Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Ask your electrical related questions here
Post Reply
group7access
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by group7access » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:33 pm

Hello. I am looking at completing my first electrical project and am looking for some feedback or alternate suggestions. What I am proposing may seem odd/more complicated than it needs to be, but I am working with limited electrical knowledge.

As winter is just upon us here in Regina, Saskatchewan, it is time to start plugging in the block heater to my car. Given the watts of the block heater and cost of electricity, if the block heater was plugged in every night for about 10 hours, it will cost about $18 Canadian per month. I want to put the block heater on a timer for 2 hours before leaving, which will reduce the cost significantly.

My proposed solution is to put a GFCI receptacle in the house, before the exterior receptacle, but only connect one of the exterior outlets to the GFCI. Then, I would connect a male end of an extension cord to one outlet of the exterior receptacle, so I can plug it into the interior GFCI - all of this wiring, of course, would be done in a metal box.

Now with a receptacle in the house, I would put a Wi-Fi plug that I already own into said receptacle, and then plug the extension cord I just created into the Wi-Fi plug. This plug will give added benefits of being able to control the outlet remotely (also from bed) and also see the watts/amps being drawn, so I know that it is actually plugged in and working. However, since this Wi-Fi switch is not rated for outdoors, it must be inside.

With my limited electrical knowledge, I have come up with a potential solution and was hoping you could provide feedback.

I have attached the current wiring and proposed wiring.

Here are a few other solutions I had considered and the reasons why I chose not to proceed with them:
  • Use an outdoor timer (some even with Wi-Fi - Woods makes one) I already have the Wi-Fi switch make/model that I like to use; with an outdoor timer, I can't control it remotely; even the outdoor Wi-Fi switches on the market won't show me watts/amps being drawn.
  • Instead of an Internal GFCI, why not a two-pole GFCI breaker - they are about $200 Canadian; I am not willing to spend that much.
Attachments
2_proposed-wiring.jpg
2_proposed-wiring.jpg (42.68 KiB) Viewed 124 times
1_current-wiring.jpg
1_current-wiring.jpg (39.97 KiB) Viewed 124 times


User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 2717
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by Aaron » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:13 pm

What you're basically doing is converting permanent wiring from your house to your garage into an extension cord that you can plug and unplug inside the house so you can put that Wi-Fi thing between. But unfortunately, you can't use cords and plugs with permanent wiring. It will work, but it's a code violation.

Instead, I would just run a good quality outdoor extension cord (try to find a 12 awg one) from the house to the garage for the block heater. In the springtime, just wrap up the cord and put it away.

Otherwise just run the block heater all night--that's what I do, honestly... I don't think they take that much energy? Mine is a "frost-plug heater"--I'm not sure if that's a different name for a block heater or not, honestly.

Or just use that outdoor-rated timer. No big deal.

group7access
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by group7access » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:37 pm

Thanks for your comments, Aaron. The receptacle is not in the garage, it is at the front of the house where the car is. The block heater draws about 380 watts.

What if I
  • disconnected the 14/3 wiring from the panel-the wiring that currently goes to the receptacle at the front of the house--and then wired up a GFCI in the electrical room to a 15 A breaker using 14/2
  • then, using the wiring that comes from the external receptacle at the front of the house, wire it to a standard receptacle inside the house, using just one of the 14/3 hot wires - I understand that this would mean that only one of the outlets on the external receptacle would be hot - I am okay with this
  • and finally, used a small (12-18") dual male end extension cord to join the two internal receptacles?
Now I am not using cords with plugs directly to permanent wiring?

I still want to avoid using an external timer because I have a bunch of internal use only Wi-Fi plugs, which allow me to control things remotely. Again, this may seem too complicated--as you stated, just use an outdoor-rated timer--but I want to make this work in a manner that will allow me to use the indoor Wi-Fi switch, and remain within code.

Would using two internal receptacles with an extension cord in between sound reasonably acceptable? Or can you not have non-permanent wiring in between two sets of permanent wiring?

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 2717
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by Aaron » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:59 pm

If you could mount something like this to a plate, and all your connections were in an electrical box, then I would say it'd be good and legit:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cllena-Receptacle ... ower+inlet

This is a power inlet. Hard-wire your outdoor receptacle to to. Then you can use a short "jumper cord" to power it, with your WiFi thing in the middle.

Just be sure this thing is in an electrical box.

group7access
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by group7access » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:01 pm

Oooh! You did give me a thought...

When you said, "run a good quality outdoor extension cord from the house", I thought, that does sound like a good idea, however, having it come from inside to outside would be a challenge as there is no opening... however, there is! 12" inches to the right of the existing exterior receptacle there is a 2" ABS pipe that comes from the sump pump and luckily I installed a union right before the ABS goes to the front of the house... and luckily there is power in the sump pump room, so I will disconnect the ABS from the sump pump for the winter and run a 15' extension cord through it to the outside and stuff insulation or something in the ABS to avoid the cold air coming in. Then I can plug in the Wi-Fi plug to the receptacle in the sump room and then new extension cord into that!

Thanks for leading me to the solution!

group7access
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by group7access » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:03 pm

Thanks! I will definitely consider this if I do decide to move to a more permanent solution.
Aaron wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:59 pm
If you could mount something like this to a plate, and all your connections were in an electrical box, then I would say it'd be good and legit:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cllena-Receptacle ... ower+inlet

This is a power inlet. Hard-wire your outdoor receptacle to to. Then you can use a short "jumper cord" to power it, with your WiFi thing in the middle.

Just be sure this thing is in an electrical box.

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 2717
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by Aaron » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:15 pm

group7access wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:01 pm
...I will disconnect the ABS from the sump pump for the winter and run a 15' extension cord through it to the outside and stuff insulation or something in the ABS to avoid the cold air coming in. Then I can plug in the Wi-Fi plug to the receptacle in the sump room and then new extension cord into that!
That's a very clever use of something you already have. Well done.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11413
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by Shannon » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:13 pm

Great job guys, this solution makes things much less complicated.
Just a side note many newer vehicles have a temp. switch incorporated into the block heater cord end. I think most of them are set to not draw any power until around -15C (5F). So infect your block heater may not be drawing all evening everyday until the temp drops enough.
Now I know winter here in Saskatchewan it can stay under -15 all winter but I just thought i would pass that did bit of info on.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

group7access
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by group7access » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:42 pm

Shannon wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:13 pm
Great job guys, this solution makes things much less complicated.
Just a side note many newer vehicles have a temp. switch incorporated into the block heater cord end. I think most of them are set to not draw any power until around -15C (5F). So infect your block heater may not be drawing all evening everyday until the temp drops enough.
Now I know winter here in Saskatchewan it can stay under -15 all winter but I just thought i would pass that did bit of info on.
Hi Shannon. I did just go out and look at the block heater plug and at first glance it looks like it could have a sensor in the plug, however, it is about -15 C in Regina right now, but only -1 in my garage (my vehicle is parked in the garage at the back of the house, but this post was regarding my wife's car which is parked at the front of the house) and the Wi-Fi switch is reporting ~3.5 amps/400 watts being drawn. The Battery Tender Jr. drays about 13 watts, so I know the block heater is currently active. On top of that, the block heater plug is under the hood near the battery, so it is probably above zero as the engine is still warm. The Ford dealership put this block heater in last March when I bought the car, so I will confirm the specs with them.

While I was out looking at the plug, I snapped a few pictures of what I have set up. I
  • connected a Battery Tender Jr. to the battery
  • added an extension cord under the hood
  • plugged both the Battery Tender and block heater into the extension cord
  • added snap on conduit to the extension cord
  • ran the extension cord down by the driver's side front corner where I drilled a 2" hole and added a NOCO Genius port plug.
Nice and neat now.

Thanks again, Aaron. And thanks, Shannon, for this site and your YouTube videos (how I first learned about you).

/=S=/

block-heater-plug.png
block-heater-plug.png (646.97 KiB) Viewed 99 times
port-plug.png
port-plug.png (586.14 KiB) Viewed 99 times

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11413
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by Shannon » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:58 am

That plug does not look lik e one with a sensor. GM has the sensor ones ,not sure you can buy them aftermarket?
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

group7access
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Connecting one outlet of exterior split receptacle to interior GFCI

Post by group7access » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:09 am

I looked for aftermarket and didn't see any. There is a Noma plug-in timer that has a temperature sensor, but for now I will stick with using the extension cord that I ran outside via the ABS. As a bonus, the receptacle that I plugged the extension cord into in the basement was already a GFCI, so that's one less receptacle to replace.

Post Reply