Do you know if your laundry room and outdoor receptacles are up to code? If not, you definitely should because in many homes, these electrical components are seriously outdated. Ensuring your wiring and receptacles comply with the National Electric Code is the best way to protect your home and family from an electrical fire. Furthermore, in the event you decide to sell your house, up-to-code-wiring can be an attractive selling point.
If you’re unfamiliar with electrical code requirements for your outdoor and laundry room outlets, take a look below for what you need to know.
Laundry Room Code Compliance
Your washer needs its own designated circuit (not to be confused with a dedicated circuit) since its power requirements are quite high. To be up to code, your washer should have:
● A 120-volt, 20-amp circuit
● A receptacle featuring a 12-gauge, two-cable hot wire, plus a neutral wire, and a ground wire
● A GFCI receptacle since it’s near a source of water
If you have a gas dryer, you can plug both the washer and dryer into this receptacle, which is supplied by the designated circuit. Since a gas dryer doesn’t consume enough electricity to require its own dedicated circuit, a designated circuit — which is designed for single-use rather than a single appliance — will suffice.
If you have an electric dryer, on the other hand, you’ll need a dedicated circuit to operate it safely. Make sure you have:
● A dedicated, 30-amp breaker that features a 10 AWG wire
● A 120/240-volt circuit to operate both the dryer’s heating element and the sensors, timers, and other components of the appliance
● A four-prong dryer outlet
Unsure whether your washer and dryer are plugged into properly wired electrical receptacles? Contact an electrician to find out. Thousands of dryer fires happen every year in the U.S., and many of them are caused by outdated electrical work. If you want to ensure high-level home protection, bringing the old wiring in your house up to code is definitely in your best interest.
Outdoor Code Compliance
All of your outdoor outlets should be GFCIs since they have the potential for water exposure. The receptacles themselves can be GFCIs or you can opt to have a GFCI breaker — both are up to code. You should also have a minimum of one outlet at the front of your home and one at the rear, both of which should be a maximum of 78 inches above ground level.
Outdoor outlets should also have the appropriate covers installed for further protection from water intrusion. All in-use outlets should feature bubble (in-use) covers as should all outdoor receptacles in wet locations. Outlets in damp locations should have weatherproof covers, and all metal outlet boxes must be grounded.
If you think your outdoor outlets may not be up to code, call an electrician to double-check. Since outdoor outlets can easily get wet, they must comply with code to protect your home from an electrical disaster.
Harrison Electric Can Evaluate Your Electrical System for Code Compliance
Worried your outdated electrical system isn’t up to code? Let our team at Harrison Electric help you out! Our licensed residential electricians can evaluate your entire electrical system for code compliance issues and perform the appropriate electric upgrades and installations to bring your household wiring up to code. To get started or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 763-544-3300 or request a quote, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.