Outdoor GFCI receptacles

ylmzmSeptember 3, 2013

I plan to install some outdoor receptacles around my backyard. There will be 4 quad receptacle boxes. Each box will have 2 duplex receptacles, each on a separate circuit (2 circuits will feed all 8 duplex receptacles, 4 duplex per circuit).

Since these are outdoor receptacles, they need to be GFCI protected. I see a few options:

(1) Multi-wire circuits, connected to a non-GFCI circuit breaker, all receptacles are weather resistant GFCIs.

(2) Multi-wire circuits, connected to a GFCI double pole circuit breaker.

(3) Regular circuits, connected to non-GFCI circuit breakers, all receptacles are weather resistant GFCIs.
(4) Regular circuits, connected to GFCI circuit breakers.

Which option would you recommend? I will use #8 THHN wires (in PVC conduits), so I would like to save some wire if possible. The distance from the panel to the furthest receptacle is about 150 feet.

Couple of more questions:
(1) Can I use a single ground (#8) wire for both circuits?
(2) If I use all 20-Amp receptacles, can I use a 20-Amp breaker, or should I use a 25-Amp breaker?

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I would use non GFCI breakers and regular circuits. Where geographical proximity makes sense, I would use 1 GFCI receptacle and hang the remaining outlets (on the same circuit) off the load side.

Sharing a ground wire is fine, same "ground". 20 amp breaker is what you want.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:09AM
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Ron Natalie

You must use wet rated conductors here. THHN is not wet rated. Fortunately most stuff sold as THHN is also rated THWN (which is wet rated).

You can not use 20A receptacles on a circuit protected by a 25A breaker. Use a 20A.

Why are we using #8 here? Are the lengths such that we are concerned about voltage drop?

If you are determined to use GFCI receptacles and you're going to use conduit, there is no need for a GFCI breaker. If you want both circuits to show up in each set of receptacles, then you can just wire it up as a MWBC.

As you probably know (based on the choices you offered), once you are on a protected side of a GFCI, you many not share the current carrying wires (hot and neutral) with any other circuit.

Make sure you use in-use style covers on these boxes. They make double ones.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:24AM
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Thanks everyone.

ronnatalie, I plan to use #8 wires due to 150ft distance to panel. The idea is to minimize voltage drop. Is #8 THWN-2 an overkill?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Ron Natalie

At the full 20A draw, #8 wouldn't be a bad idea.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 7:08PM
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