Outdoor Wire Management Tips

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Can extension cords be used outside?

There are extension cords that are specifically designed for outdoor use and the ones will be the only kind that needs to be outside. These cords are usually a heavier gauge and are resistant to abrasions caused when you are dragged on the ground. Also, outdoor electrical cords are made to keep dampness from seeping in and leading to a power surge. Always check an extension cord for harm before use so when the wire is not used, properly store it from the sunlight. Generally, a patio extension cord should last at least five years, but should be replaced faster if any damage occurs.

How can I protect the wires and cables I have installed outside?

For security against the harsh outdoor elements, wires and cables can be stored in outdoor enclosures. These industrial-grade steel cabinets provide shelter from sunlight, wind, rainfall, dirt, dust and other dangerous combatants that could cause electric equipment to malfunction. Locks can also be positioned on outdoor enclosures to avoid any vandalism or theft of equipment. For a more subtle and attractive appearance, enclosures painted in neutral colors can merge with any industrial structure.

Why should an enclosure be NEMA certified?

When placing delicate telecom utilities in outdoor enclosures, it’s important to truly have a sound structure that is certified by NEMA. NEMA stands for Nationwide Electrical Manufacturers Association, an organization that sets protection standards for electrical products. Since 1926, NEMA has been positively bringing focus on products that meet or go beyond their requirements for quality, advancement and security. With an NEMA outdoor enclosure qualification, one can be sure that any telecom equipment inside is safe from the harshest elements.

Are there special codes I must adhere to when installing electrical outside?

Because of the moisture and extreme weather a wire may encounter outside, there are special regulations that everyone must abide by when installing cables. These regulatory unique codes are created to safeguard citizens and open public property from damage and liability.Outdoor set up codes are placed locally, so they can differ depending on your geographical area. For more information, you might speak someone in the electric department of your local hardware store. If they don’t know, a specialist electrician will. In some areas, you might be required to either have an electrician do the task or at least inspect it if you are finished.

How should outdoor light fixtures be weatherproof?

Outdoor light fixtures should be purchased new, as that will ensure they meet every one of the latest safety criteria. The ballast should be tight and flush so that no drinking water can seep in and cause a shock hazard. If it’s not restricted enough, weatherproof sealant can be purchased for a nominal fee and easily applied. Waterproof light bulbs and light switches are also available and can be considered a last type of weather defense.

How can I remain safe during an electrical storm?

Outdoor installations shouldn’t be conducted during inclement weather. Safety procedures must be viewed in an electric storm or else serious injury or death may appear. Lightening is the reason for more deaths in a season than hurricanes and tornadoes mixed, yet many people still take unnecessary risks around lightning. As the majority of people struck by lightning are in open up fields, there are also risks when using telephones or radios. If you’re outside during when an electrical storm begins, seek shelter. You should wait at least 30 minutes after the last light before departing the shelter. Do not use telephones or electric radios, as the lightning can travel through the lines and surprise you. Most electrical storms are short-lived, after which it is safe to resume outdoor activities. However, installation should wait if there is moisture on the ground.

Is it safe to cover my ugly transformer with a rose bush?

Safety precautions should always be observed around outdoor meters and transformers. The heavy transformer in your backyard may appear unattractive to you, nevertheless, you should never try to cover it with plant life, flowers or decorations of any kind. Many people make the mistake of planting bushes too near to the transformers or meters in their lawn, which can be a huge problem once an emergency response needs to be made during a power outage. Observe a four-foot clearance around large transformers and a one-foot clearance around a meter.

How are power outlets safe to use outdoors?

Weatherproof power outlets can be installed on the edges of a house, on the porch and even around a pool area. These stores are different than standard indoor ones, as they must endure extreme temps, dampness and other outdoor adversities. Outdoor stores are made of stronger materials than standard plastic and come outfitted with pop-up covers for the holes. Not only do these covers protect from moisture, but they also prevent pests from crawling inside and leading to surges or arc flashes. There’s also power ports available that can install around a patio’s umbrella post, for when cords aren’t long enough to reach outlets privately of the home. Outdoor outlets should have ground problem circuit interrupters in them. Any old outlets without a ground problem circuit interrupter should be replaced.

How can a power generator assist me?

Portable power generators offer advantages in many situations. They can be used whenever a home or office’s power has been switched off. Also, a power generator is convenient when running a tool outdoors. While camping, a generator can be used in lieu of “roughing it”. A portable generator is a practical and affordable purchase for any office or home, as it can often assist people during unpredicted situations.

What are ground fault interrupters for?

When an abnormal diversion occurs in a wires current, such as when someone has been shocked, a surface fault interrupter can stop the current from continuing its path. Floor mistake interrupters should be installed to prevent lethal electrical shocks, particularly where a cable may come into contact with dampness. The interrupters should be utilized when installing electrical wires outdoors, as there will be a lot of dampness on the floor and rainwater falling.

What are outdoor cable ties designed to withstand?

For outdoor use, cable ties must be designed to withstand moisture, direct sunlight and extreme warmth. For that reason, UV and heat-stabilized cable ties have come to exist. Usually made of a durable nylon materials, outdoor cable ties work where other ties would eventually break down and crack. For heavy-duty loads, a durable cable tie is especially important due to safety conditions that could arise from large, fallen cables.

What kind of outdoor conduit is used for wires and cables?

There are many kinds of conduit used for outdoor wires and cables. A rigid steel conduit has a durable and protective material. Another kind of conduit is light weight aluminum, which is able to be buried in a cement slab, provided it’s been treated with a non-corrosive sealant. For use of an outdoor conduit aboveground, PVC can be an affordable option. To be able to prevent cracking from sunlight, the PVC conduit also needs to be painted with a protective seal. An industrial-strength conduit bender can be used with PVC, making fast and accurate bends for necessary curves around objects.