According to the NEC, if I have an outside power outlet, like on my deck, that is part of a bigger circuit with other outlets, do I have to have an indoor switch that controls that outlet so that I don't have to turn the whole circuit off at the panel in case of emergency? The outlet is a proper outdoor outlet, GFCI with a plastic cap.

1 Answer 1


GFCI protection is mandated.

Switching is not mandated.

In the event of an emergency that's actually an emergency, switching off the circuit or the whole house is perfectly reasonable regardless of what else is on it. Emergency does not imply "Well, that would be inconvenient for my fishtank, so I'll just let little Suzy fry after the GFCI failed non-safely." If you desire a switch for convenience, you can have one, it is not required by code.

  • 2
    Fortunately for Suzy and your hypothetical prize-winning fish, the vast majority of GFCI failures are fail-safe, rather than the other way, as designed.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 29, 2021 at 0:51
  • Here I was thinking it was A Fish Called Wanda...
    – FreeMan
    Apr 29, 2021 at 11:46

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