5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Outdoor Electrical Outlet

How often do you think about your outdoor electrical outlets? If your answer is “not often,” you’re not alone – and that’s no surprise. The average residential home has dozens of interior outlets, but only one or two outdoor electrical outlets. Even the most modern homes built today may only have electrical access on one side of the home or a single outlet to provide power for every electrical need you may have in your yard. Some homeowners may be lucky enough to have an extra option or two from a garage or outbuilding. Most, however, may soon find their exterior outlets are overloaded anytime they need power outside.

The realization that your outdoor outlets are lacking is often discovered during peak use – decorating for holidays like Christmas or Halloween, using electrical tools to care for your yard or hosting a celebration in the backyard. The reality is that most homeowners need more power than they have in the backyard but often make due with unsafe workarounds, like overloaded outlets, improper extension cords or even running cords through windows and doors. That’s not a great bet during any time of year. We’ve broken down the top five reasons you may want to increase the number of outdoor gfci outlets for your home.

outdoor electrical outlet

1. You Only Have One Outdoor Outlet

One outdoor outlet is simply not enough for most homeowners. We don’t just say that as electricians, we say that as homeowners ourselves. We have all seen firsthand the dangerous conditions that can occur when an exterior outlet is being tested beyond its limit.

Not only is operating on a single overloaded outlet dangerous, it’s just plain inconvenient. Do you really want to run an extension cord from the backyard to the front yard every time you need power? Or vice versa? Do you want to have the debate between the decorative fairy lights, the electric smoker and the radio every single time you have a party? We don’t either. That is why we recommend additional exterior electrical outlets to our customers with limited outlets.

2. Your Existing Exterior Outlets Are Outdated

If you live in an older home, you may have outdoor outlets that are not upgraded with the latest safety features. For example, do you have outdoor outlet covers on every exterior outlet? Covers for outdoor outlets should protect them from the elements. Waterproof outlet covers will keep exterior outlets from shorting out your interior outlets. Weatherproof outlet covers may come equipped with tiny “doors” that close over the outlet when it is not in use.

Speaking of shorting out, do you know if you have GFCI for outdoor outlets? An exterior outlet box will do half the job of protecting your home. A GFCI outlet will shut down power at the source (outside), before any electrical abnormalities can damage your interior system.

old upgrade outdoor electrical outlet

3. You Plan to Install a Hot Tub, Outdoor Sauna or Another Heavy Power User

If you are planning to install a hot tub, outdoor sauna or any other heavy outdoor power user, you need to do more than install an outdoor outlet. While some of the smaller portable hot tubs can plug into a standard 110V outlet, larger systems need a 50-amp, 220V electrical hookup. This can only be done safely and within local Colorado Springs regulations if completed by a licensed electrician.

Do not attempt to install your own outdoor electrical circuit. Of all the DIY projects you can do that involve electricity, this is not the one for you, Bob Vila and YouTube to try out on a Saturday afternoon. We guarantee the damage will be more expensive than hiring a professional (and hot tubs are already pricey enough).

4. You Want to Install an Exterior Electrical Panel

Sometimes adding an electrical outlet is not enough. For example, homeowners must install a subpanel for their hot tub. However, an outdoor junction box/exterior electrical box is not limited to spas. Homeowners also use them to power outbuildings like shops or sheds, plus fountains/water features, permanent decorative lighting, security systems and so much more. An outdoor electrical box allows homeowners to keep their grids separate and easier to manage safely.

The same cautions noted above apply with all breaker box installations. If you think you can do it yourself, take pride in your abilities. Then call a professional anyway. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should and it certainly does not guarantee a positive outcome – not even when working with electricity.

outdoor electrical outlet for lights

5. You Use a Lot of Exterior Lighting, Holiday Lighting and Other Electrical Decor

Perhaps the most important reason to install additional electrical outlets is also the most fun – decorating your home. Homeowners in the Pikes Peak region love to showcase their holiday spirit, whether it’s lighting up the December night with a display that would make Clark Griswold swoon or launching bald eagle inflatables on Independence Day. And for that, you need power!

Do not turn your yard into a nest of extension cords resting in piles of leaves and puddles of melted snow. Don’t turn your garage outlet into a stack of Christmas plugs precariously perched in a single source. Add the extra outlets you need to celebrate safely. That means GFCI outlets for outdoor use, exterior outlet covers and professional installation.

Thinking About Upgrading Your Exterior Electrical Outlets?

Are you thinking about installing an additional outdoor GFCI outlet, an exterior breaker box or hot tub? Are you worried your next Christmas display might be too much for your electrical system? Let Flow Right Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric help you get the job done right. We will safely and professionally upgrade your system to meet your needs. Give us a call!

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