Exterior GFCI Receptacles

Exterior GFCI - seasonal decorations outlet receptacles on exterior require GFCI protectionThe 2008 NEC did not change house exterior GFCI receptacles requirement protection since the previous edition.

All outdoor house receptacles must be GFCI protected.

GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

There is one exception from this exterior GFCI receptacles requirement:

If you have electrical outlets that are not readily accessible (you can’t reach them standing on the ground without using ladders, or any other equipment) and they are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated for snow / ice melting equipment (there’s nothing else on this circuit), exterior GFCI protection is not required.

However, that snow / ice melting equipment must be permanently attached; you should not use those unprotected  exterior GFCI receptacles for something that would be removed after the winter.

There is however one exception within the exception above which applies to mineral-insulated, metal-sheathed cable embedded in a noncombustible (it doesn’t burn) material that would need to be GFCI protected. I don’t think you’re going to deal with this thing in your house.

If you have receptacles installed in the house soffits, which are not readily accessible, powered by a dedicated branch circuit for seasonal decorations – the exterior GFCI rules apply to them / they have to be GFCI protected.

2008 NEC GFCI locations requirements in residential buildings

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