How to Install Outside Outlets
Installing an Electric Outlet on the Siding of a Home: Protection against the weather elements to prevent moisture from entering the receptacle outlet.
Outside Weather Proof Outlet
Electrical Question: Is installing and attaching an outside plug the same as an inside installation or is there any special details that need to be done?
- The outlet box has been installed.
- As this is a renewal, how is it attached to the house as I have vinyl siding in narrow rows on the face of the outlet area.
This electrical question came from: Richard, a Homeowner from Langley, British Columbia, Canada.
Thanks for your Electrical Wiring question Richard.
Installing an Outlet on the Siding of a Home
Application: Wiring an Outdoor GFI Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of exterior outlets that will be installed.
Precaution: Identify the power source circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Outdoor receptacle outlets must have GFCI protection. Installing wiring for an outdoor outlet should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
- The concern is that the outlet will be protected against the weather elements and prevent moisture from entering the receptacle outlet.
- This is typically accomplished by installing a weather proof or moisture proof cover that is specific for the location, exposure and application of the receptacle outlet.
- For example, a bubble type cover may be required if the outlet will have a cord plugged in.
- Most bubble covers are water resistant even when the cord is plugged in because the cord extends out from the bottom area.
- You mention that the vinyl siding of this home presents a few challenges due to narrow strips or vinyl siding that is overlapping. One way to create a flat surface for the outlet cover may be to have a carpenter carefully create an opening where a flat block of wood may be inserted.
- The block of wood will need to have an opening for the outlet and be painted or treated with a waterproof seal, and the outer edges that come into contact with the original siding will need to be have waterproof caulking applied.
- With this type of installation the electrical outlet box may now be recessed and require a box extension sleeve to be installed.
- Because the outlet will be outside, it will be required to be protected by GFCI. If the GFCI protection is provided by the outlet, then the GFCI outlet must be rated for outdoor use or moisture resistant.
More about Wiring Outside Outlets
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.