Outdoor wiring, multiple devices

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bdaz623
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:39 am

Outdoor wiring, multiple devices

Post by bdaz623 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:51 am

Hi Shannon -

First, love your site and the very detailed information you provide as well as you YouTube channel!

I'm currently constructing and outdoor kitchen and I have reached the electrical phase. Here is the plan:

2 receptacles, constant power (GFCI)
1 low voltage light, constant power
1 receptacle, half switched (GFCI)
1 flood light, switched
1 double switch, to control the switched flood light and half switched receptacle

How would I achieve the wiring of this? I have already run 12/2 wire from the main circuit box with a 20A breaker. I list GFCI receptacles because I believe they are best used for this type of application.

Also, for outdoor wiring, do you recommend plastic or metal boxes?

Not sure what else I maybe missing?

Thanks for any guidance and look forward to your response.

Brian

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Shannon
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Re: Outdoor wiring, multiple devices

Post by Shannon » Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:21 am

I would recommend the plastic boxes for a exterior project like this. I would assume the low voltage light needs to be plugged in to a receptacle and has its own transformer. So if that is the case then I would run my 12/2 wire to all the receptacles , at the split recep. make sure you only wire to the one you want constant and remove the little metal tabs between top and bottom screws. Run a 12/2 to the double switch box from a recap. this will be the power source for that box. Now run two 12/2 s from that double box , one to the light and one to the switched recap. So in the double box you now have three 12/2, connect the black wire from the light to the top screw of one switch and the black from the switched recep. to the top screw of the other. All of the whites in that box (3) can be wire nutted together. The black power feed wire needs two black "jumper " wires wire nutted to it. One of each of those wires will then be attached to the bottom screw on each switch. Be sure all grounds are attached at every box correctly as well as to the boxes.
To protect the whole circuit a GFCI plug can be placed in the very first recep. box before anything else on that circuit then everything after that on the circuit is protected. In my experience though when a switch is on a circuit with a GFCI plug the switch will sometimes trip the plug causing annoying false trips. The way to fix that is to instead use a GFCI breaker on that circuit instead of the GFCI recep. Because of cost though I would start with the GFCI recep. and if it gives trouble then replace it with a regular recap. and install a GFCI breaker. The cost difference here is $18 dollars vs. $125 so there is a big difference for sure. Be sure you are installing a 20 amp GFCI if your circuit is going to be 20 Amp.
Good luck. Post up a picture of the new outdoor kitchen when you are done.
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bdaz623
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:39 am

Re: Outdoor wiring, multiple devices

Post by bdaz623 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:05 pm

Shannon -

Thanks for the quick reply! The low voltage light will actually be hard-wired that has its own internal switch. Does this change anything you recommended? Also, does the order in which I wire matter or make things easier? I was thinking about wiring the constant power devices first (2 receptacles, 1 low-voltage light), the wire the double switch, then wire to the switched split receptacle and flood light.

Finally, your recommendation on using plastic boxes. The products at my local hardware store don't appear to have a grounding screw that is commonly found in a metal box. How exactly do I ground a plastic box?

Thanks again!

bd

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Shannon
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Re: Outdoor wiring, multiple devices

Post by Shannon » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:04 pm

If that low voltage light can be hard wired then skip the recep. for that location and just hard wire it.
I think thats how I have that circuit basically running is constant power first, then a constant run to the double switch and from those switches back to their fixtures. So you should be fine. If you have trouble I can draw it out in a diagram.
I have never seen a box without a ground screw.... Be sure they are approved to be used in your area. If they are then I guess all you can do is attach ground wires together at every box and to each fixture at every box.
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