I'm going to add an outside plug so my wife (Sergeant Christmas) can
put up her Christmas lights. The power box is on the front side of my
house. The building code calls for 24" down if not in conduit or 18" in
conduit. I thought about running the line attached to the house along
the bottom where the ground meets the house. I don't like this for the
1) Looks like a "rigged" job seeing conduit on the side of a house.
2) I have trim that sticks out and would require bends (further
standing out) in the conduit.
The house is concrete block so making holes is not an option.
Digging a trench would be tight and I have two septic lines and tree
roots to watch. (Are there any mini trenchers?)
Just a suggestion. If you have a light outside by your front door, you
can convert it to an outlet by putting in one of those "screw-in
outlets". Now you can plug in your Christmas lights and control it
with the switch inside your house. Or better yet, by a timer to
replace the switch so you can control what time it comes on and off.
Good point Mark. The fixture wire in that lamp holder is 18 ga.
BTW if your AHJ uses the NEC there is an exception that allows a 120v
15 or 20a circuit to be 12" even using UF at a dwelling if it is GFCI
protected at the house end. I would poke through the wall, put a Bell
box there with a GFCI receptacle and then go straight down to your
underground run out into the yard..
Last year, I replaced a lot of my holiday lights with LED ones, and
probably used less than half the electricity. Also, the colors look a
lot better with LED lights.
I avoided needing the automatic exclusion switch (the year before, a
lot of those lights were on the same circuit as the microwave. Trying
to use both at once would trip the breaker.).
- The house is concrete block so making holes is not an option.
Not true. It's done all the time. A carbide tip drill bit and Tap-Con
or Pro-Con screws are made for mounting things to concrete and
In addition, a length of wire hanger, filed to a point and mounted in
a drill, will allow you drill from inside the house, through the block
and make it easy to locate the hole on the outside. By locating the
small hole from the hanger, you can enlarge the hole by drill into the
block from the outside (and inside) to avoid the blow-out that would
occur if you tried to drill a large hole from only 1 direction.
Now, run the wires inside the house and though the block wall to an
exterior, weathertight box.
I suggest a new circuit, maybe with a dedicated switch so Sergeant
Christmas can turn her lights on and off as desired. Of course, a
timer is also an option.
P.S. I've used the wire hanger trick to accurately place exterior
fixtures by drilling through interior finishes, interior insulation,
the sill plate, exterior insulation, and the vinyl siding. Drill
though the wall, unchuck the hanger, leaving it in the hole and go
around to the other side to locate your hole. Now you can neatly
enlarge it from both directions. The AC guys used the same trick to
drill through the block foundation to run the AC pipes.
On Aug 12, 9:15 am, "dan" <> wrote:
If possible run wires from a new circuit inside the house to a spot
If you have an attic with an accessible soffit, putting the outlet up high
will be easiest. Adding a dedicated circuit is best, but if that is too
complicated, a common trick is to hang it off the bathroom circuit
downstream of the GFCI outlet. You definitely want a GFCI protected outlet
Chuckle. That is for damn sure. I didn't figure it out on this place until
AFTER I had changed out the outside outlet, which needed changing anyway. I
did not realize code had changed on this, since the 1978 addition here was
built. When I asked the guys at work about it, they all indicated that their
houses (all 1970s/80s vintage) were set up the same way. From previous
threads on here, I think it was a rather common practice.
When I hit the lotto and build my dream house, the outside lights and power
will have their own circuits, with suitable protection. And not that I do
the Xmas light thing, but I will either install outlets in the appropriate
places with a dedicated switch bank inside, or maybe just build the holiday
lights into the roof overhang. Holiday comes, just turn them on.
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