Expert Electrical

Outdoor GFCI Outlets: How to Use GFCI Outlets Safely

May 12, 2015 | Residential Electricity

Electric Lawn MowerIf you are doing work on your yard over the weekend, you can now get away with doing everything using only electricity. Lawnmowers, pressure washers, and other tools that commonly used gas can now be purchased in models powered by electricity. If you are using these electrical powered tools you need to ensure that you have electrical coverage around your home to plug them in. Here are some tips for having outdoor GFCI outlets installed in your home’s exterior.

Proper Coverage

Most homes come standard with a couple of outdoors outlets. Sometimes this is not enough and you will be restricted because the cable for your lawnmower or pressure washer can’t reach around the side of the home or to the back of your yard. When preparing to have an outdoor GFCI outlet installed, measure the length of your cables and the maximum distance you will need to go. You can then create the radius of coverage you will need and pin point the correct locations for the outlets. If you do not choose the optimal location you could end up installing more outlets then you need and will have to unplug during tasks to move outlets. This is inconvenient, so lets do it efficiently!

Keep Them Safe

With a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), the outlet can detect if there a problem in the circuit such as contact with water or a person, and then the circuit will shut off. This is especially important outside, as the outlet is more susceptible to water, from rain and snow, car washing, and interaction from animals and children. It is also wise to have covers installed overtop of the outlet as well. This adds an extra layer of protection. The covers will need to be manually opened by yourself before use and prevent unwanted interaction.

Check Your Existing Wiring

As we usually recommend, double check that your existing wires and circuits can handle the additional outlets. The tools and equipment that make use of these outlets can demand a lot of power and if the outlet is installed on circuit that is already heavily loaded, you will be experiencing trips and electrical hazards to your home. An Expert Electrician will be able to identify the proper circuits to have the outlets installed on.

Using electricity offers convenience and efficiency. Make the most of it and be safe by having a professional, certified electrician install outdoor GFCI outlets on your home. If you have questions or require an assessment by one of our electricians, contact your local Expert Electric at 604-681-8338.