Want To Install An Outdoor Outlet? Follow These Safety Tips
Having an outdoor electrical outlet can be handy for plugging in your tools and otherwise working outdoors. However, you could be worried about the safety of using one of these outlets. As you already know, water and electricity don't mix. Therefore, you might be worried about your outdoor outlet being dangerous after being exposed to rain and snow. Luckily, following a few safety tips will allow you to use your outdoor outlet safely and without concern.
Only Have Outlets Installed By a Professional
First of all, you should never do this type of work on your own unless you are a trained electrician. Installing outlets can be dangerous enough as it is, but it can be even more dangerous when you are installing one outdoors, where it can be exposed to the elements. Luckily, a good electrician should not charge much to install an outlet for you.
Make Sure There is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Installed
Your outdoor outlet should have a ground fault circuit interrupter installed. Basically, this means that if the outlet gets wet and could cause electric shock, it will trip the breaker and will disconnect the power to the outlet. Although you can still get a mild shock when using one of these outlets, it can help protect you from serious injury.
Have a Cover Installed
Even with a ground fault circuit interrupter in place, you should install a cover on your outdoor outlet. The cover should basically flip up and down and should provide a shelter over your outlet when it is exposed. This will help prevent water from getting into the outlet when it's raining.
Only Use Outdoor-Safe Electrical Cords
Even after taking all of these safety precautions, you should still only use outdoor-safe electrical cords. Electrical cords that are designed for outdoor use are thicker, heavier and feature better coatings. This helps prevent them from getting wet and causing an electric shock.
Exercise Safe Outlet Use
Outdoor outlets are designed to be used in all different types of outdoor conditions, but it is still important to be careful. Do not handle the outlet when either you, the outlet or the plug that you are plugging in are wet. If you notice anything wrong with your outlet, call a residential electrician to come out immediately.
As you can see, an outdoor outlet can be used safely if you follow a few tips. Working with the right electrician and following these tips can help you enjoy the convenience of one of these outlets without worrying about getting hurt.