GFCI Switch

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Tech0515

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Has anyone used a GFCI switch? I'm getting ready to put outlets in the soffit for xmas lights. Plan was to put a programmable switch inside then wired to the GFCI outlet first before proceeding to the other outlets. Problem is, if it would trip for any reason, I would need to pull out the ladder and climb up to the second story. I found a GFCI Switch or GFCI decorative receptacle that does not have an outlet. I don't see much detail on them (nor reviews) and I'm not familiar so I'm wondering if I could wire the programmable switch to the GFCI switch. This would allow me to reset from inside if need be. Thoughts?
 

wwhitney

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Commonly called deadfront GFCIs. Perfectly reasonable to use, a regular GFCI receptacle = a deadfront GFCI plus a regular receptacle. In fact, the NEC requires GFCIs to be readily accessible, which means no latter. So it should be fine to wire your deadfront GFCI in series with your programmable switch, before or after, as long as the receptacles are wired downstream of the GFCI load side terminals.

Cheers, Wayne
 

JerryR

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Change the circuit breaker in your panel that supplies that circuit with a GFCI breaker. That way if it trips you won’t need to climb up anywhere. That’s the way I have my outdoor spot lights wired. I use a a GFCI breaker in the panel and use WIFI switch to run the lights. It’s nice to lay in bed and say, Alexa - Turn on spot lights.

here is a link to Home Depot GFCI breakers. https://www.homedepot.com/s/gfci%2520circuit%2520breaker?NCNI-5
 

WorthFlorida

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You can never seem to have enough outdoor outlets. Using a standard GFCI with outlets, no reason to use a dead front GFCI. I did have them in the commercial kitchen at my church where I worked. Outlets over cooking appliances and near the floor are not practical or safe locations to hit the reset and test button.
 

wwhitney

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Using a standard GFCI with outlets, no reason to use a dead front GFCI.
The OP mentions the outlets are to be in the soffit, which is not a suitable place for the GFCI function (it needs to be readily accessible (*)). So the GFCI function needs to be elsewhere, and if a receptacle is not required there, a dead front is the obvious choice. Or a GFCI breaker.

Cheers, Wayne

(*) "Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to take actions such as to use tools (other than keys), to climb over or under, to remove obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth."
 

jadnashua

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My vote is change the breaker to a GFCI (or maybe a combined GFCI AFCI).
 
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