Preparing Your Home for Winter the Easy Way with Outdoor Electrical Outlets
If the heavy rain that’s dropped on the Mid-Willamette Valley in the past few weeks is any indication, there’s a good chance we may be blessed with a white Christmas this year. At the very least, we’ll probably have a wet one. So, if your holiday decorating plans include installing outdoor lighting on your home you’ll want to keep safety in mind as you crawl up ladders and run cables along high gables and around trees. Most importantly, you’ll want to evaluate the way you power those beautiful displays so that you can rest easy and know your family’s safety is secure. Here are a few things to consider before you untangle that string of lights.
Outdoor Power Supply
Safety starts at the point of connection and the reality is most homes aren’t designed with outdoor wiring safety in mind. Installing power sources under the eaves is the best place to protect your outlets from the wind and rain. Check all your circuits to ensure they are ground fault (GFCI) protected to prevent fatal shocks, and make sure newly constructed homes have outdoor plugs with “In-Use” type weatherproof GFCI-protected receptacles covers to keep connection points dry while plugs are in place, as required by the the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Light Strings and Extension Cords
From the connection point on you’ll want to heed the manufacturer’s warnings against connecting too many extension cords or heat cables to one power. Sticking within their guidelines will prevent overheating. And, don’t forget to review the specifications for your holiday spotlights and floodlights, too, as they draw large amounts of power and can also overheat. In the case of extension cords, make sure they are grounded 3-pronged, heavy-duty exterior cords and seal all the connections with electrical tape as an extra safety measure. If you are looking to add more lights to your display consider purchasing LED lights. While they are more costly, they are safer, more durable and consume less power than traditional lights.
You can easily upgrade the safety of lighting around your property and make the installation a snap by placing switch-controlled GFCI receptacles along the perimeter of your yard. Placing them in convenient but discrete locations will improve the overall security of your home and provide you with a power source you can utilize long after the holidays.
Dale’s Remodeling can help you stay safe and dry this holiday season by integrating outdoor power sources into the exterior of your home. Give us a call if to find out more about the technologies available, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the holidays!