Is an Outdoor Electrical Box Safe?
An outdoor electrical box is convenient to have and is generally safe. However, misusing one can cause a severe injury. It’s important to ensure children don’t have access to equipment, such as pad-mount transformers and secondary pedestals. Nevertheless, these outdoor electrical outlet boxes can be used safely; below, we’ll discuss some hazards and ways to keep your family out of danger.
Understand What an Electrical Box Does
Opening outdoor electrical equipment risks physical harm, especially if there’s water nearby and/or someone places an object inside. Burns, shocks, and electrocution can occur. It’s therefore essential to not:
- Open an outdoor electrical box without proper knowledge of how it works.
- Tamper with or obstruct access to the unit, which can affect your home and others.
- Ignore holes, broken locks, missing pins, and other signs of damage; report these to the utility immediately.
Electrical boxes supply electricity to homes and businesses via underground conduits. Power transmission lines, on the other hand, deliver electricity from above ground. Use the above points to exercise safety when near in-ground equipment.
Safety Tips Regarding Use of Outdoor Electrical Outlets
Outlets may be in small boxes installed on outside walls. They’re as safe as indoor outlets, but it also helps to follow these safety precautions:
- Use Only Weather-Resistant Receptacles: Required by the National Electric Code, these receptacles tolerate humidity, rain, and even ice and snow. Weather-protected covers keep the elements out while corrosion-resistant components improve durability and protect against shock.
- Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs): Different types of GFCIs are available, but the best ones are built into the outlet. The outlet will then automatically shut off if a ground fault is detected, preventing electricity from sparking and reaching nearby conducting materials (or people, pets, and other living things that can be seriously hurt).
- Cover the Outlet: If the outlet assembly doesn’t already have a cover, install a weatherproof shield. The cover can be closed if you’re not using the outlet, and you can simply flip it up to access sockets and plug devices in.
- Don’t Use an Extension Cord: While it may seem convenient at certain times, an extension cord can do more harm than good. Using the wrong one can cause big problems. Don’t use indoor extension cords as they’re not suited for outdoor conditions, and probably don’t have the capacity needed for power tools, lawn equipment, and other items you would plug in outside.
- Avoid Overloading the Outlet: Most homes don’t have lots of outdoor outlet boxes. It can be tempting to plug as much as you can into one outlet, but this is very dangerous. Overloading the outlet can cause electrical damage or a fire. Many people use extension cords, which increases the risk of an overloaded outlet, not to mention someone tripping over the cord.
- Don’t Place an Outlet in a Wet Area: Electricity and water are a dangerous mix. Don’t place an outlet box or anything electrical near a pool or fountain, or in any spot that’s prone to flooding.
- Never Block the Outlet: Not knowing an outlet is there can just as easily lead to trouble. Make sure it’s not obstructed by landscaping elements, trash, boxes, wood, grass clippings, or anything else that can obscure it.
Be On the Lookout for Problems: If an outlet sparks, feels warm or is buzzing, or lights start to flicker, call an electrician right away.
Contact Express Electrical Services
An outdoor electrical box or outlet, like any other piece of electrical equipment, must be properly maintained, installed, and occasionally repaired. Express Electrical Services can outdoor/indoor installation services and fix or update your equipment and ensure it is safe to use. When you need an electrician in Southern California, you can reach us 24/7; we provide same-day service, so call 323-727-7799 to get started.
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