How to Install a Power Receptacle Outside

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Installing a power receptacle outside requires an outdoor, weather-proof box for storage. Install a power receptacle outside with help from one of the one of the owners of CJS Electric in Tampa Florida in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Electrical Help
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Nick Marra with And today, I want to show you how to install a power outlet outside. The materials you're going to need are, an outdoor, weather-proof box, an in use cover, GFCI receptacle. About, two feet of outdoor rated Romex wire, and some compound that, a sealing compound or caulking. The tools that you're going to need are, I like to use a battery operated drill motor, a long drill bit. I'm going to need a pair of side cutters, a pair of wire strippers, a utility knife. And a screwdriver that has different sizes, a Phillips and straight slot screwdriver. Let's get started, pull off this cover, see what we have here, we have a couple wires in there, pull them out. Always make sure, after you turn the circuit breaker off, that we check for power with our voltage tester. Again, we go form bare to each wire, and we go from the white to the other wire. Once you assure yourself there's no power, we can move the wires out of the way. So that, you know, drill them with your drill. We use a long drill bit to screw through the exterior of the house. Next step, is take your outdoor rated Romex wire, fish it through your hole, about a foot or so, out there. You can also strip this wire out, sometimes it's easier just to peel it back, like that, the white wire. Again, peel it back, and the black wire. A little bit difficult, while using this wire. Cut it off close without damaging any of the wires. And, we're set to go outside and install the outlet and box. O.k., the second step to installing an outdoor power outlet, is your weatherproof box. As you see, it has threaded fit holes in it, and it comes with a package for, with miscellaneous things in there. That we use to cover the holes that we don't use. So, threaded, knockout seal, as they call it. We put this in, so that no rain water will get inside there and cause problems with your electricity, put them in both sides. The other couple things that we have here, are mounting brackets, and a green ground screw. The mounting brackets will go on the box, so that you don't pierce the box with any type of screws, when you mount it. Causing rain water, or bugs, or anything to get in, inside it. So, install these brackets, I like to use this six-in-one screwdriver. Because some of these are straight slots, some of them are Phillips head, and it screws in there pretty tight. So, make sure that it holds. I like to go to the opposite corner, so that you have support on both sides. Again, straight slot into the appropriate holes. Next thing we do, is install the green ground screw into the box, there's always a hole for the ground screw. In all electrical boxes, they should be grounded with this green screw, if it's metallic. If it's a plastic box, it's not really required to have a green screw, because plastic doe snot conduct electricity. This is a Romex connector, as we call it, with a lock nut for holding it in. But since this is threaded, we don't need it. You just go head and screw this in here. Loosen the screws to make room for the wire to fit in it. Now, we install the wire and the connector, tighten the connector. This not only holds the wire in, but it also seals the box, so no critters or rain can get inside it. Next thing we use, before we put the box on, is a compound we call, duct seal, similar to caulking. Where you conform it, it's a sealant to make sure no water gets in there. We wrap it around, and press it back in, to allow the box to go in. At this point, we can support the box , make it a nice, tight fit. Next thing we do, take the utility knife, score the wire down, the middle of it, be careful. And again, because it's an outdoor wire, it's very difficult to strip. The easy way, is to pull the green ground wire, or the bare ground wire, first. And then, try to separate the coating from the black and the white, the outer covering. As you can see, we peel it back, but not so much that it goes back into the wall. The sheathing of the wire should stick into the box, about an eighth or quarter of an inch. And notice, how I use it as a bridge, as a guide not to cut, or score any of the other wires. First thing you want to do, is always connect the bare wire to the green wire, the green screw. Nice and tight, lay it in the back, not the bottom. Next, I like to cut everything even, take your strippers. There is a strip guide, that tells you how long to strip the wire. You can hold it up, mark it with your thumb, and strip it to that length. Again, the strippers are designed only to cut the outer coating of the wire. Make a nice, little loop in this, so it will go around your screw, tighten it up. The most important wire of the electrical system, is the ground wire. This GFCI outlet has a little ridge in it, where the outlet, where the ground wire lays. You can see the different colors between the screws, this is the darker brass screw, this is a whiter screw. Normally, the white screw is for the neutral or the white conductor. It is even stamped on the outlet, white, black. So, you don't have to wrap this particular one, around the screw. Because it has a guide, a screw hole with a square washer type, that compresses it, as you tighten the screw. As you tighten it, you can feel, everything gets snug up, you can pull on it, just to make sure. This particular one hasn't been unscrewed, if you unscrew it, it will allow the wire to go in there. Make sure it's in, hold it in, if you have to, and tighten it down. Again, you can feel it being snug, tug on it to make sure it's a good connection. Again, the wires are probably six to eight inches long. This allows easier workmanship with the wire. You can get it into the box, fold them however you have to, to get it into the box. And make it a nice and tight fit, mounting screws for the outlet. Alright, next comes the in-use cover, this particular GFCI outlet, is a tamper-resistant outlet. If you can see, it has little shutters inside here, that doesn't let anyone push in. You cant' push anything in further, and it doesn't allow you to make a connection. It's mostly, what we like to call tamper-resistant, or child proof outlet. If a child comes and pushes it, pushes something in here. They won't be electrocuted, because there's a shutter in there, that doesn't allow it to touch anything, metal that is energized. Next step is, our cover, this particular cover is an in-use cover, it is designed to plug something in, while you use it. As you see, it with some screws, flip top, and multiple covers, depending on your application. This is for the switch. Weather-proof gasket has to go on there, this is for the outlet, it's a standard outlet. And this is for the GFCI outlet, the one that we're using. As you can see, it fits on there, nice and neat, good seal around it. Make sure the hinge is up, so when the rain comes down, it doesn't interfere or get in there. These are pre-cut holes, in this gasket. A lot of times, you can just take them and roll them right out. Or, in this particular case it's a cross marked in there. To allow the screws, whichever screws you're going to use, to go in there. I like to pull the plate away and use it as a guide, and don't tighten it up all the way. Put it in the pre-cut hole of the gasket, this way, you know the gasket is in the right spot. And it won't allow any water to go through there. Same thing, I don't like to tighten it all the way, because the guide, you can use the plate as a guide for the other holes. The cover has a little flip top, as you see, and a little locking tab, just to make it extra secure and sealed. So that no water gets in there, tighten all four of them down. And you have to adjust it, to make sure that the receptacle is flush with the cover and not pushed back there. In electricity, our main goal is to make sure that everything is sealed inside the box. So that no rain, water or bugs get inside of it. Depending on what you're gong to plug in, this cover comes with pre-formed knockouts. With your needle-nose pliers, cut them right out. Now, you can plug in your device, and that finishes the installation of an outdoor outlet. I'm Nick Marra with, and that is how you install a power outlet outside. If you have any doubts, please contact a local professional in your area, thank you.


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