Now when you hear receptacle, what do you normally think? Do you maybe think of a trash receptacle? Well, in this case, we are actually talking about an electrical outlet receptacle. But are these types of receptacles necessary for your outside outlets? Well, that will be the current topic for our discussion today.
We are not code experts – but the NEC, or National Electrical Code, since 2005 has put two required codes into effect when dealing with outdoor outlet receptacles. The first, states that at least one receptacle in the front of the house and in the rear is required for use of an outdoor outlet. It also can not be farther than 6 1/2 feet away from the ground. The second states that balconies, decks, and porches that are accessible from inside your home should have at least one receptacle outlet installed within the perimeter of the balcony, deck, or porch. The receptacle should not be located more than 6½ feet above the balcony, deck, or porch surface. But why are these codes put into effect for receptacles?
A simple reason is the use of extension chords. Extension cords are amazing, helping you reach long distances for your outdoor appliances like grills or lights. However, over 3,300 house fires are started from either an overloaded extension cord, or a short circuit. Extension cords are also a tripping hazard, and if tripped and pulled on quickly, could cause an overload. However, the receptacle can prevent this from happening. So we can definitely see the wisdom in having these types of receptacles installed on the outside of our homes.