Outside sockets are an extremely useful addition to any household which, when installed correctly, can provide you with several benefits such as the ability to power outdoor lighting, equipment, and entertainment systems.
Outside sockets are different from the ones installed indoors since they are exposed to all elements and must be fully protected and weather-resistant in order to work properly.
Read on to find out all about outside sockets, their different types, their benefits, what is included in their installation, how much they cost, and much more:
Outside sockets, also called outdoor sockets, are installed outside your home and allow you to safely power your electrical equipment and appliances.
By adding outside sockets, you have the convenience of not having to run long power cables from inside your house which, by the way, can be a serious safety hazard. You have a dedicated power source for all your outdoor electrical work, plus they are also water and weather-proof.
You can install them on the front of your property, on the side walls, in the garden, shed area, and absolutely anywhere you want.
You have a few choices when it comes to choosing the socket, all of which come with an enclosure to make them weather-proof.
There are several benefits of installing outside sockets that include:
In the absence of outside sockets, you would need an extension cord powered by an indoor socket to run your electrical appliances and machinery outdoors.
Not only is this inconvenient, but can also put your family and home in danger. Besides being a trip hazard, the cord can overheat if it passes through a confined or covered area. In addition to that, there is also the risk of overloading if multiple appliances are plugged into it.
Most outdoor and yard maintenance tools are electric and need to be plugged into a power source in order to work.
Having outside sockets enable you to use them without an issue and without worrying about running long extension cords from the inside. Being able to plug in the machines near to where they are being used is more convenient and saves you both time and energy.
It’s much easier to fire up the electric grill, mini-fridge, stereo, and other electrical equipment when you have properly installed outside sockets.
You can host parties and barbeques in your garden and light up the exterior of your home, especially during the holidays, without relying on indoor sockets or extension cords.
One of the biggest benefits of having outside sockets is their weather resistance and knowing that you can use them despite the weather conditions.
A weatherproof outside socket is quick, easy, and reliable, and you don’t have to worry about leaving your extension outside during the rain or snow.
Outside sockets can be used for any electrical device and equipment and there are no limits regarding what you can and cannot use them for. Some common electrical systems and equipment that you can power using outside sockets include:
While you can charge your electric vehicle (EV) using a regular domestic 3 pin socket, it is best that you don’t, and use a dedicated home EV charger instead.
A 7kW dedicated home EV charger delivers three times as much power and is thrice as fast as a domestic socket. Not only is it safer to use but also better in terms of speed or efficiency.
It is best to opt for a wall-mounted charging point, which is also the most common type of EV home charger and can be installed inside your garage or outdoors on an external wall near the driveway, depending on your requirements.
Since most cars are usually parked at home at night, it makes it easy to charge them overnight using home EV chargers and always have them ready to be used in the morning.
Contact our specialists at Calder Electrical who can install EV chargers for domestic and commercial premises in line with the current regulations and can offer a government incentive to reduce the installation costs.
As with any home improvement project and electrical work, it is best to seek the assistance of a qualified and experienced professional in order to protect yourself and your property from harm and damage.
A professional electrician with the required skills and experience will not only be more knowledgeable when it comes to the installation but also be more efficient, taking much less time to complete the task.
They will also discuss the installation process with you and, after understanding your requirements, will advise you on the best outside sockets for your needs.
The electrician will begin by choosing the best location for your outside socket that will be most effective for your needs. You can, of course, discuss the various options before the installation begins and give your input as well.
Once the location has been finalised, they will start to assess the exiting connection to which your new socket will be combined. This step may involve a new connection to the consumer unit or an additional internal power supply.
The socket will then be fixed on the decided location and the cables from the internal power source will be secured in place.
Once that is done, the external faceplate will be fitted on the socket, which is used to protect the power socket and its components inside. This is the most important step when it comes to installing outside sockets since they are vulnerable to various elements and certain Building Regulations need to be followed.
This usually involves an application sent to your local authority notifying them of the electrical work that needs to be carried out. Therefore, the electrician working on the job must be familiar with the regulations and work in accordance with them.
When installing an outside socket and considering what devices you will use with it, you must keep the following into consideration:
IP (Ingress Protection) rating measures how waterproof and dustproof an electrical component, such as an outside socket, is. It basically tells you how likely your socket is to get damaged because of these elements.
An IP rating has two numbers, usually with an extra letter at the end, e.g., IP24 or IP56K. The first number ranges between 0 and 6 and determines how resistant the socket is to prevent dust, sand, and dirt particles from entering. 0 means no protection whereas 6 means that nothing can enter the socket.
The second number ranges from 0 to 9 and determines its resistance to water. A rating of 0 means that it is not resistant to water and 6 means that it can resist powerful jets of water sprayed at it.
7 and 8 are related to immersion in water and do not apply to outside sockets. 9k, for instance, means that it is resistant to a high-temperature water jet, and you may likely see this rating on an outside plug.
An outside socket needs to have a minimum IP rating of 56, which means that the little amount of dirt that can enter the socket will not interfere with its functionality and it can resist powerful jets of water sprayed at it.
The total cost of installing an outside socket depends on several factors such as the type of socket, the complexity of the job, how easy to access the location is, the electrician’s hourly rate, and more.
Installing it is a simple job and shouldn’t take more than 2 hours. For a simple socket with an easy location, you can expect to pay around £85, whereas a complex socket with a difficult installation may cost you a maximum of £245.
The average supply costs (only) of the most common type of sockets are:
The two main factors that affect the cost of installing an outdoor socket are the cost of the socket and the time it takes to complete the job, and anything that affects these factors will affect the total cost.
The most common outside socket choices for homes are single or double sockets. Single sockets are much cheaper and fall within the £10 to £15 range. Double sockets are slightly more expensive with basic ones starting at £10 and some options going all the way up to £60.
Sockets with timers and RCDs have additional features and are, for obvious reasons, more expensive than basic single and double sockets.
The price of the outside socket will be affected by its location in respect to the indoor sockets and the consumer unit.
If the location is easy to access, the job will be done much more quickly and easily. However, if the location is far from the indoor sockets and consumer unit, it will take much longer to fit it and will cost more.
There aren’t many reasons to remove an outside socket unless it is damaged and needs to be replaced or fixed. For such instances, you should contact a professional electrician who possesses the required skill and knowledge and will get the job done in less than an hour.
It is a quick and easy task, with most electricians charging a minimum fee covering their hourly rates and travel costs. You can expect to pay anywhere between £80 and £150.
For it to be more cost-effective, you may schedule it at a time when you need to have other electrical work done as well.
We have been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, and testing.
We have experienced and fully qualified NICEIC-registered electrical engineers on hand to deliver a professional and high-quality service.
If you have unplanned issues within your home or business, we can provide a call out service to rectify and solve any problems. Anything from circuits tripping, loss of power, and broken items that need repairing, to checking for potential faults and safety hazards.
Our team can generate a Visual Inspection Report (VIR) to identify anything visual that does not comply with the standards or looks unsafe, as well as a full Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) where we identify and test each circuit to make sure they are not deteriorating and are safe for use within the current standards and regulations set by the BS 7671.
We provide PAT testing of appliances to make sure that any items such as kettles, computers, and microwaves are safe for use in the home and workplace.
We also install EV chargers for domestic and commercial premises and are authorised and registered OZEV installers.
If you own an EV or are planning to buy one, you will want to maximise recharge times and efficiency by installing an OZEV approved charger in your home. For that, our team of experts can visit you and survey your house to help determine your requirements and advise on the best home EV charger for your needs.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our certified team of electricians right away!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001