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Keep Your Wires Protected From Snow & Ice

With the treacherous winters we have here in Rochester, it’s no surprise that some exterior electrical wires won’t make it through the season. Whether it’s in the form of snow, ice or rain water can do major damage when it comes to your home’s electrical system, but that doesn’t have to be the case. See below to find out how to protect outdoor wires so they have a chance to see the light of spring!

Rated For Outdoor Use

The first thing you need to check is that the wires you’re using outside are labeled for outdoor use. Using interior wires outside can quickly lead to electrical shocks, burns or worse – fires. Why? Indoor wires are not manufactured to be used outside and aren’t able to withstand the elements. Look for UF cable while shopping for wires or cords you wish to use outdoors. This is the most commonly used nonmetallic cable for residential outdoor use.

GFCI Receptacles

Another necessity for outdoor wiring is the use of GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter, receptacles. They are made to detect excess current and trip to cut off the flow of electricity. This is especially important in areas that are prone to water. However, some special exceptions may be made for any tools or pieces of equipment that are specifically designed to melt snow or ice. It's also important to note that the National Electrical Code requires at least one outdoor receptacle at the front and one receptacle at the rear of the house.

General Safety Tips:

  • Never run wires through puddles, doorways or underneath furniture.
  • Make sure all electrical cords are rolled up and stored away when they are not in use.
  • Do not plug more than 3 electrical cords or wires into one another.
  • Check for fraying and other damage to wires before using. Replace them right away.
  • Any receptacle located in a wet area (an area that is exposed to weather) must have a weatherproof "in-use" cover.

Upgrades and improvements not only increase the value and status of your home, they help you save money and energy while increasing your property’s safety and security. Give the expert electricians at Lon Lockwood Electric a call today at (585) 766-4702 to find out how we can help!