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Outdoor Wiring for a GFCI Outlet

How to Install Electrical Wiring for a GFCI Outlet in an Outdoor Location: The Most Common Method for Installing Electrical Cable and Wiring for Outdoor GFCI Outlets.

Installing the Right Electrical Wiring for a GFCI Outlet

Electrical Question: A leaky fountain fried my GFCI outlet.

This electrical question came from: Lloyd, from Goose Pimple Junction, Virginia.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Lloyd.

How to Install Electrical Wiring for a GFCI Outlet

Lesson: Install the Correct Electrical Cable for GFCI Outlets

The Most Common Method for Installing Electrical Cable and Wiring for Outdoor GFCI Outlets

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2 Responses to “Outdoor Wiring for a GFCI Outlet”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Allen,
    From what you have described, I will identify a few points for you to consider:

    A circuit cable that has a red, black, white and ground wire is typically referred to as a multi wire circuit, which has two circuits that share the same white and ground wires. When wired correctly at the panel a voltage reading between the black and red wire produces 220 volts. Therefore the circuit should be tested to make sure the configuration is correct to ensure the connections to the GFCI outlets are correct.

    When tapping into any electrical circuit wiring, the tap should be done inside an approved enclosure that is rated for outdoor weatherproof conditions, and the wire size must be the same throughout all of the circuit wiring.

    Electrical wiring to a home pond must be GFCI protected, which can be provided by a GFCI circuit breaker at the panel or a GFCI outlet.

    The UF Cable must be installed according to code.

    From the position of safety and to make sure your project is wired correctly, I strongly suggest that you consider having a licensed electrician assist you with your project first hand where all the elements may be carefully evaluated.

    I hope this helps,

  2. allen schaeffer says:

    I am Putting in outside GFCI circuit on post to power new fish pond equipment.

    I found and tapped into the buried UF cable that is feeding my storage shed which is a dedicated circuit that has two 10 or 20 amp breakers in the basement for the greenhouse where one is listed as lights and one listed as plugs.

    The existing UF wire has Red, black, white and ground wires. This new GFCI outlet is now the new first stop along the way to the shed which has 3 GFCI’s and a ceiling fan/light combo. I used a new section of UF wire of a lesser thickness to wire up the new circuit and tie into the existing one.

    I think I understand the line and load parts of the receptacle, but what to do with the red wire.

    To learn more, I opened the first outlet at the service entrance in the shed to see how they were treating the red wire and found a normally wired GFCI outlet and they just have pig tailed the red wire to another red wire and it goes off to another circuit. My theory was that they were using the red wire for lights in the shed as the second circuit. So I just pig tailed the old red and new red together and hooked up my new GFCI with the traditional wiring config including pigtail to ground in the metal outlet box.

    However when I energized the circuit last night- I got red and green lights on the GFCI receptacle (power was at least getting to it…) but the reset button would not go in and the light I had plugged into the new GFCI outlet would not work- nor would any of the shed lights- so I don’t think power was making it to there, i.e the circuit was not complete somehow.

    Is the red wire something that has to be put into the first GFCI outlet to complete the circuit? If so where or how is it connected?