An outdoor plug socket is an incredibly handy thing to have, but few houses do have them. So can you add one yourself? And if so, what is the easiest way to do so?
Well, to answer the first question, yes you can add one yourself, and you can do it without having to touch any of your house electrics. All you need is one of these kits below. I needed an outdoor socket, so got one of these kits and got to work, let me show you just how easy it was.
Disclaimer* I am not an electrician so this is all just advice, but to be fair the only electrical work you actually need to do with this kit is wiring a plug up!
This is the kit I used to add my outdoor socket. It comes with everything you need to get your external socket up and running.
There is the waterproof two gang socket and box, which is ip66 rated. This also comes with a pre-wired cable, so you don’t have to mess about with waterproof grommets or anything like that.
The cable has a plug on the end which has an RCD for added safety, you simply wire this up once the cable is through your wall/window and then plug it into any socket inside your home.
There are other options available without the RCD, I would very strongly suggest avoiding these and getting the extra safety protection. Also, look for one with an IP rating of 66 or above and also CE rated. For the few quid, you could save it is not worth messing around with inferior products.
Drilling a hole
The first step to this task, and arguably the only tricky one, is drilling a hole to the outside of your property. This is the hole your cable will run through and as the one I got is only 3m in length it needs to be close to where I will be plugging it in.
You have two options here, through your wall or through your window. I went with the window option as I have wooden windows at the back of the house making this really simple.
If you don’t fancy going through uPVC windows or there isn’t one near enough to where your sockets will be then you can go through your wall. This is also probably the tidiest way of doing it too.
Drilling through your wall requires a bit more planning, and a long drill bit, but is still easily enough done for most DIY’ers.
Drilling through walls in modern houses comes with its own problems involving vapour barriers. Some people say it can be done no problem as long as sealed properly with silicone and others say avoid at all costs. I’m just a numpty with a drill so won’t be offering any advice either way, sorry.
With me and my wooden windows, this was a really quick 30-second job. The hole ended up halfway up the window on the outside which isn’t ideal but the lower part of the window is tiled on the inside and I really didn’t fancy drilling through it.
I would have a good look at both sides of the window before deciding where to drill. If I had just decided to drill at the bottom of the window frame from the outside in I would have made a real mess of the tiles on the inside.
Push the wire through
Now you need to push the bare cable through from the outside to the inside, depending on what size of hole you have drilled this will be pretty effortless.
Once that is done add a really good bead of silicone to both the inside and outside of the hole, you don’t want any water ingress here. This is doubly important if you have gone through the wall.
Mounting the box
Now we need to mount the outside box to your wall. If you have a look at the back of the box it will handily display how far apart the screws need to be for mounting.
130mm apart is the distance for our screws.
Then simply drill and plug a couple of holes in your wall. I used some blue plugs and went into the motor for ease, this won’t be holding much weight after all.
People will argue that you should go through the stone/brick rather than the motor as it is stronger. This is true but seen as though these screws won’t be holding much weight at all I went for the easy option as I’m a lazy sod.
Plug the holes and add some screws. leave the head hanging out a little bit and then slide the box over the top.
Wiring the plug
Now all that is left to do is to wire up the plug. This is really simple and just your standard plug. Blue to neutral, brown to live and yellow/green to earth.
Job done, we now have a nice waterproof outdoor plug socket!