Get Cooking: Important Electrical Considerations For Outdoor Kitchens

Posted on: 3 March 2015

Realtor Magazine reports that nearly 20 percent of affluent households either have or are planning to install an outdoor kitchen. Additionally, the availability of outdoor kitchen kits have made it easier than ever for households of all income levels to add an outdoor cooking platform to the backyard. If you've been considering setting up an outdoor kitchen, you'll want to talk with an electrician about the demand on your home's electrical grid. Here's a look at some of the things you'll need to consider as you start planning things out.

Upgrade Your Breakers and Outlets

Most outdoor kitchen structures include electric appliances as part of their design. And if you plan to entertain, you'll probably want to install music and entertainment features as well. All of these things will require reliable, consistent electrical power. Since you'll be supplying power to things like grills, refrigerators, ice machines and sound systems, talk with an electrician about updating the electrical circuits with GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter breakers and outlets.

The addition of GFCI breakers and outlets provide you with peace of mind that any water in the electrical circuit or any fluctuation in power will shut down the circuit and you can then push the reset button to cycle it safely. This protects your appliances and your home's electrical grid from the potential of overload or shock.

You'll also want to make sure that the electrician installs several additional GFCI outlets around the area where you're installing the kitchen. This protects you from having to run extension cords across the kitchen to power the things you need to use, since those cords can be a safety hazard.

Be Selective About Your Appliances

When you are installing appliances outdoors, you'll want to talk with an electrician about the best models to choose. After all, you want models that will be able to hold up to the persistent exposure to the elements. Any time you're dealing with electrical appliances outdoors, make sure that they are sealed and protected.

You should also consider the durability of the appliances. After all, the last thing you want is a rusty mess from the humidity and moisture outside. Be selective about your appliances so that they are not only safe, but energy-efficient and durable.

Take a Preventative Stance Against Water Hazards

Water is enemy number one when you're dealing with electrical circuits. As a result, outdoor kitchens need to feature sufficient drainage and an evaluation to determine where water pooling is most likely to occur. That way, your electrician can plan the wiring routes accordingly so that you don't risk any short circuits from water exposure.

Make sure that you add several drains and even consider building your outdoor kitchen from permeable pavers. This keeps the water away from the surface, which protects all of your electrical outlets and appliances.

With the tips presented here and the support of an electrician from the initial planning to full implementation, you can build an outdoor kitchen that will be the life of the neighborhood. Plan your next summer barbecue in your outdoor kitchen with the peace of mind that the wiring and electrical supply is both sufficient and safe.