For safety reasons, always use an outdoor outlet protector, especially since our electrical outlets are always exposed to our Pacific Northwest wet weather.
Outdoor outlets can be just as susceptible as indoor outlets (if not more so) to electrical shorts, faults, and other electrical problems.
Many of us take extra precautions inside our homes to ensure that our families and belongings remain safe from common electrical problems. Faulty electrical outlets can and do occur so it’s equally as important that your outdoor electrical outlets are also shielded with an outdoor outlet protector.
In this post, our Premium Electric certified electricians offer some helpful tips on how to protect your outdoor electrical outlets in order to properly safeguard your home.
1. Install Outside GFCI Outlets
According to the Canadian Electrical Code, outdoor electrical outlets within 2.5 metres of earth or water need to be protected by a Class A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). If an electrical connection should be made between any of your outdoor electrical outlets and the earth, the GFCI outlet acts as an outdoor outlet protector. The GFCI will sense an unintended electrical path and break the circuit. Our certified electricians recommend installing proper GFCI outlets on all exterior power sources.
2. Install Outdoor Plug Covers that Are Waterproof
Waterproof and weatherproof outlet covers can help protect your outdoor electrical outlets from debris, rain, and snow. As an outdoor outlet protector, plug covers normally have a watertight seal around the plate and around the plug lids. The cover folds over and covers the actual outlets. See this Technical Safety BC PDF file on Extra Duty Covers for Exposed Receptacles.
Weatherproof outdoor outlet covers are designed to protect your outdoor electrical outlets when they’re not in use. If any of your outdoor outlets are in use, such as over the holiday season when Christmas lights may be plugged in, you may need to purchase while-in-use electrical outlet covers.
3. While-In-Use Covers for Outside Electrical Outlets
A while-in-use outdoor outlet protector offers added protection whenever electrical cords are plugged into the outdoor outlets. Most of them have a clear plastic lid that folds down, sealing the electrical cords. While-in-use outlet covers will also help keep out any rain or snow while the outlet is being used.
There are many different styles of while-in-use outlet covers to choose from. Basically, there are only two ways that an outdoor electrical outlet can be installed in homes: horizontally or vertically. Look for while-in-use covers that easily conform to the way your outside outlets have been installed.
4. Weatherproof Switch Covers for Outdoor Electrical Outlets
Outside electrical outlets don’t only refer to places where you plug in your electrical cords. Outdoor switches are also classified as electrical outlets and also need an outdoor outlet protector for protection where weather is concerned. There are numerous outdoor electrical switch covers available that will completely seal off your switches from the ravages of wind, rain, or snow.
5. Purchasing the Right Outdoor Outlet Cover
Most outside outlets are usually mounted horizontally or vertically, but there may be instances where switches accompany the electrical outlet so you have a combination of an outlet right beside an electrical switch. Before you shop, take a picture of each outside electrical outlet. If need be, you can show the picture to the staff at your local home improvement store so they can help you find the correct outdoor outlet protector to fit your outlets.
About Premium Electric
Based in Abbotsford BC, Premium Electric provides professional certified electrical installations and services throughout the Fraser Valley and Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. Safety is our top priority and if you are concerned with any of your outdoor electrical outlets, we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Contact us if your home or business is located in the following Fraser Valley communities; Abbotsford, Mission, Aldergrove, Chilliwack, Langley, or Maple Ridge.
Premium Electric services both residential and commercial customers, offering a full range of electrical services plus 24-hour emergency services. All our electrical work is guaranteed and warrantied for safety and quality.
We also do outdoor lighting and sensor installations.