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#18357 - 12/09/02 07:20 AM Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
wageoghe Offline

Registered: 02/14/02
Posts: 24
Loc: Huntsville, AL
Did anyone see this show? The first "tip" described was to install gable outlets to make installing Christmas lights on the gables and eaves easier. As presented on the show, there were several code violations ( I can't actually cite the code numbers as I am just a homeowner, but I have read this board long enough to pick up on several of them ).

Here is a link:,1793,HGTV_3467_1382513, ml

The host recommends tapping into a circuit in the attic to power the outlets. He uses a metal junction box to contain the new splice, but does not use cable clamps. In fairness, at least he staples the cable near where it enters the junction box. Outside, he installs a weatherproof box but feeds it with regular romex - not through a hole in the back. The romex is actually exposed between where it comes out of the attic/eave/gable until it enters the box using a "waterproof fitting". Also, I don't recall that he said to use a GFI protected circuit/outlet. He might have, I just can't recall.

[This message has been edited by wageoghe (edited 12-09-2002).]

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#18358 - 12/09/02 07:33 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
The Watt Doctor Offline

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 443
Loc: Mont Belvieu, TX
1. If I did that, it would burn somebody's house down, and lose everything.
2. They can do it, and make money off of it, get women, groupies, booze, etc., bla, etc., bla....bla....parties....bla...sponsorships...bla...more money...
3. Notice how he is doing it in an attic that you can actually stand up in. That's the real kicker.
4. He gets everything in item 2 above, and he doesn't evey have to lay down or crawl to get it.
Where's the justice in the world?

Waving my fist,
The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX

#18359 - 12/09/02 07:56 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Now that's an interesting link....
#1; "be sure you turn the right one ON"????
That's where it stops for me.......
Liability anyone????


#18360 - 12/09/02 09:01 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
bobp Offline

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 73
Loc: Puyallup, WA, USA
I spend an enormous amount of time explaining to my wife that what she sees on those home improvement programs are not the real world. I.e."You can replace all the kitchen cabinets in an hour". I really do hate those shows.


#18361 - 12/09/02 09:26 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
It's the same with those "home improvement" books.

Notice how all the work involves these nice modern suburban (or country) houses.

You're not dealing with decrepit apartment buildings in the city where a simple job like changing a sink faucet will take two hours and two trips to the hardware store because you're dealing with 70-year old pipes and fittings that are so corroded that they'll snap by just looking at them, not to mention twisting with a wrench.

How about a "real world" book or TV show?

Home Improvement in Da Hood!

#18362 - 12/09/02 09:55 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
mamills Offline

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 739
Loc: Wharton, Texas, USA
Concerning the installation of the rects. under the gables for the christmas lights, I guess I'm a little dense here . It sounds like a good idea (without code violations, of course), but there is one question; How are you supposed to turn on and off the lights? 1) with the circuit breaker...sure, except that everything else on the circuit will go off as well, 2) by climbing up and unplugging the lights...Yuck, 3) Using a plug-in timer (what about weatherproofing it...), or 4) leave the lights burning 24/7...not a good idea at all. If I were to go to this kind of effort, I would certainly install GFCI's on special circuits dedicated for lighting.

Nice attic. Most of the ones I've seen require you to crawl around on your belly like a snake.

John: I know it's a typo, of course, but...It could be the "Darwin method of Circuit Testing". You start with all the circuits turned off, then you turn circuits on, one by one, until your helper in the attic screams and throws his fist through the roof .

Mike (mamills)

#18363 - 12/09/02 10:20 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
CTwireman Offline

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I saw the show too, and I was going to post a topic about it, but you beat me to it.

He did say to make sure to use "GFI circuitry," but at no point did he actually show a GFI on the circuit or use a GFI recp. under the eave.

Also, when he ran the romex though the UF connector, the jacket got all bunched up on the outside of the connector. Absolute crap.
This guy should not be doing electrical work at all, let alone on TV!

As has been mentioned, there were numerous violations. Romex run outdoors, no apparent GFI protection, no switch or control for outlet (not a violation, but for control of holiday lights, it makes no sense), and poor workmanship throughout.

Definite liability issues here. I think I am going to contact HGTV about this.

[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 12-09-2002).]

#18364 - 12/09/02 10:50 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
classicsat Offline

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 449
AFAIK (not to bee too specific, I am not
a professional sparky), you can install non GFCI recepticals outdoors, if they are installed a minimum height above grade (
something like 9 Ft, IIRC).

#18365 - 12/09/02 11:30 AM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
CTwireman Offline

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Not true, classicat. All outdoor recepts, regardless of height, must be GFCI protected. See ('99 Code) 210-8(a)(3)

The non-GFI exception applies only to dedicated circuits for snow melting equipment. Snow melting equipment must be GFPE protected. (ground fault equipment protected)

[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 12-09-2002).]

#18366 - 12/09/02 05:29 PM Re: Bright Holiday Lights on HGTV
golf junkie Offline

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
"Not true, classicat. All outdoor recepts, regardless of height, must be GFCI protected. See ('99 Code) 210-8(a)(3)"

That must be old code then because I was thinking the same thing.


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