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Adding outdoor outlet

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  • May 23rd, 2019 6:40 pm
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[OP]
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Sep 20, 2010
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Hamilton

Adding outdoor outlet

I want to add an additional outdoor outlet in the back yard of my house. I have an unfinished basement so I think the easiest way would be to run a wire from an existing light fixture.

The question I have is that since the ceiling lights in the basement are operated by a switch by the basement stairs, will the outlet always be on or will it depend on if the lights are on? Ideally I'd like to not have to worry about the light switch and just plug and use whenever I have to for the outdoor outlet.
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Mar 23, 2008
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kobe360 wrote: I want to add an additional outdoor outlet in the back yard of my house. I have an unfinished basement so I think the easiest way would be to run a wire from an existing light fixture.

The question I have is that since the ceiling lights in the basement are operated by a switch by the basement stairs, will the outlet always be on or will it depend on if the lights are on? Ideally I'd like to not have to worry about the light switch and just plug and use whenever I have to for the outdoor outlet.
So
a) You'd need a permit and inspection to do this legally in Ontario
b) The power being on or off with the switch would depend on how your electrician wires it. If you don't know enough about electricity to figure out how to get a "permanently on" circuit (no offence intended), you likely should be hiring someone.

C
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Good practice is to have receptacles and lighting circuits independent. If I were you I wouldn’t tap off of a light fixture especially for an outdoor plug that may be drawing higher than normal amperages

On a side note, an outdoor power outlet must be GFCI protected as per code
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. - Andre Gide
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Jan 12, 2017
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Definitely pull a new line from your panel. Would suggest using 12/2 and a 20 amp gfci outlet/breaker.

Should be pretty straight forward with an unfinished basement.

If you're not too familiar, definitely hire someone qualified. It's easy, but a lot can still go wrong if you don't know exactly what you're doing.
kobe360 wrote: I want to add an additional outdoor outlet in the back yard of my house. I have an unfinished basement so I think the easiest way would be to run a wire from an existing light fixture.

The question I have is that since the ceiling lights in the basement are operated by a switch by the basement stairs, will the outlet always be on or will it depend on if the lights are on? Ideally I'd like to not have to worry about the light switch and just plug and use whenever I have to for the outdoor outlet.
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
kobe360 wrote: I want to add an additional outdoor outlet in the back yard of my house. I have an unfinished basement so I think the easiest way would be to run a wire from an existing light fixture.

The question I have is that since the ceiling lights in the basement are operated by a switch by the basement stairs, will the outlet always be on or will it depend on if the lights are on? Ideally I'd like to not have to worry about the light switch and just plug and use whenever I have to for the outdoor outlet.
There are a bunch of issues with your current plan. You are not installing even close to code and would not pass inspection. As you have an unfinished basement there is no reason to do this against code.

1. Pull a permit and do this properly and legally.
2. Outdoor receptacles require a dedicated circuit only for outdoor receptacles. Do not tap off the light, run a new dedicated feed from your panel to the receptacle.
3. Outdoor receptacle must be AFCI protected so make sure to use an AFCI breaker at your panel.
4. Outdoor receptacle must be GFCI so make sure to use a GFCI receptacle.

As was mentioned by @CNeufeld it seems that perhaps you should not be doing this install yourself and instead hiring a licensed electrician.
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ChicoQuente wrote: There are a bunch of issues with your current plan. You are not installing even close to code and would not pass inspection. As you have an unfinished basement there is no reason to do this against code.

1. Pull a permit and do this properly and legally.
2. Outdoor receptacles require a dedicated circuit only for outdoor receptacles. Do not tap off the light, run a new dedicated feed from your panel to the receptacle.
3. Outdoor receptacle must be AFCI protected so make sure to use an AFCI breaker at your panel.
4. Outdoor receptacle must be GFCI so make sure to use a GFCI receptacle.


As was mentioned by @CNeufeld it seems that perhaps you should not be doing this install yourself and instead hiring a licensed electrician.
Is there a benefit to this, or will a combo afci,gfci breaker accomplish the same outcome?
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. - Andre Gide
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Red_Army wrote: Is there a benefit to this, or will a combo afci,gfci breaker accomplish the same outcome?
Absolutely it will. The only downside is you're likely to trip the GFCI at some point being an outdoor receptacle and going to your breaker panel for it can be a pain in the ass if you're working in your yard. The combo absolutely suffices and meets code though. I just don't like them from a convenience stand point.
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ChicoQuente wrote: Absolutely it will. The only downside is you're likely to trip the GFCI at some point being an outdoor receptacle and going to your breaker panel for it can be a pain in the ass if you're working in your yard. The combo absolutely suffices and meets code though. I just don't like them from a convenience stand point.
Oh ok, that was the answer I was looking for, other than convenience, no difference
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. - Andre Gide
[OP]
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Sep 20, 2010
218 posts
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Hamilton
Thanks for the responses everyone. Didn't know about the code violation. Any idea what something like that would cost for a licensed electrician to do this?

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