especially well when drilling through the band joist.
- Cut a ~12" length of wire from an old fashioned wire hanger. - Cut one end at an angle so it's pretty sharp. - Chuck it into your drill and drill through the band joist, insulation and siding. (feel free to start the hole in the joist with a regular bit if you want) - Once you've punched through, unchuck the wire, leaving it in the hole and go outside to locate it. - If you are happy with the location, expand the hole to whatever size you need with standard drill bits, working from inside and out if required. - If you are *not* happy with the exterior location, all you have is a tiny hole that can be sealed up with a little caulk.
A wire hanger, if left straight enough so that it doesn't flop around all over the place, will drill through wood, cinderblock, siding, etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Your municipal building permits office can answer this type of question (usually free: your taxes pay for this office.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don Phillipson wrote:

Code requires neither -- you can choose whatever mount/location you want; all Code says is what reqm'ts any particular installation must meet.
As somebody else noted, the cleanest solution would seem to be to relocate the box; how difficult depends on house construction details not available. Note from that posting that any inside junction box would need to be accessible by Code.
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/10/2010 10:59 PM, millinghill wrote:

appropriate adaptor and box on top. This will not be phased by a soccer ball. Rewire with direct burial wire, down the side of the house in smaller EMT, then over and up THROUGH the 2". Yes, it's ok to have the UF/B in concrete.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.