For various reasons, not least that I occasionally run a moth trap*; and
it would save mess in the house when mowing lawns; I'd like an outside
power socket - the sort beloved of Charlie Dimmock for her water
features. That way, I can leave the trap running at night, without
having to have a door or window open for cable to pass through.
I'd lie one that's lockable, or with a switch inside the building, so no
one can steal my juice ;-)
What do I need to know, before installing one or having someone else do
If I do get someone in, how much should I expect to pay? I could drill
the wall myself.
* one which attracts moths to light so they can be recorded and
Andy Mabbett Reply to [my first name] [at] pigsonthewing.org.uk
USA imprisons children without trial, at Guantanamo Bay:
As far as safety goes, you want the socket to be on an earth leakage
breaker, and to be reasonably rainproof. If you have a recent electricity
installation, your downstairs sockets may already be on such a protective
device, most usually through a "split load" consumer unit (fusebox). In that
happy case, put an ordinary fused spur on the inside of the wall, closeish
to an existing socket on the protected ring; pass the cable through the
wall to a Suitable socket (more on that below). If your existing ring
near the relevant wall isn't ELCB'd, you can buy a fused spur which
incorporates an ELCB - I think "Powerbreaker" is one such brand. The
switched fused spur gives you the isolation on the inside you want.
For the socket on the outside wall, d-i-y sheds and electrical trade
counters will offer you a choice of possibilities. There's a pretty cheap
flavour of the normal domestic 13A socket which has a transparentish cover
- for example Screwfix's single socket 12754 (just under 7 quid) or a
double at 13 quid (12997). Slightly fancier, also sold by S-fix as part
numbers 10562 (socket, 9 quid) and plug (10586, 7 quid), is one which takes
a normal 13A plug for casual use but has the matching plug with an outer
screw-on shroud which keeps the plugged-in assembly rainproof. Finally
towards the money-no-object ever-so-handy end, MK do an outdoor socket
with a squishy seal for the plug cable which takes ordinary 13A plugs
and surrounds them with a cover and that squishy seal to keep the water
out; list price about 20 quid.
(My own preference is to use the blue 16A plugs and sockets you see on
caravan sites for outdoor tools, but you have to get possibly non-standard
to fuse cables of smaller appliances against overload...)
Hope this helps rather than confusing... Stefek
On 27 Sep 2003 21:36:48 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
There's also a version of the MK Masterseal outlet with the RCD built
in. This could be wired directly as a spur .
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
I've got one on the front of the house - in a London street where the
front gardens are tiny. It gets used to feeding the hoover for cleaning
the car etc and saves leaving the front door open.
I used an Aquatec from TLC as I preferred the design to the more common
MK, and sunk the fitting into the wall just leaving the lid exposed - the
whole thing stuck out too far for my tastes. I've got a flush RCD just
inside the door feeding it which allows it to be switched off if needed.
Of course, if you're spurring off an RCD protected ring, then only a 20
amp switch would be required.
I worried about electricity theft, but if you think about it, who would
*What was the best thing before sliced bread?
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW 12
You don't live where I live. If a dog has two ears and four legs around
here, it's a stranger to the area. I like to switch ours off in case I come
out in the morning, or home at night, to find the neighbourhood kids with
all their computers and games consoles plugged in to, or have all the
neighbours vacuuming and pressure washing their cars with it.
It is a consideration to turn off the supply to your outside tap as
well before you go on holiday. Wouldn't be nice to find when you got
your next water bill that a neighbour had been filling their fish pond
or swimming pool at your expense!
It is well worth supplying the outside socket from a double pole switch just
to isolate it should it get damaged. There is nothing worse than the house
rcd tripping due to water getting into the outside socket.
How waterproof do you need it ? Many of the designs are waterproof
when not in use, but either aren't so when being used, or remain so
only if you use the special mating sealed plug.
I'd wire it in through a 30mA RCCD fused spur outlet (a common
device), or a separate fuseway on the CU, if that were convenient.
This can also be used as an anti-theft switch, although it's not an
isolator in the full sense of the word.
TLC sell a couple of brands that have a lid that fits over (most)
standard plugs and retain water sealing. The light grey ones (I forget
the brand) are good, but the dark ones (likewise) are very short on
internal space and are near impossible to wire up, especially if
you're using 2.5mm cable (because you pulled a whole houseful in one
go and didn't think twice).
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