Summer is almost upon us -- time to start living and playing outside. Many of our summertime activities around the house include plugging things in. Are your outdoor electrical outlets ready for summer time usage? Are they installed correctly and are they up to code? A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) outlet, with a weather proof cover, is the correct place to plug in all of your outdoor equipment. Things such as pool pumps, electric weed whackers, electric saws, etc., will need to be plugged into outlets that are in good working order.
To ensure your outdoor outlets are as they should be, do a quick check up using the following criteria: 1) Are they GFCI type outlets? If you aren't sure, refer to the picture provided in this post. If the outlets are mounted to the house or an out building such as a shed, are they flush with the wall? Are they loose or broken? If mounted on a post, check local code for spacing and height requirements. Additionally, Is there a weather proof cover over each outlet? These covers are now code in most areas of the country. Do your outlets function properly? To find this out, you can activate the test button to make sure it cuts power the way it should. This is the interrupt feature of the GFCI. Lastly, is each receptacle free of dirt or bugs? If any of your GFCI outlets aren't in good working order, or if any of them show a fault, they should be replaced. If you are not confident in doing this yourself, for your safety and for the ones you love, call a licensed and insured electrician such as Peter Needham. (781) 396-4800.