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Thread: Outdoor wiring

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default Outdoor wiring

    I am installing a new patio and want to run some lighting before the pad goes in. I have not decided whether to run 120VAC out to the pad edge...and connect a low voltage transformer near the light location OR run the low voltage wire from the house all the way to the fixture. My questions are

    1. What is the code for the depth I need to bury the conduit if I run 120VAC?

    2. Is there any similar code for the low voltage line (assuming the transformer has over current protection)?

    3. Do I need to use conduit with the low voltage line?

    4. is 120VAC or low voltage the preferred way to get power from the house near the location it is needed?

    Thanks for any help.

    -Walt

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Outdoor wiring

    Sorry I can't help with the requirments but, I would recommend running the 120 volts. If anything you'll find it's handy for all sorts of things , like a blender for making the cocktails.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Outdoor wiring

    Per NEC Table 300.5

    Residential applications and you can pick the approved wiring method you want be it UF cable, non-metallic or metallic conduit.
    12 (For the most part) For 120volt or less, max overcurrent 20amps and GFCI protected.

    6 for not more than 30volts installed with type UF or in other identified cable or raceway.

    Id be taking the 120 out to the patio and go from there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Outdoor wiring

    Does the 12" trench requirement apply to 12" below the patio top or is that to the soil under the pad? The pad is 2" gravel and 4" concrete.

    If running 120VAC...I was considering using plastic conduit with 14 gauge romex downstream of a 15A GFCI outlet. Does that sound OK?

    I was also considering terminating the 120VAC line at an outlet (mounted on a 4x4 post)and using a plug-in transformer for the lights. The outlet boxes I see at HD have a plastic cover that shields the plug, outlet, etc. Is this required by code? Should I hardwire the transformer instead?

    Thanks for the advice!

    -Walt

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Outdoor wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by waltdeckhouse View Post
    Does the 12" trench requirement apply to 12" below the patio top or is that to the soil under the pad? The pad is 2" gravel and 4" concrete.

    If running 120VAC...I was considering using plastic conduit with 14 gauge romex downstream of a 15A GFCI outlet. Does that sound OK?

    I was also considering terminating the 120VAC line at an outlet (mounted on a 4x4 post)and using a plug-in transformer for the lights. The outlet boxes I see at HD have a plastic cover that shields the plug, outlet, etc. Is this required by code? Should I hardwire the transformer instead?

    Thanks for the advice!

    -Walt
    The rules change if the wiring method is under the 4" slab and at least 6" in from the edge. You can then go 6" deep for direct burial cable or 4" deep if using a raceway.

    Yup, I'd use schedule 40 PVC if not subject to physical damage and schedule 80 if it is. Keep in mind that once the conduit goes underground it's considered a wet location and NM is not rated to be in damp or wet locations. (08 NEC 334.12 (B)(4)). You could use type UF though or, THWN individual conductors.

    406.8 (B)...... 15/20amp 120/250volt receptacles in wet locations..."shall have an enclousure that is weather-proof whether or not the attachment plug cap is inserted."

    The 2008 NEC added this twist........ "All 15/20amp 120/250volt nonlocking receptacles shall be listed weather-resistant type."
    Last edited by kentvw; 11-05-2008 at 01:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Outdoor wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by waltdeckhouse View Post
    Should I hardwire the transformer instead?

    -Walt
    I was at work when I posted. I don't get paid by the hour but still feel rushed when posting so I'm not always complete with a post...........Anyway...........

    Here's what I'd do:

    Bring the feeder conduit into the bottom of a single gang bell box on the face side of your 4x4 and plant a duplex receptacle with a WP cover on it. Leave that open for general use.

    There will be a hub in the back of the box and I would bore an 1 1/4" hole through the 4x4 and do a "back to back" install with another box and recept on the back side with a short conduit sleeve through the post. Plug your transformers in on the back side or hard-wire.

    I view all available LV systems as temporary wiring and constant problem systems. I will not warranty any of them for any length of time.

  7. #7
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    Shamokin, Pa.
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    Default Re: Outdoor wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post
    I was at work when I posted. I don't get paid by the hour but still feel rushed when posting so I'm not always complete with a post...........Anyway...........

    Here's what I'd do:

    Bring the feeder conduit into the bottom of a single gang bell box on the face side of your 4x4 and plant a duplex receptacle with a WP cover on it. Leave that open for general use.

    There will be a hub in the back of the box and I would bore an 1 1/4" hole through the 4x4 and do a "back to back" install with another box and recept on the back side with a short conduit sleeve through the post. Plug your transformers in on the back side or hard-wire.

    I view all available LV systems as temporary wiring and constant problem systems. I will not warranty any of them for any length of time.
    LV wiring, one spade shovel away from a disconnect.

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