Outdoor Lighting and GFCI Protection
How to Protect Outdoor Lighting Fixtures with a GFCI Outlet: I have installed a low voltage outdoor lighting system in my home. The instructions say to plug it into an outdoor GFCI socket, but I do not have one.
Installing Outdoor Lighting
Electrical Question: I have installed a low voltage outdoor lighting system in my home. The instructions say to plug it into an outdoor GFCI socket, but I do not have one.
- What I did was put a hole in my garage wall, and plug the transformer into a socket just inside the garage.
- Then I mounted the transformer, as per directions, on the wall outside.
- I put a rubber grommet around the plug wire to seal the hole.
- Is the failure to have a GFCI outlet a major problem?
- Is it bad to run the power cord through the wall?
- The instructions said no extension cords and I am not using one.
Background: Andrew, a Homeowner from St.Louis, Missouri.
Thanks for your electrical question Andrew.
Installing Outdoor Light Fixtures
Application: Install Outdoor Light Fixture.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best Installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Tool Pouch of Electrical Tools, and Voltage Tester, Fiberglass Ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience working with electrical wiring, the number of lights that will be replaced or installed and access to the light fixtures.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit or power source, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the electrical wiring and light fixture connections.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring for outdoor lighting should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Protecting Your Outdoor Lighting with a GFCI Outlet
- GFCI protection is required when an energized device is used outdoors where it is accessible.
- I would point out that you could extend the power from your garage through the outside wall and mount a weather proof box.
- Then a GFCI outlet and cover could be installed which would make it safe and legal as long as the extended garage circuit is protected as well.
- The garage circuit may already be protected by a GFCI outlet or circuit breaker.
- Your are so close to being able to make it right, so why not go ahead and do it right.
- Having GFCI protection will provide safety and you will know that you did it the right way.
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.