3 Tips on Adding Electrical Outlets to Decks & Other Outdoor Spaces

Decks, patios, gazebos, and sunrooms can be all fantastic areas to unwind. It would come as no surprise if homeowners wanted to spend as much time as possible in them.


One way to make that happen is to install adequate electrical outlets in these areas. With electricity available, any member of the family can broaden the kinds of activities they do in these places, and do them at any hour of the day and night – making these extensions true outdoor living spaces.


There are a few things homeowners should keep in mind upon deciding to go this route.


Hire a professional electrician for the job.


There are many do-it-yourself manuals on how to install outdoor electrical outlets. However, even homeowners with electrical know-how should best leave the tasks involved – connecting wires, rewiring, drilling, tapping into circuits, and testing – to professional electricians. This would help ensure every alteration is up to safety standards.


Have only GCFI outlets installed.


GCFI is short for “ground-fault circuit interrupter.” This kind of outlet features built-in monitors of electric flow, which detect sudden or abnormal surges in current. Once a GCFI spots this, it shuts down the circuit, cutting off electrical flow to prevent wires from burning and starting fires.


Faulty and frayed wiring are also a major cause of electrical fires. Since outdoor circuits are more exposed to the wear, tear, and watery conditions that break down wires, GCFI outlets are all the more recommended for patios, decks, and the like.


Plan outlet needs and uses wisely.


Outlets in outdoor living spaces not only allow the use of lights, heaters, or cooling appliances, thereby enabling homeowners to spend time outside at any hour and in any temperature. As said, wiring outdoor spaces expands the range of activities homeowners can do in them. Additional activities could include cooking, watching movies or television, listening to music or playing music for parties, or even late-night reading.


Planning exactly how many outlets are needed, plus where to put them, also helps ensure safety in outdoor spaces. It prevents the overuse of extension cords – and tripping over too many plugs!


How does a GCFI outlet work? HowStuffWorks.com.