I have a flat roof for my 1100 sqft home which I expect to replace or recover in a couple years. I'm considering whether I should mount an outdoor gfci electrical outlet, just coming straight up like this. Besides christmas lights, what other uses might I need it for? Good idea, bad idea?

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    Your first question is too broad, and your second is completely subjective. – isherwood Jun 26 '18 at 19:34

If you have any HVAC equipment mounted on the roof, you are going to be REQUIRED to have a GFCI protected receptacle next to it for service equipment. But barring that, I wouldn't do it: no need for it, waste of money, possible site for future leaks and then it will get in the way of the future re-roofing project.

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    Right, from a practical point of view the fewer holes you have on a roof the fewer possible leaks. – Retired Master Electrician Jun 26 '18 at 20:12
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    I left this part out: just use extension cords for the Christmas lights. Easily replaced, no roof penetrations, useful for other things. – JRaef Jun 26 '18 at 21:12

A better location, avoiding roof penetrations, better weather avoidance, and re-roofing complications, would be in your soffits. I power my gutter cables from them. Run an extension cord for holiday lights or occasional power tools.

  • I agree with soffits, the outlet gets protected and there is no penetration flat roofs are hard enough to seal and Christmas lights can be connected easily. – Ed Beal Jun 27 '18 at 14:03
  • Good thought but in my case, no soffit - I have a parapet wall which I think might be too short (4") for a convenient install – dabi Jun 27 '18 at 15:47

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