My home's patio is covered by a permanent ceiling/canopy. As I'm starting do more electrical work, I've noticed that the two outlets mounted on the ceiling are not protected with GFCI; they are also not covered with an outdoor outlet box cover (photo below).

I believe that the box cover is not required since there is no way for rain or water to come in direct contact with the outlet (it is mounted under a ceiling, about 12' above ground), however I'm suspicious about the lack of the GFCI.

Does the NEC require a GFCI on this circuit? There are no other GCFI devices upstream to this outlet.

Electrical outlet mounted on patio ceiling.

  • Quick followup: I installed a GFCI outlet within the circuit upstream of the ceiling-mounted outlets. The outlet I modified is at ground level, easily accessible, and in an outdoor-rated box/cover. Dec 24 '19 at 5:03

I don’t know where that porch roof is at, what laws govern electrical work there if any or whether that receptacle was inspected and approved by an authority of jurisdiction when it was installed. But you seem to be concerned that it’s not GFCI protected and I would too. Even if you have electrical laws where you live, it’s a minimum requirement and you are certainly allowed to exceed them.

Tip: If you decide to install a GFCI receptacle and you know the circuit layout, replace one of the receptacles upstream from that one that’s inside the house instead of trying to work over your head on that ceiling.

  • 1
    It's not even code-legal to put the GFCI there because it wouldn't be readily accessible I reckon...so upstream it goes! May 22 '17 at 22:14

In my opinion (not AHJ). You don't need a GFCI on receptacles that: 1. Cannot be reached without the use of special equipment. 2. Are being used for a specific duty.

However, the receptacle shown is in a damp location and the cover that is on it not rated as such. It needs to be changed out with a weatherproof cover. If anyone is questioning why it is a damp location rather than wet. It's because rain or normal operation does not require it to be in direct contact with water.

  • If those are the only plugs in porch..May want to come off those boxes and drop down on wall ..Or if no lighting use them for feeds .
    – user101687
    May 29 '19 at 2:59
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    Once they drop down to where they can be reached, then you need to add GFCI Protection to those receptacle and devices. May 29 '19 at 13:39
  • Yes you do,have to install gfci . I was wondering if they are the only outlets ..And since he was getting covers . Move them..
    – user101687
    May 29 '19 at 16:14
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    I am not sure what you are asking. You would have to be onsite before anyone could confirm that they are on a separate circuit. You can of course, move an outlet. The trick is to terminate or splice the conductors and secure in a raintite box, and then what type of method you would use to install at a new location. That would determine the "moving" method. May 30 '19 at 13:37

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