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Can you use smart outlets outdoors?

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  • Jun 13th, 2021 5:11 pm
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Out west

Can you use smart outlets outdoors?

I have an outlet on my covered deck, that as well I have the weatherproof box on, which just has a regular decora power outlet. I want to hookup some LED lights to my deck, but with the Smart plug, its to bulky for that and the cord, so the box wont work

Can a person use the smart outlets outside? Just give me extra space thats needed. A regular plug works fine, and its basically double protected from the weather, would this make any difference?

I wanted to buy the CE Smart ones at Costco that were on clearance for $5 a pop, but they no longer have stock

The have Kasa ones on Amazon, but for $25
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Oct 16, 2008
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Maple
Are they rated for outdoor? Most likely they are for indoor use.
[OP]
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teoconca wrote: Are they rated for outdoor? Most likely they are for indoor use.
Current plug is just a plug, not GFCI. Its linked to a a GFCI on the came circuit however. So my current plug is just a regular indoor plug

Trying to see the difference?
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WikkiWikki wrote: Current plug is just a plug, not GFCI. Its linked to a a GFCI on the came circuit however. So my current plug is just a regular indoor plug

Trying to see the difference?
Then it’s not water proof. Humidity and rain may damage it.
[OP]
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teoconca wrote: Then it’s not water proof. Humidity and rain may damage it.
Did you miss the part of the weatherproof box?
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Maple
WikkiWikki wrote: Did you miss the part of the weatherproof box?
I missed that. Good luck.
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May 21, 2015
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Sarnia, ON
I have two sets of outdoor smart plugs that I got at Costco a couple of years ago. They also connect to Alexa and Assistent , they work quite well. If I can find the name I'll repost. Each has two outlets and about a 9 inch extension.
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WikkiWikki wrote: I have an outlet on my covered deck, that as well I have the weatherproof box on, which just has a regular decora power outlet. I want to hookup some LED lights to my deck, but with the Smart plug, its to bulky for that and the cord, so the box wont work

Can a person use the smart outlets outside? Just give me extra space thats needed. A regular plug works fine, and its basically double protected from the weather, would this make any difference?

I wanted to buy the CE Smart ones at Costco that were on clearance for $5 a pop, but they no longer have stock

The have Kasa ones on Amazon, but for $25
Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug by TP-Link (KP400) - Smart Home WiFi Outlet with 2 Sockets, IP64 Waterproof, Works with Alexa and Google Home, No Hub Required, Remote Control, Sunset & Sunrise Offset https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07M6RS2LC/ref ... UTF8&psc=1

I use this and a GE equivalent. They’re rated for outdoor use, and no problems so far (2 winters). The pigtail end lets them live outside the outdoor plug box.

C
[OP]
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CNeufeld wrote: Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug by TP-Link (KP400) - Smart Home WiFi Outlet with 2 Sockets, IP64 Waterproof, Works with Alexa and Google Home, No Hub Required, Remote Control, Sunset & Sunrise Offset https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07M6RS2LC/ref ... UTF8&psc=1

I use this and a GE equivalent. They’re rated for outdoor use, and no problems so far (2 winters). The pigtail end lets them live outside the outdoor plug box.

C
Thanks, Ill add it to the wishlist to see if it goes lower. I was going to try for a cleaner look with an actual outlet, but this may be better since its made for outdoors
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Mar 17, 2004
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Basically, its user beware. Sure you can do it and it will work but.......... You're planning on permanently installing something outdoors thats not rated for outdoor use meaning its not waterproof, UV protected, rated for huge swings in temperature or sealed in anyway, so can be easily shorted or compromised. To boot, it will be connected to mains power, so potential for fire risk. And a lot of waterproof boxes are more water resistant than waterproof.

With that being said, I've used a bunch of indoor smart motion sensors outside for 2+ years now without any real issues. They're under soffits and aren't really subject to direct rain, UV or frost etc. One stopped working after I inadvertently sprayed around it while cleaning with a garden hose. Tried to dry it out but it never worked again. But these are battery powered not connected to mains power. Because they're not sealed from moisture or UV protected, I don't expect them to last as long as if I were to used them indoors.
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Mar 11, 2002
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I’ve got the “Prime” branded outdoor rated plugs from Costco as well, it’s been probably 3 or 4 years now where I have it attached on my soffit for my patio lights. No issues at all and it is also controllable by a physical switch on the device along with Alexa integration.
If I recall they were clearance when I got them at $15-$20 for the pair.
[OP]
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dealhunting wrote: Basically, its user beware. Sure you can do it and it will work but.......... You're planning on permanently installing something outdoors thats not rated for outdoor use meaning its not waterproof, UV protected, rated for huge swings in temperature or sealed in anyway, so can be easily shorted or compromised. To boot, it will be connected to mains power, so potential for fire risk. And a lot of waterproof boxes are more water resistant than waterproof.

With that being said, I've used a bunch of indoor smart motion sensors outside for 2+ years now without any real issues. They're under soffits and aren't really subject to direct rain, UV or frost etc. One stopped working after I inadvertently sprayed around it while cleaning with a garden hose. Tried to dry it out but it never worked again. But these are battery powered not connected to mains power. Because they're not sealed from moisture or UV protected, I don't expect them to last as long as if I were to used them indoors.
Fair enough, but the how is that any different from just regular plug installed under an eave outside, or in the same line as a GFCI in a covered box. You cant have 2 GFCI in a single line, so if a circuit has 2 outside plugs, one of them are just a regular power plug.

I do have smart plugs plugged into an under plug eave that operate my yard lamp post and another LED tree, so they just come on at sunset and off at a certain time. Same thing applies, they arent outside rated, but they cant get anymore protected from the elements then they are.

Ill probably do the outdoor extension one that was linked to, since at a price drop will probably be cheaper
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clboy wrote: I’ve got the “Prime” branded outdoor rated plugs from Costco as well, it’s been probably 3 or 4 years now where I have it attached on my soffit for my patio lights. No issues at all and it is also controllable by a physical switch on the device along with Alexa integration.
If I recall they were clearance when I got them at $15-$20 for the pair.
I had one of the plug in ones in the box for the last 2 years, and it never had issues. Combination of a covered deck and a weather proof box probably helped. But we got new glass deck railings installed, and the old rope light wont work like before, so I bought an LED strip from Costco. Problem is the power back is so big, it wont fit with the added smart plug. So thought to just replace the plug with a smart plug. But that dual extension someone posted may work better.

I have those same plugs in the house, but CE Smart. I wish I picked up another 2 the last clearance, since they have worked all the time since install with no issue
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CNeufeld wrote: Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug by TP-Link (KP400) - Smart Home WiFi Outlet with 2 Sockets, IP64 Waterproof, Works with Alexa and Google Home, No Hub Required, Remote Control, Sunset & Sunrise Offset https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07M6RS2LC/ref ... UTF8&psc=1

I use this and a GE equivalent. They’re rated for outdoor use, and no problems so far (2 winters). The pigtail end lets them live outside the outdoor plug box.

C
It is now on sale for $20.
[OP]
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rngun wrote: It is now on sale for $20.
Thanks Ill order it and try. One thing I dont like is the plug for the wall isnt right angled, so will be hard to shut the box. Must be a cost thing to have flat plugs, but they sure are better and less stress on the cord
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WikkiWikki wrote: Fair enough, but the how is that any different from just regular plug installed under an eave outside, or in the same line as a GFCI in a covered box. You cant have 2 GFCI in a single line, so if a circuit has 2 outside plugs, one of them are just a regular power plug.
The difference is that a standard receptacle has no electronics in it. That is the part that is going to fail on your smart receptacle over time when it is exposed to temperature swings, humidity, etc etc. If it has down stream protection from a GFCI you’re likely fine from a safety standpoint. You’re just risking that your expensive receptacle may not get the longest life. Of course there’s also a chance that it does happen to survive long term. In my opinion if you’re comfort with the risk of the expensive receptacle having a potentially short life then go for it!

Just as an FYI even GFCIs tend to fail over time when outdoors. I can only assume it’s the same issue that the electronics just can’t take it. I’ve definitely replaced plenty for customers where the thing visibly appeared fine but it just simply didn’t work anymore.

Also, weather proof boxes are only weather proof when everything is installed correctly. I’ve seen plenty of home owner installs that were anything but correct leading to moisture getting in. Things like drilling holes through the back of the box for mounting, forgetting the gasket, not using all the proper screws for the cover and application (for example you MUST use the 4 corner screws on a surface mounted box versus 2 screws from the device on a flush mount), not caulking, etc etc. There’s plenty of ways that prevent it from being weather proof.

If you’re looking for a good, clean looking weather proof cover I highly recommend the Taymac ML500 series. They are nice and slim when nothing is left plugged in and give good protection when something is.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that you absolutely can have 2 GFCI on the same circuit. You just make sure that at each GFCI all wires are on the “Line side” and nothing on the load side. If you feed a GFCI off the load side of another GFCI it will cause immediate trips but if you stick with all on the “load side” it will work just fine.
[OP]
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ChicoQuente wrote: The difference is that a standard receptacle has no electronics in it. That is the part that is going to fail on your smart receptacle over time when it is exposed to temperature swings, humidity, etc etc. If it has down stream protection from a GFCI you’re likely fine from a safety standpoint. You’re just risking that your expensive receptacle may not get the longest life. Of course there’s also a chance that it does happen to survive long term. In my opinion if you’re comfort with the risk of the expensive receptacle having a potentially short life then go for it!

Just as an FYI even GFCIs tend to fail over time when outdoors. I can only assume it’s the same issue that the electronics just can’t take it. I’ve definitely replaced plenty for customers where the thing visibly appeared fine but it just simply didn’t work anymore.

Also, weather proof boxes are only weather proof when everything is installed correctly. I’ve seen plenty of home owner installs that were anything but correct leading to moisture getting in. Things like drilling holes through the back of the box for mounting, forgetting the gasket, not using all the proper screws for the cover and application (for example you MUST use the 4 corner screws on a surface mounted box versus 2 screws from the device on a flush mount), not caulking, etc etc. There’s plenty of ways that prevent it from being weather proof.

If you’re looking for a good, clean looking weather proof cover I highly recommend the Taymac ML500 series. They are nice and slim when nothing is left plugged in and give good protection when something is.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that you absolutely can have 2 GFCI on the same circuit. You just make sure that at each GFCI all wires are on the “Line side” and nothing on the load side. If you feed a GFCI off the load side of another GFCI it will cause immediate trips but if you stick with all on the “load side” it will work just fine.
I test all my GFCI's every 4 months, because I know they will weaken over time. Ive replaced a few before just due to age, and then never had that circuit trip again randomly

For the most part, these are weatherproof. I assume if a hard enough rain and wind came along, it may leak some. But Ive had these setup a few years now, and have had rain and 100km hr winds, and the boxes are dry. So I assume these are as weatherproof as they will ever be.

I know I have indoor smart plugs used outside in 3 spots, and so far, no issues. But under eaves, or in a box like this, but the deck is covered as well. Will it shorten their life span, maybe. But on sale and they were $5 each, Ill take that chance

I wanted to get those cheap $5 outlets that Costco carried to try this, because of it did die early, its $5. But the cheapest is now $25, so I went with the power dongle made for outsoars that somoene posted instead
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Out west
CNeufeld wrote: Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug by TP-Link (KP400) - Smart Home WiFi Outlet with 2 Sockets, IP64 Waterproof, Works with Alexa and Google Home, No Hub Required, Remote Control, Sunset & Sunrise Offset https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07M6RS2LC/ref ... UTF8&psc=1

I use this and a GE equivalent. They’re rated for outdoor use, and no problems so far (2 winters). The pigtail end lets them live outside the outdoor plug box.

C
TRying to hook this up today, and this thing during config, totally kills my 2.4 band, and it wont come back until I reboot the Router

Have a Asus Blue Cave. I thought coincidently my router decided to act up during setup. But Ive tried 4 times not, and the same issue everytime

I have 2 other Kasa smart plugs setup for the last 2 years, setup was a breeze with the same router

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