When you need power outside

Do you need power in your yard? Whether you want to run power tools out of your garage or workshop, want to play music or light up your patio, there are some options for powering your outdoor space.

Extension Cords

The easiest and most cost-effective solution for short-term outdoor electrical needs is to use an extension cord. These heavy-duty cords are good for running your bush trimmer or providing some lighting for an outdoor party.

Make sure you check that the cord is marked for outdoor use. That makes it safe in changing temperatures, sun, moisture and with a bit of foot traffic. You should also wrap up and put away the extension cord after you’ve done using it. Leaving it outside for too long will cause the cord to break down and damaged cords can cause a spark, fire or electric shock.

Once you’ve found the right cord, plug it in to a GFCI outlet. These outlets are the ones with the reset buttons and will protect you from potential shock if the cord is exposed to moisture or water. If you do not have GFCI outlets in your yard, contact a licensed electrician to install some receptacles for you. Learn how a GFCI outlet works.

Long Term Outdoor Power Solutions

If you need power outdoors for more than a day or two, you should consider installing a long-term power solution for your yard. For example, if you want to permanently light your gazebo or patio, want to run a fountain or speaker system, or will be using power tools more regularly than you want to install new outlets or even power lines off the house.

A certified electrician can help you install outlet additions to the outside of your home and can run new wiring to an outbuilding or other area of the year. For running lines off the house, the cable must be wired to a separate GFCI outlet indoors and must be buried deep below your lawn. Be prepared for them to trench your yard to do the job. This job is not for DIYers and should always be left for a professional electrical contractor.

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