How to power your outdoor living space

A gourmet kitchen, a ceiling fan and ambient lighting sound like the must-haves for an indoor reno. For today's homeowner, maxing out on summer means setting up al fresco living. Here is what you need to know about powering your outdoor space so it delivers all season long.

Choose the right outlets for outdoors. Outlets are an essential element for a fully functioning backyard. Whether you're planning to power decorative lighting for romance or speakers to play the perfect music while entertaining, ensure all outdoor outlets are protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help avoid shock.

Protect power sources from the elements. Any outlet that could be exposed to snow, rain and other debris needs to have a cover plate marked “extra duty.” These covers are important for preventing electrical shocks.

Running wires to power your backyard. If electricity is needed to power your garden from the front to the back, a trench may be required to run wires underground. Wires need to be buried anywhere from 45 centimetres up to one metre depending on the location, voltage and wiring method.

Whether you're planning a complete backyard renovation or an electrical upgrade, hire only a licensed electrical contractor for the job – it's the law in Ontario, and each province has its own requirements. Licensed electrical contractors are required to know what's needed to make your backyard electrically safe. Verify or find one in your area online at findacontractor.esasafe.com.

www.newscanada.com


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