wiring outdoor light to protected outdoor socket

chuckchuckJuly 19, 2011


Out in my garden, I have an outdoor outlet with four sockets...two are 'switched' by a switch outside the house, and the other two are always on. The outdoor plug...though professionally installed...seems crummy, since the plastic door barely closes if a cord is plugged into it, but I have addressed that problem by putting the whole outdoor socket under a big fake rock. The main reason for the outdoor socket is that a fountain is plugged into one of the switched sockets (so I can turn the fountain on and off by the switch near the house which controls two of the four sockets). Nearby, there is a convenient post, and I would like to put a light on top of that, run wire under the fake rock and plug it into an outdoor timer, and then plug the outdoor timer into one of the 'always live' sockets. This would allow me to schedule the outdoor light to go on in the evening and then off around midnight or whenever.

If I get the appropriate wire, put a male plug on one end, and wire the other end to the wires associated with my light...and run the wire through some kind of conduit under the ground so it comes up under that fake rock...would that be an acceptable electrical paradigm?



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A permanently mounted fixture must be hard-wired.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 10:25AM
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I was afraid of that. That presents difficulties since I would have to have someone (a professional...not my area of expertise, real or imagined) wire it to the outlet in the garden, but in such a way as to be able to (a) turn the light on and off with a switch near the house, and yet (b) still allow me to independently turn off the fountain (plugged into one of the switchable sockets in the garden outlet) from a different switch near the house. I guess something like that must be possible. But it certainly takes the "Y" out of my "DIY."

One question I have: I have two fountains...both with UL approval etc...and they both have plugs. Both are thus presumed to be able to be plugged into a weatherproof socket in the garden. So, is it the case that the rules/policies for permanent lights is different than the rules/policies for permanent fountains? Or do we somehow pretend that the fountain isn't 'permanent'?



    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:59PM
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"Hardwired" doesn't preclude a timer. It just means that it can't be connected via a plug-and-cord. Several manufacturers make outdoor timers. So you could run UF cable from your light fixture, bury it 24", and come up under your rock, and connect to the timer. The timer in turn would be connected directly to the power, burying cable as necessary.

As far as the fountain pumps go, they're not designed to be "permanently" installed. This means that the cord for the pump should not be buried in dirt or under concrete.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 8:52AM
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