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Safety Considerations for Running Power Outside This Spring

If you’re anything like us, you’re probably already dreaming about summer barbeques and springtime patio parties.

Just because the snow hasn’t melted yet doesn’t mean we can’t dream about warmer days and start to prepare for the annual migration back outdoors. This week we want to help you strategize your backyard electrical needs just in time for the birds to come back from the south.


Short Term

Trimming your bushes or providing lighting for a party are relatively short term needs. If your requirements are only for a few hours to a day, you’ll probably be looking at extension cords. Whether you’re perusing the aisles of Home Depot or digging through boxes in your garage, remember that not all extension cords are created equal. Never use indoor extension cords outside, even if it’s for a brief amount of time. Instead, look for cords specifically made to handle the elements. Furthermore, ensure that they are plugged into GFCI outlets. You can identify these by their TEST-RESET buttons.


Long Term

There are some cases where you will need a longer term solution. This could be anything from permanent lighting to outbuilding. You may need to add more outlets or run wire to an outbuilding. Ensure that lines are wired to GFCIs, are buried deep below ground, and encased in PVC conduit. These specifications demand more attention than even the most experienced DIYer can give. That’s why you’ll need a certified electrician to make these changes safely.


GFCI Outlets

GFCI outlets are required anywhere where moisture might occur. For the outdoors, be sure to choose an outdoor-rated, weatherproof model with built-in, high-sensitivity GFCI. In addition, the outlets should all have spring-loaded covers to protect from weather, pests, and dirt. Again, electrical experts can help you choose what type of GFCI to choose and where it would work best.


Don’t let the lingering snow get you down, start planning your backyard escapes for spring. For expert electrical advice and installation, call us today at 403-995-FLIP (3547).