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Thread: Outdoor GFCI

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    11

    Default Outdoor GFCI

    I am replacing my sprinkler timer with a new timer.
    The old timer plugs into an outlet that is not a GFCI outlet. The outlet is on the exterior wall within arm's reach of the main panel.
    Can I replace the appropriate breaker with a GFCI breaker instead of a GFCI outlet, and what would that involve?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Outdoor GFCI

    Depending on the brand, the new breaker snaps into place once the black (hot) wire is attached. You may find the GFCI breaker runs about $40, whereas a GFCI outlet is $15

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Outdoor GFCI

    Ditto Houston. Also, be sure to install the same brand GFCI breaker as the panel (Code) and make sure the breaker is correctly sized to the wire (#12 for 20A, #14 for a 15A)

    Turn off your main breaker before working in a panel and don't touch the wires feeding it!

    Re-locate the white (neutral) going to the outside receptacle to the breaker and connect the curly white wire on the breaker to the neutral bar.

    You need to replace the receptacle outside with one rated weather resistant (WR) and install an "in-use cover" over it.

    Your smart to be doing this..outside GFCI receptacles don't last long. If possible you might want to relocate the timer inside also.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Outdoor GFCI

    Before going to all that work and expense, are you certain that the outlet is not GFCI protected? There may be a GFCI located somewhere else that also feeds this outlet, hence the outlet is protected even though it is not a GFCI itself.

    Common places for GFCI outlets to be located are garage, bathroom, patio, and kitchen. Locate and trip these one at a time and see if it affects the exterior plug for your timer.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Outdoor GFCI

    Thanks for the quick response everyone.

    I already checked, there is no GFCI on the circuit.

    Everything else mentioned was on my radar, but I did want to make sure I was doing best practice.

    If the sprinkler valves abutted the garage, then I would for sure place the timer inside, but alas they are next to an office and a bedroom.

    Have a great 4th of July

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Outdoor GFCI

    Just a final note for you to consider: buy quality stuff from an electrical supply house. Brand name will do. You will pay a few $$ more, but you will get something that won't fail on you very quickly.

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