What to consider before installing an Outdoor Electrical Outlet?
Publish Date : September 27, 2022
If you are planning to decorate your home with lights for the coming festivals or want to light up your garden with the help of electric garden tools, installing an outdoor electrical outlet is a wise decision. Without these outlets, you are not able to use extension cords and come up with some unsafe solutions to do your work.
According to a recent report, injuries or home fires due to electrical failures and malfunctions is the second leading problem in the USA. Unfortunately, these incidents account for deaths and property damage. However, most people don’t think of these outdoor outlets, but they make a person’s life easy and safe. No doubt outdoor outlets are safer than indoor outlets, but in some ways, they are different from indoor ones.
For example, according to the National Electrical Code, all the outdoor outlets must be GFCI, which is a ground fault circuit interrupter and should have cover for protection. These GFCI outlets can easily trip off when there is a short circuit or leakage of current, which prevents fires and shocks.
Now the question arises, what are the things you must consider before installing an outdoor electrical outlet in your home or how to install an outside outlet in your home?
So, let’s discuss those things which will help you and your home from accidents.
Choose the right location for the outdoor outlet.
Before you go for outdoor electrical socket installation in your home, you must select the wall on which it has to be installed. According to the latest building codes, you cannot tap power from those outlets which are dedicated to bigger gadgets or those which are installed in the laundry room or in the kitchen.
However, if you talk about outdoor outlets, they are also called outdoor receptacles and are mounted on garages and various other outdoor structures. Apart from that, you can also install them on poles in the garden, but you must go for GFCI protection.
While adding an outdoor outlet to the existing circuit ensures that it is easily accessible from the inside of the home, the code for the outdoor outlet is a minimum of 18″ off the ground.
Don’t overload outdoor outlets or extension cords.
Most people are not used to outdoor outlets, so they plug everything into one single outlet. This practice of overloading things is quite dangerous as it can cause fire or any other electrical problem.
Also, overloading can also cause tripping issues or hazards, especially when you have kids in your home and they are running from one place to another. So, ensure to limit things on the outdoor outlets if you don’t want to face the overloading issue.
Make sure you cover the outdoor outlet.
Outlets that you install outside of your home are exposed to various elements like snow, rain, and sunlight, which can cause major damage to the home and the people living inside the home. Keeping this thing in mind, you have to take extra precautions so that no one in your home can face any type of injury.
That means, if the outdoor outlet of your home gets wet, anyone touching the outlet might get a powerful electric shock that could result in severe injuries, sometimes even death. The reason is electrocution possibilities generated due to exposure to water. That’s why you have to take extra care and do not let water enter any power outlets or electrical products.
Moreover, the wet outdoor outlet can also cause a short circuit as well which can easily ignite a fire or cause a power outage in your home by damaging your home electrical appliances. So, for the best result, take the help of outdoor covers for installing outdoor electrical outlets. According to the latest electrical code, these outlets must be covered with a bubble cover.
Always pick the right outdoor electrical outlet.
Before installing an outdoor outlet in your home, there are a few things that you must keep in mind. Like, always go for a GFCI circuit that is a ground fault circuit interrupter for the safety of the home. However, you can easily identify the GFCI via its test and reset button.
Apart from that, it must be weather resistant, and you can check if WR is written on the outdoor outlet. Moreover, if you have purchased a home and the outdoor outlet is already installed, don’t think it is safe, and call the outdoor electrical socket installation in San Diego professional for an inspection.
Always go for the right cables and conduits.
According to the experts who install outdoor electrical outlets, NM cable is one of the best conducting wires, but still, they are not good for outdoor locations. That’s why you must go for cables that are approved for outdoor use, and there are many other rules which you must follow when using conduits.
- You must install UF type cable, which is a non-metallic cable best for residential outdoor outlets.
- When you are using UF cables, ensure that they are directly buried means there is no need for a conduit.
- Make sure you use smooth granular material around the cables or conduits without rocks.
- All the wiring which you will bury must pass from underground to upper ground and must be protected in conduit.
- All the data transmission wires of the outdoor outlet must be 10 feet above various things like spa, pool, and hot tub surface.
Some of the additional outdoor outlet safety tips
Many times when you use the outdoor outlet, carelessness can cause various electrical hazards. So, while using the outdoor outlet, ensure to keep in mind these points:
- Take the help of a surge protector to protect all the electronic appliances of the home.
- Ensure the electrical wiring is not frayed.
- Make sure you check the electric sockets for various things like loose plugs and replace them as soon as possible.
- Ensure that all the electrical fuses are of the right size
- In case the wall plate is broken, make sure to replace it so that no wiring is exposed.
- Check the terminal screws as they are not corroded.
- Check the wattage of lights and also bulbs to match the requirements.
- Ensure that all the wires, walls, plates, lighting fixtures, etc., are not loose.
- Check the load of the home if the lights are flickering or dimming.
These are some of the things which you must consider when you want to replace outdoor electrical outlets. Hire a professional to install an outdoor electrical outlet in your home.
If you are looking for an expert for installing exterior electrical outlets, then look no further than EZ Eletric. They have certified electricians offering top-notch services related to electric outlets. The professionals of EZ Eletric are highly proficient and experienced in this work so that you can sit back and relax. Apart from that, they inspect your electrical home set and offer you many options to install the outdoor electrical outlet.