This guide will help you understand everything involved with installing an outdoor power socket. We breakdown the costs you can expect or materials and lahour.
External electrical sockets can be an extremely useful addition to any household. Installed correctly, they give you the ability to power landscaping equipment, garden lighting and many other entertainment systems.
Due to being exposed to all elements, an outdoor plug socket must be fully protected and weatherproof to function correctly. It is recommended that you seek the assistance of a professional, qualified tradesperson to carry out the installation. Any professional electrician will be able to install an external power socket for you.
The cost of having an external power socket installed will vary, depending on the tradesperson's hourly rate and the extent of the project.
A few other affecting factors will determine the cost of your project, such as the materials used, the number of sockets requiring installation, the ease of access to your property and the quality of the products used.
Generally, in the UK, installing an outdoor power socket can cost anywhere from £40-£120.
External power sockets typically range from £35-£80, depending on the quality. However, you will need to consider the price of the electrician's labour, which is usually charged on an hourly or daily basis.
On average, a qualified electrician will charge around £25-£40 per hour or upwards of £100 for the day.
A single external power socket installation can be carried out fairly quickly by an experienced professional. However, multiple sockets will, of course, take longer to install, resulting in additional labour fees.
The fundamental factor that influences how much the installation will cost is the difficulty of the installation itself.
Typically, an older home will have fewer or limited access to internal power sockets, meaning that additional steps must be taken to extend the power externally. Most of the time an external power socket requires an additional electrical box called a junction box.
Junction boxes are used to connect a power source to an existing electrical circuit. The need for a junction box will significantly add to the installation time of your project and also the overall cost.
Below is a table that has been included to demonstrate how these cost affecting factors can influence your overall project budget. Please note, these prices are estimates and should be used as a guide only.
|Description||Materials Cost||Timeframe||Labour Charge||Total Cost|
|Install a Single Outdoor Socket||£35||1-2 Hours||£40||£75|
|Install a Double Outdoor Socket||£50||1-2 Hours||£40||£90|
|Installing a Double Outdoor Socket with Junction Boxes||£75||2-4 Hours||£60||£135|
|Installing Multiple Outdoor Sockets with Junction Boxes||£80||4-6 Hours||£120||£200|
As with any home improvement project, you should protect yourself and your property by seeking the assistance of a qualified and experienced professional.
An experienced electrician will not only be better educated, but they will be more efficient in carrying out the work, meaning that it will take less timer to complete. Once you have sourced a qualified electrician, they will discuss the installation with you to understand what you are hoping to achieve from it.
They will advise you on which products would work best for your external power socket, along with inspecting your property to determine the ease of the installation.
On the day of the installation, the electrician will begin by choosing a location that will be the most effective for the socket to be installed. You can of course request and discuss the placement of your new socket with your tradesperson before any the install begins.
Then, your electrician will start to identify the existing connection off of which your new socket will be combined. This may involve the connection to the consumer unit or an additional internal power supply.
They will fix the exterior socket box to the outside of your property, securing the correct cables from the internal power source. Once all cables have been correctly installed, they will fit the external faceplate that protects the new power socket and any additional cables inside.
This is the most important step when it comes to installing external power sources, as they will be vulnerable to the elements. There are specific Building Regulations that state how all electrical connections must be installed.
Commonly, this involves an application to your local authority or a notice of the electrical work that is to be carried out. A qualified electrician should be familiar with the regulations and work in accordance with their terms.
Installing an outdoor power socket is possible for any confident DIY-er, but very much discouraged. Any work that involves electricity is extremely dangerous and can have major complications to your health and safety.
Many people believe they will save time and money by attempting the installation of electrical work themselves. However, this is not always the case. You will need to apply for the correct application with your local authority before carrying out any electrical work to your property.
A professional electrician will already be familiar with the appropriate legislation, making the process more efficient. You will need to cover the cost of any building regulation application, which is often already covered in the hire of a local electrician.
You will need to have an understanding of each electrical cable, how it works and where it should be connected. You will also require the correct tools and equipment to carry out the installation correctly, therefore adding to the total cost of the project.
The risk of attempting any electrical installation greatly outweighs the benefits, which is why we always advise you seek the help of a certified electrician to carry out the work for you.
If you were to attempt the installation of an outdoor electrical socket, you will face many obstacles and complications. Not only is the handling and connection of electrical cables extremely dangerous if you are inexperienced, but can be very costly to repair.
There will be an increased risk of fires occurring on your property if the electrical work is not following the stated legislation and building regulations. You also increase the chances of receiving electrical shocks, which causes severe harm and, in some cases, death.
To eliminate any safety issues or additional costs, we always recommend hiring a professional electrician to install your external power sockets.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding installing an outdoor power socket.
RCD's is a component in many electrical sockets that provide an extra level of protection that ordinary fuses and circuit breaking components do not. Some circuits or modified electrical sockets require RCD's to be fitted under certain building regulations.
No. An outdoor power socket can be easily connected to any existing internal power supply or external circuit board. Your electrician will be able to advise you on which connection would work best.
The socket itself will not be any more waterproof than an internal power socket. What makes an outdoor power socket weatherproof is the watertight covers that are supplied and fitted with them.
While it is sometimes physically possible, it is often frowned upon to attempt the install of any external power sockets unless you are a qualified electrician. The installation can be very dangerous and costly to repair if done incorrectly.
Of course. Providing the socket is correctly installed and protected with the required circuit breakers or RCD's, you can safely plug almost anything into an outdoor power supply.
The cable running to an exterior socket should be a minimum of 2.5mm twin and earth, which comes in a variety of lengths and styles. Your qualified electrician will be able to determine the correct cables required for the installation.