Jump to content

GFCI Location


Tim.Barr
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have buried Schedule 40 conduit throughout the yard for a future LOR setup. 1/2" for the Cat5 and 1.5" stepping down to 1" for THHN wire from the basement to waterproof junction boxes at 10 locations. Each junction box will then feed an in-use-covered receptical post with two 15 or 20 amp circuits. I can then place one LOR controller at each post giving me 16 channels per location. The longest run is about 400 feet from the house.

I have 400 amp electrical service (dual 200 amp panels off a split feed). In the basement, I plan to place a subpanel where the wires enter the house (at least 100 amp), fed from both phases of the main service.

Question: What are the advantages/disadvantages of the following options:

1) Place GFCI recepticles in the outside posts where the LOR controllers will plug in. I've never seen a GFCI recepticle that can be split into two 15 or 20 amp circuits so I assume I would need two per post. (uglier)

2) GFCI recpticles or deadheads in the basement (at the subpanel) with passthrough to standard recepticles outside. Now I could probably split the recepticle for two circuits, so long as both are on the same phase. Right?

3) GFCI breakers. Otherwise the same as #2.

Is one method "safer" than another? Are trips more likely one way vs the other? There is less visable outside with option #2 and #3, which I like.

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

None of my answers should be taken as official, just as ideas to research further:

Tim.Barr wrote:

The longest run is about 400 feet from the house.



Double check how much you have to derate/upsize your copper for 400 feet. For a project here, at about 140 feet, the copper was upsized to 8 gauge for 20A.

Tim.Barr wrote:
1) Place GFCI recepticles in the outside posts where the LOR controllers will plug in. I've never seen a GFCI recepticle that can be split into two 15 or 20 amp circuits so I assume I would need two per post. (uglier)

I don't think I have ever met a weather cover that could happily be closed on two 12 gauge cords. Ever.. Two 14 gauge cords, sort of, but still not my preference.. I would still expect to want separate weather covers for each circuit.

I don't see a location, so I can't comment on how pleasant/unpleasant it would be to walk through the yard to reset GFI's as necessary..

Tim.Barr wrote:
2) GFCI recpticles or deadheads in the basement (at the subpanel) with passthrough to standard recepticles outside. Now I could probably split the recepticle for two circuits, so long as both are on the same phase. Right?

Make sure they are 20A GFCI's. Unless they have good indicator lights, I would actually recommend receptacles, so you can plug in a night light, or similar in each, and tell at a glance who needs to be reset...

Technically, you can break the tabs on both sides of a receptacle, and even power them from separate or same phases, running separate neutrals. However, I expect someone with code experience to indicate that there are restrictions on putting two circuits in the same box. It is also a safety issue in that few people working on a receptacle like that are going to think to check that both plugs are off before pulling the face plate..

While generally it is not advised for various code reasons to run two outlets on opposite phases, with a shared neutral, this may be one place where it makes sense to follow all the requirements to do this. You use a 220V, dual pole breaker, to feed both circuits/outlet halves, and use a single ground and neutral.. Be aware that there are requirements that I have not listed here, and you want to be sure this one is all to code...

Again, read my comments in answer to Q1 about weather covers and more than one cord per cover..


Tim.Barr wrote:
3) GFCI breakers. Otherwise the same as #2.



What I do not like about this solution is that many GFCI breakers do not provide an indication of why they tripped. With separate GFCI's, you always know if you tripped on current (at the breaker) or ground fault. (at the GFCI) Some newer breakers do apparently provide an indicator, but keep this in mind. Also, how cost effective is this option compared to separate GFCI's? Historically, the cost difference between the standard breaker, and the GFCI breaker was far more than the cost of the GFCI outlet.

So there are some general thoughts.. Now, ideally, you should get some feedback from others who know more about code, and eventually from your Authority Having Jurisdiction, so you know what they are most likely to pass, and what restrictions they would put on the various options..
Link to comment
Share on other sites

if i were to ' hard ' wire outlets outside i would put gfis all inside on a sub-pannel before they left the house. the shorter the ground the better, having all of the units in the same place would save a lot of running around outside ' resetting ' tripped units .

just my 2 cents.

thank you

Carlos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim.Barr wrote:


2) GFCI recpticles or deadheads in the basement (at the subpanel) with passthrough to standard recepticles outside. Now I could probably split the recepticle for two circuits, so long as both are on the same phase. Right?




I you do run two circuits you need to watch and size your neutral accordingly.

You can by code make 2 circuits in an receptacle. However, code does require a 2 pole breaker in that situation if the 2 circuits are fed form each leg. If both from the same leg than the neutral needs to be able to carry the current of both circuits

Chuck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...