How To Install an Outside GFCI Receptacle – Step by Step Instructions with Pictures
January 29, 2008
This past week was a nightmare for me. My wife flew to upstate NY (approximately 2,000 miles east of here) to visit her sister in the hospital, where she stayed all week. The dishwasher quit Tuesday night and when I got home from work on Wednesday, the furnace was not working.
The dishwasher not working was not too big of a deal, but the furnace not working sucked. It got down to 18 degrees below zero fahrenheit Wednesday night here in Bozeman, MT. Fortunately, we have a wood burning fireplace. I also decided to do the laundry Wednesday night so I could use the dryer for heat as well. I disconnected the flexible hose at the wall and stretched it around to the outside of the dryer and put a pair of my wife’s panty hose over the end to catch the lint. This worked well; between the fireplace, the dryer and a couple of space heaters, I was able to keep the house at 64 degrees fahrenheit all night. The furnace was fixed Thursday morning, thankfully.
At any rate, because it was so cold all week, I received several service calls to install outside GFCI receptacles to plug engine heaters into. Friday afternoon was considerably warmer and I installed one about a mile from my house. So, I ran home first and grabbed my camera. I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity and create a blog post about this installation.
The instructions and images below will walk you through step by step on how to install an outside GFCI receptacle. Click on any of the images for a larger view.
|The tools you need for this installation are:
|You are also going to need something to cut the hole for the receptacle box. I definately prefer the Roto Zip for this. It’s small, light weight, easy to handle, easily adjustable cutting depth and with the wide variety of bits, it can cut through just about anything. As you can see, mine is pretty beat up. I use this tool on a daily basis. I usually burn out 1 to 2 Roto Zips per year, but I use it to cut through everything. In my opinion, this is one of the best tools ever invented.|
|The materials you need for this installation are:
|There is a receptacle on the backside of this wall approximately 2 1/2 feet above the new GFCI I was installing. Typically, I would tap power from this receptacle. However, this garage was a little bit of a wiring nightmare. There were open splices everywhere, including at this receptacle (see image below) and nothing was GFCI protected. I talked to the homeowner about repairing these fire hazards, but they did not have the money now. Fortunately for me, there is a 100 amp breaker box that is properly grounded and there are spaces available. So, I elected to supply a dedicated circuit. This way I wouldn’t have to touch or be responsible for any of the existing wiring.
So, let’s get started installing an outside GFCI receptacle.
|Step 1 – Determine and mark the location for your receptacle.|
|Step 2 – Place the front of the remodel box against the wall and level the box.|
|Step 3 – Use a pencil to trace around the outside of the remodel box. Ensure you only trace around the areas that need to be cut. Note the top and bottom of the box. There are “ears” here that prevent the box from falling into the wall; do not cut out for these. See the image to the right for what the outline should look like and note the image in step 5.|
|Step 4 – Cut along the inside of the line to remove the siding and create an opening for the electrical box.|
|Step 5 – Install the GFCI receptacle box.|
|Step 6 – Install the NM cable (romex).|
|Step 7 – Staple the NM cable (romex) within 12 inches of the box and approximately every 3 feet thereafter.|
|Step 8 – Install the GFCI receptacle.|
|Step 9 – Install the weatherproof gasket.|
|Step 10 – Install the weatherproof in use cover.|
|Step 11 – Turn on the power and test the GFCI receptacle.|
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