Electrician Talk banner

Christmas Light Plugs

4668 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  anylettuce
Hi there,
I can't seem to find the answer in the code book or on here.
Do plugs hung in the soffit for christmas lights (so facing downwards) need to be GFCI protected? I can see the rule that I don't need a weatherproof cover plate but what about GFCI's? If you happen to remember where-ish the rule is I would be happy know also. Thanks.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

Registered
Electrician & Electronics Technologist
Joined
1,253 Posts
I'd have to check with the code book, but I believe if it is outside it needs to be GFCI protected.

If it is in an area exposed to weather, it also needs a bubble cover.

"Exposed" is generally determined by drawing a 45掳 line from the nearest roof edge back; if it is above that it is considered not exposed. In your case I believe the soffit would be considered not exposed.
 

Band Member
DIYer Extrodinaire
Joined
9,336 Posts
Sorry ... I missed the part of being up in the soffit :eek:

Yes to gfci, because the light string is still exposed.
 

Registered
Joined
403 Posts
Maybe this:

Receptacles for residential occupancies 26-710 General
(n) except for automobile heater receptacles provided in conformance with Rule 8-400, all receptacles installed outdoors and within 2.5 m of finished grade shall be protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type;
 

Registered
Joined
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They are above 2.5 m being in the soffit. AK_Sparky thats a good way to look at the 45 degree angle. It always takes me a extra moment to think of that 45degree rule. There are a zillion 45 degrees from horizontal in my mind. haha. It just seems silly to make them GFCI since you need a ladder to hang the lights...So somebody shouldn't be able to touch them by hand... I know I can use a normal cover plate. It says so in the rules. Just the GFCI question.
 

Electron Pathway Engineer
Joined
3,097 Posts
It just seems silly to make them GFCI since you need a ladder to hang the lights...
Agreed, but the code is the bare MINIMUM requirements.

So somebody shouldn't be able to touch them by hand...
True, but anyone can touch the aluminum downspout that is attached to the eavestrough that I run over with the lawnmower. :thumbsup:
 

Registered
Electrician & Electronics Technologist
Joined
1,253 Posts
Maybe this:

Receptacles for residential occupancies 26-710 General
(n) except for automobile heater receptacles provided in conformance with Rule 8-400, all receptacles installed outdoors and within 2.5 m of finished grade shall be protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type;
I forgot about the 2.5m rule; I guess it's never applied for anything I've installed. I think if I was installing it I would put a GFCI on it anyway just to be safe.
 

Registered
Joined
19 Posts
Hey guys, I was actually just looking at putting a receptacle in the soffit on my garage for Christmas lights as well. My only question was on how to mount the box in the soffit. Do any of you guys know from experience how to do this? I was wondering if the re-work brackets (F-clips is what my J-man calls them) would work on the tin? Or maybe there is a better way?
 

:-)
Joined
3,664 Posts
I was wondering if the re-work brackets (F-clips is what my J-man calls them) would work on the tin?
^^ :no:

But you probably have a 2x6 running around the building that the eve trough is attached to. Put the box there and attach to the 2x6. It will still be out of the weather.

^^ Do it this afternoon cause its nice out in Edmonton so must be where down south no? Also get her done before the Grey Cup starts. Edmonton should kick some ass.
 

Registered
Joined
19 Posts
Haha it is nice down here today too, but I'm working on my bathroom demo today. As for the Grey Cup, I'm a Rider's Fan :wallbash:. So it hasn't been a good year. I would like to see Burris win one last cup, but I don't think he stands a chance against the Eskimos. We shall see!
 

Registered
Industrial Construction and a fringe of residential and commercial service
Joined
529 Posts
I forgot about the 2.5m rule; I guess it's never applied for anything I've installed. I think if I was installing it I would put a GFCI on it anyway just to be safe.
You don't want the GFCI up in the soffit though; makes it hard to reset. Feed it from a GFCI receptacle at ground level or with a GFCI breaker.
 

Registered
Joined
35 Posts
I call them a faceless gfi. It is gfi protection that looks like a receptical but has no receptical ports. Just the test and reset.
It is not needed in this situation but I have seen it installed, including the gfi in the soffit.

Keep in mind as long as it is 45 deg or more you also don't need a weatherproof cover.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top