I would like to connect an existing outdoor outlet to a GFCI circuit that is on
a timer during the Christmas season. I was considering using a three way switch
to toggle between the hot side of the two circuits. Will this work? Is there a
better way to do this?
On Monday, December 29, 2014 2:44:05 PM UTC-5, utguy53 wrote:
As I understand your plan, with that switch in one of its positions, the re
turn path (neutral leg) for that outlet would be reaching the panel via a d
ifferent cable than its hot leg is. I'm pretty sure that's a code violation
, because it could result in an unprotected overcurrent in the neutral (if
there are other loads on it too) and more obscurely, currents can be genera
ted within metallic boxes when electricity passes into and out of them thro
ugh different paths.
I'm sure you've considered putting in a new timer controlling the outlet in
question, and just getting an outdoor timer, and would be interested in he
aring why those aren't your first choices.
I have a timer circuit through my pool equipment that I am using to control
other outlets. I want the lights to be activated at the same time. The rest of
the year I want the outlet to be always on as it is now. This requirement drove
me to explore what my options are.
Consider extending the GFCI circuit permanently. That way you will not
have to worry about different current paths tripping the GFCI. (I
understand recent electrical codes require outdoor outlets to be GFCI.)
If you do that, you could use a switch to bypass the timer.
I missed your recent post!
To do what you want, I think the best approach would be to put a SPDT
switch at the timer. The common lead would be connected (along with
ground and neutral) to the existing outdoor outlet. The other switch
contacts would be connected to the hot leads at input and output of the
timer. That way you would avoid tripping the GFCI, although you would
lose its protection.
If that requires running too much wire back to the timer, how about
bringing the input side of the GFCI to the existing outlet and switching
I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do, but since the GFCI is
REQUIRED by code for an outdoor receptacle, all you want to do is bypass
the timer. Most timers have a bypass switch on them. If not, get a
better timer. Or you can probably just put a switch that bypasses the
timer. But by the time you do all of that, timers are not that costly.
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