Electrical Outlet on a Deck, Often Overlook but a Wonderful Upgrade

Electrical outlets on a deck

Numerous enhancements can elevate your outdoor deck to a whole new level, transforming it into a more enjoyable and safer space. Among these, one aspect that is often overlooked is the inclusion of electricity. Just like in your house, having a convenient electrical outlet on your deck is crucial. It opens up endless possibilities for enjoying various activities that require access to power.

Extension cords are an option, but they are not only unsightly but also pose significant safety hazards. Cords stretched across walkways can cause trips and falls, and exposure to the elements increases the risk of electrical shorts and fires. Plus, cords undermine the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your outdoor space, creating a cluttered environment that detracts from the tranquil experience your deck should provide.

But well-placed electrical outlets can elevate your deck, offering a convenient and secure power source for all your appliances, both on the deck and in the yard.

Let’s begin by exploring potential applications of electricity on your deck.

What devices or equipment might you enjoy using on your deck?

Then, discuss the best locations for these outlets.

At the end, I have a video of April Wilkerson installing an additional plug on her deck. With some great tips for installation.

But before we do all that, safety.

Electrical outlet on a deck

Deck Electrical Outlets Requirements

When installing electrical outlets on your deck, safety and convenience should be top priorities. It is essential to comply with local building codes and standards, which typically include the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Outlets need to be weather-resistant and equipped with ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection to prevent electrical shock hazards. Additionally, outlets must be appropriately covered with weatherproof covers when not in use to safeguard against moisture and debris.

It is advisable to opt for tamper-resistant receptacles to further ensure safety, particularly in households with children.

The positioning of the outlets should be planned to balance aesthetic considerations with ease of access, ensuring they are within reach yet discreetly blended into the deck’s design.

When it comes to the actual installation of the outlets, it is often best to hire a licensed electrician who can ensure all safety standards are met and avoid any potential hazards. They will also be able to advise on the ideal placement of outlets based on your specific deck layout and intended use.

Deck Electrical Rough in

For DIY enthusiasts, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and prepare thoroughly.

Begin with a detailed plan: identify the location for the outlet, factoring in convenience and proximity to where you’ll use electrical devices.

Before any work starts, turn off the power to the area to prevent electrical accidents. Obtain the necessary weather-resistant materials, such as a GFCI outlet, weatherproof outlet box, and cover that are suitable for outdoor use. It’s also important to have the right tools on hand, including a drill, wire stripper, and voltage tester.

Consult the NEC for guidelines on outdoor wiring, and pulling a homeowner electrical permit will help to ensure that your work is done correctly and inspected for any possible errors.

Take your time to do it right and be precise, ensuring all connections are secure and sealed against the elements.

Potential Uses for Deck Outlets

Here is a convenient list of items that you may find useful or enjoyable on your deck, all of which require an electrical connection.

  • Heaters
  • Fans
  • Speakers
  • Deck Lights
  • Electric blankets
  • Grill Rotisserie
  • Deck refrigerator
  • Cell phone charger
  • Laptop
  • Television monitor
  • Christmas lights and blow-up decorations
  • Hot tubs
  • Spa equipment (jacuzzi)
  • Power washer
  • Yard care equipment

Yes, more things need to be plugged in and will be an excellent addition to your deck.

Patio Heater on Deck

Don’t forget electricity for charging and using all our little electronic devices, phones, tablets, laptops, etc.

It may be better to add multiple plugs to ensure that you have enough.

Location of Electrical Plugs on a Deck

Often, this is more important than the number of outlets.

Your chair, perfectly sitting in the corner of the deck, catches all the rays but is too far away to plug in your laptop.

Running a cord across the deck is both a tripping hazard and just plain ugly. You didn’t install the best-looking composite decking to have a bright orange cording ruining the look. If you haven’t picked out that beautiful composite decking. Click the link to learn more and compare the top composite decking brandsOpens in a new tab..

But even more importantly, cords are a tripping hazard on your deck. Correctly placed outlets will make your deck safer by removing cords with a convenient outlet where you need them.

But where will you need to plug something in on your deck?

Only you can answer where is the best location, but think about what you will be using on your deck and where. That is where you need an electrical outlet.

Off the Deck

This is the number one additional location where a deck plug is needed. Not on the deck but for plugging in things off the deck.

  • Lawn Mower
  • Leaf Blower
  • Power Washer

Just to name a few.

Making yard work more straightforward with a convenient plug on the outside of your deck to plug into.

Extension cord run under a backyard deck

You can do better than a cord under the deck.

Electrical Outlet on Deck Skirt

Deck Railing

Just like in your living room, the outside perimeter of your deck is often the best place for plugs.

This can be either floor or railing posts.

Floor installation is often easier, except if you have hollow composite or vinyl posts. Where you can snake the wire up through the decking up the post sleeve. Except the electrical cannot be recessed into the post but must be mounted on the side.

Either on the post or in the decking around the permitter of your deck, it is often an ideal location for a plug.

Corner of the deck

Still the outside perimeter, but specifically the corner of the deck.

Just like in your living room, an end table in the corner between two chairs will often be the ideal location to charge your cell phone or set up your laptop.

The corner is often a great place to place a fan. Oscillating back and forth, cooling down your entire deck.  

By the Grill

Your deck is an ideal place for cooking in summer. A convenient plug brings it to the next level with a slow-moving rotisserie in your barbeque.

In-Floor Deck Electrical Plug

An in-floor deck electrical plug can significantly enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.

Built into the floor to the deck, it minimizes clutter and eliminates the need for unsightly extension cords that can pose tripping hazards. Creating a convenient outlet on your deck.

I have found for specialty outlets that often Amazon is the most convenient and easiest to get what you want.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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