Electrical outlets on the outside of your home need to protect you from getting electrocuted when plugging in outdoor electrical systems like landscaping lights and gutter heating cables. Ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets provide such protection. GFCI outlets have a built-in mechanism that immediately shuts off the electricity to the wires in a garden light display if water penetrates the wire insulation that could lead to an electrical shock that could harm you or others working in the garden. Here is how you can install a GFCI outlet on the outside of your home.
Cut an Opening for the Outlet
Determine where you want to place the GFCI outlet and cut an opening for it on the side of your house. Leave the space open until you run the wires from the circuit breaker to the outlet opening.
Running Electric Wiring
You will need to run electrical wires from the circuit breaker in your home to the GFCI box you are placing on the outside of your home. The easiest way to do this is to place the wires along the underside of the floor joists along the basement ceiling until you reach the spot underneath where the outlet will be installed.
Drill a hole through the flooring so you can slide the wires through the outlet opening and into the basement.
Place the wires through the outlet opening and drop them through the hole in the flooring.
Connecting Electrical Wires
Connect the wires to the outlet, but don’t connect them to the circuit breaker. You should follow the instructions that came with your GFCI outlet when wiring the outlet.
Place the outlet into the opening and mount it onto the exterior wall.
You can now connect the wires to the circuit breaker.
Turn off the power to the circuit panel before you start to work (there is still a limited amount of power running through the circuit breaker box, so be careful not to touch the wires running into the house from the utility lines).
Take a circuit breaker and connect the white and green wires onto the breaker bar. The red and black wires are connected to the circuit breaker. Push the circuit breaker into position on the panel, and restore the power to the circuit breaker.
Test GFCI Outlet
Plug the landscape lighting or gutter heating cables into the GFCI box and turn them on. If the lights come on or the cables get warm, the GFCI outlet is working fine.
For professional help with a task like this, contact a service like PWPC Electrical Services.