Outdoor Outlets and Faucets 101

We’ve always been aware that electricity is dangerous, but sometimes, we think we can handle it. That’s how some get hurt, and there are a few things to watch out for as you work outside and use electrical power tools.

If your house is older, you may not even have an electric outlet outside. Most homes today have more than one, possibly two, and the codes of today demand that the outside outlets have ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outlets. They also demand Covers that close off the outlet around water. If your home doesn’t have the GFCI outlet, install one as soon as possible. You’ll especially want to do this if your outdoor electric outlet is near pools, spas, or any kind of water.

It is never a good idea when you’re using power tools to work outdoors during a rainstorm or other wet weather. Water and electricity don’t mix and can cause irreparable damage when they do.

Outdoor faucets may not cause as much damage to you as it does to your pipes throughout your home, but you still need to update them. The reason is to prevent breakage when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. When this happens you could have major pipe breaking problems. You can easily avoid this by installing frost-proof outdoor faucets. Remember when water freezes it expands and expanding water breaks pipes whether they’re outside or inside your home.

One of the easiest ways to prevent pipes from freezing; is to unhook all of the hoses before the freeze hits. It sounds too good to be true, and the reason it works is because the hose prevents the water from draining properly. One other way works as well is to make sure the faucets outside are tightly shut off and drained before it gets cold. Doing this will help to keep the water running freely without freezing.

The GFCI’s and frost proof faucets only work when installed properly. If you’re unable to bring your house up to modern efficiency, contact a plumber or electrician. Have them check that the GFCI and frost proof faucets are correctly installed.

There’s nothing worse when you have problems with your electricity or the plumbing facilities in your home than to find out afterwards that there are problems. It’s better to be safe than sorry as the saying goes.

Reliable plumbers and electricians are readily available during the cold winter months to help fix the problems in your home. What’s that old saying? “A stitch in time saves nine?”

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