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Thread: No Ground for Outdoor Lights

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member hormy_83's Avatar
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    Default No Ground for Outdoor Lights

    I'm in the process of replacing my old lamp poles and lights outside with new ones. I have noticed that the previous ones were installed with UF wire buried directly underground. Since moving into my house I've always thought it was weird that the UF wire terminates at the house by connecting it to a typical male plug. This is then plugged into my outdoor GFCI outlet which is on a timer switch in my house.

    The problem comes about when hooking up my new lights - I see the UF cable that runs between the two lights is your typical 14-2 with a copper ground. However the UF cable that runs from the first light to the house is also 14-2 UF, but doesn't have a copper ground, instead it has something that looks like a string running through it.

    So is it acceptable to not hook up ground to these lights since it is connected to a GFCI outlet?

  2. #2

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    Just to be clear, this UF cable pops out of the ground and plugs into an outlet?

  3. #3
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    It sounds like a glorified extenstion cord which should not be used for permanent fixtures.

    It certainly should not be left plugged in a) when not in use; and, b) if nobody is supervising it.

    I'd wire it properly on its own circuit, or perhaps downstream from that GFCI?

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member hormy_83's Avatar
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    Yes, you both are correct. It is basically a glorified extension cord that is buried under the ground from the house to the post light. It pops up right by my front porch, wraps around my stone wall / planter that sticks out 2 feet or so from the house and then goes into the outlet that is right on the house.

    My thought is to remove the area that wraps around and leave it under ground and have it pop up inside the stone wall / planter. It is hollow, and I can remove the planter to get access. I will then drill a hole into the house and run that wire to the same outlet - but connect it properly.

    Before going through all this trouble I want to make sure that it is acceptable to connect this UF cable with no ground to a GFCI outlet and having that run the power to my two post lights.

    Thanks!
    Nick

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member hormy_83's Avatar
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    Since it may be hard to understand (or believe) here is a picture... Sorry about the quality, it is from my phone - but at least it gets the idea across...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    That's all kinds of bad...but at least it's on a GFCI outlet.... Hardwire it with a ground and you'll be better off. You can buy a box extension so that you can run conduit from that box and still have a plug.

    Jason

  7. #7

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    GFCI protection makes the 2 wire portion of the installation "safe".

    WP box extension and some conduit around the planter would be a fix, but may be unsightly. Going into and thru the planter would look better but obviously be more work.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member hormy_83's Avatar
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    Great - thanks for the help! Glad to know I can make it safer then it is, and not have to dig up the existing cable.

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