Electrical Services in The Tampa Bay Area

How to Protect your Outdoor Outlets

If you’re thinking of installing some outdoor outlets or have some already, it’s important you protect them. If even one of your outlets is uncovered, it can decrease your home’s safety in the wake of a natural disaster. It can also become a fire hazard. You should not only use covers on your outside outlets but also the outlets you use should be GFCI protected outlets.

If your outside outlets or their wiring are exposed to the elements it can cause the breaker and GFCI outlet to malfunction. Rain, snow, water, pesticides, power washing fluid, sprinklers, hose water, and the like, can all be dangerous to your home if introduced to your outdoor outlets.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT KIND OF OUTDOOR OUTLET

The NEC (National Electrical Code) mandates the use of GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets for safety. These are the outlets with the “TEST” and “RESET” buttons and “WR” (weather resistant) indication on the outlet. This is the only kind of outlet that is safe for outdoor use.

PROPERLY INSTALL YOUR OUTLET

Proper installation of your outdoor outlet involves the use of a gasket and a cover plate or waterproof cover to seal the connection to the wall. You’re going to want to use the proper mounting brackets for the outlet you’ve selected. If the wrong mounting brackets are used, moisture could get into the box and result in tripped breakers, melted outlets, and other hazardous situations. You will also want to ensure adequate grounding. If you don’t, you will be susceptible to shock and the shortening of your electrical tools and equipment’s lifespan.

WHAT ARE WATERPROOF COVERS?

Waterproof covers are often referred to as “bubble” or “flip-up” covers. Many times they’re clear or hazy and come in a variety of configurations. They’re designed with a deep lid and grooves to allow for extension cords to come out of the bottom while the outlet is protected from rainy weather.

If for any reason you’re unsure or lack the confidence to make these installations, we highly recommend calling a professional, trusted electrician to help you. We are more than happy to offer assistance whenever you need us!

RULES YOU SHOULD KNOW

 

According to the NEC articles section 406, all receptacles installed outdoors (15 and 20 amp as well as 120 and 240-volt non-locking receptacles) must be classified as weather-resistant receptacles. They also need to be fitted with weatherproof covers built to withstand rainy and snowy environments. These covers must also shield cords that are plugged into the receptacles when not being used.

EXERCISE CAUTION

Just because you have outdoor outlets installed in your home, doesn’t mean you have the right kind.

Make sure you’re protecting your home and your family by ensuring that your outdoor outlets are protected and operating as they should. Call us today to have one of our professional electricians come out to you and help you with any of your electrical repair or installation needs. Remember, You’re Fine With Tru-Line!

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