Prepare Your Outdoor Electrical Outlets With a Few Helpful Hints From Hydes!
As the holiday season gets underway, it’s about time to start planning for upcoming dinner parties and various visitors. While it is imperative that all of your outdoor festive decorations are arranged to your liking, safety is always the number one priority. If your electrical system isn’t operating as it should, you could have an annoying or even dangerous situation on your hands. Avoid the hassle and take precautions to protect your outdoor outlets this holiday season!
4 Easy Ways To Protect Your Outdoor Outlets In Winter
Choose the Correct Outlet
When it comes to your electrical outlets, it can be extremely difficult to tell when problems arise. Therefore, the National Electrical Code (NEC) now requires the utilization of GFCI outlets, which automatically trip when a current imbalance is detected. It also protects your wiring from overheating and causing fires or painful shocks. To see whether you have the right outlet type, check for the characteristic ‘RESET’ and ‘TEST’ buttons. Additionally, make sure your outside outlets have an engraved ‘WR’ symbol, signifying that they are weather resistant. Only this kind of outlet is safe to install outdoors!
Obviously, water and electricity are a dangerous duo when combined, but adding a weatherproof cover to your outdoor outlets allows you to use them without having to worry. These safety features, also required by NEC, are usually clear or colorless and come in many different designs for you to choose from. Just make sure that the particular configuration you choose is compatible with the type of outdoor outlet you have at home.
Installation Is Key
If your outlet is not installed properly, moisture could make its way into your electrical box and lead to several inconvenient and even dangerous issues such as tripped breakers and melted outlets. A gasket and cover plate should always accompany your outlet upon installation, as well as a waterproof cover for added protection. While electrical outlets may be small, they can severely harm you if you’re not experienced with handling electrical issues. This is why we recommend contacting a professional when it comes to electrical repairs or installations.
Maintenance & Testing
If you find that outdoor electrical outlets have already been installed in your newly purchased home, it is essential to check and maintain them in the event that they have suffered wear and tear or are not up to code. Many people do not check that their outlets have been properly installed and maintained upon moving into a new home, but assuming everything is in tip-top shape could very well come back to bite you later on. We recommend that you test your outlets twice a year, especially if they are located outdoors, to ensure everything is working as it should.
If you have any questions regarding your outdoor electrical outlets, give Hydes a call at (760) 360-2202. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, big or small!