Outdoor living is a concept that has helped homeowners expand their living space without adding...
Outdoor SMART Outlets Are Just the Thing to Start the Summer Party
Are you plugging everything you need for your backyard party into a single outlet? Have some of your outside outlets stopped working or are they missing their plastic bubble covers? Are you stringing endless extension cords through doors and windows to access indoor outlets? If so, it's time to have your outside outlets checked and new ones put in.
Outdoor Electrical Outlets Are Safe
It’s no secret water and electricity don’t mix. Since exterior light features are constantly subjected to the elements, water in a live outlet is a chance you don't want to take.
But fortunately, you don’t have to be afraid to use your exterior outlets. Properly installed weather resistant outdoor GFCI outlets will immediately cut power when the circuit is overloaded or if moisture is present. It's safe for you to use outlets that have been recently exposed to rain or snow, assuming they’re installed according to the National Electrical Code.
If you'd like to know if you already have outdoor GFCI outlets in place, look for the "test" and "reset" buttons, as well as the letters "WR" on the outlet. The letters "WR" on an outlet mean that it is weather-resistant. Weather resistant GFCI devices are made of extra durable materials, have nickel plated contacts and mounting straps to prevent corrosion, along with stainless steel mounting screws.
Only these types of outlets are safe to use outdoors. And weather resistant GFCI outlets are also necessary to protect against danger anywhere in your home that moisture can occur, including bathrooms, kitchens, crawl spaces, unfinished basements and near all sinks, pools and hot tubs. They're also required for all outdoor outlets and some buried outlets.
Outdoor Outlets Need Bubble Covers
The National Electrical Code requires all new outdoor electrical outlets to have bubble-type covers that retain weatherproof protection even when the outlet is in use. That bubble cover keeps water from getting into the wiring — and without it, even a weather resistant GFCI outlet can get wet.
Ample access to outdoor outlets can actually be safer for you and your family. Running long extension cords to distant outlets and overloading them is a risky business. Being able to plug holiday lights and decorations directly into an outdoor outlet means no tripping over cords and no stringing them through the house to an indoor receptacle. You're able to boost the safety and convenience of your outdoor activities, including heaters for cool Spring days or festive holiday light installation. From summer parties to winter decorating, you'll get year-round use from your new outlets.
Building a SMART Home Inside and Out
Don't overlook your outdoor outlets whether you’re contemplating the benefits of SMART home devices, or you’re in the process of creating an entire smart home system. New smart outlet products are being introduced to the market all the time, including security lights that you're able to control from your phone. Want to fire up your holiday light display while you’re stuck at the office? Exterior smart plugs can make it happen. Some can even give you detailed readings about your energy usage and help you make your decorative lights a bit eco-friendlier.
Installing cutting-edge smart outlets can modernize your home inside and out while providing a host of convenient features. Upgrading existing outdoor outlets with smart products, or installing brand new outlets, means your summer barbecue music and your winter holiday light displays alike, are modernized. Combat energy waste while potentially lowering utility bills, doing the planet, and your wallet a favor in the process.
Wilcox Electric has been serving the DC area for more than three decades. Contact us if you need to check and upgrade existing outlets or need more outlets to realize your outdoor entertaining and decorating dreams, we can help.