If you're planning to install an outdoor kitchen, you'll need the expertise of a residential electrician. You should bring the electrician in during the planning stage so you choose the best locations for your appliances and lighting. Here are some electrical considerations for putting in an outdoor kitchen.
Plan What You Want and Where It Should Go
Talk to your electrician about your plans so they can suggest the best way to implement them and so you understand what's needed for the installation of everything you want. For instance, you might want appliances that need electrical hookups, overhead lights, ceiling fans, overhead patio heaters, landscape lights, and plenty of outlets.
The electrical contractor may have suggestions for the best placement for an island, refrigerator, and outlets. They'll also know the right outlets to choose from. All outdoor outlets need to be GFCI outlets to protect you from shock. Once the plan is in place and the permit for the work is obtained, the contractor can go to work on bringing electricity to your outdoor kitchen.
Buy Lights and Appliances Rated for Outdoor Use
When you're shopping for lights and other electrical accessories for the electrician to install, be sure to look for items that are made for outdoor use. These are often labeled as waterproof or water-resistant. Read the packaging to select the right product for where it will be placed.
If there's a chance rain will hit the light, buy one that's waterproof. If rain can't directly hit a light, but the light will be subject to high humidity, a water-resistant light may suffice. If you're in doubt, ask your electrician.
Consider an Electrical Panel Upgrade
Your outdoor kitchen may need dedicated circuits for some outlets and appliances. Your electrical contractor needs to make sure your electrical panel can handle the extra demand. If it can't in its current condition, the electrician might need to add more circuits or add a subpanel so you'll have all the circuits you'll need to power your kitchen.
Finish with an Inspection
The permit and city inspection are important steps when installing an outdoor kitchen. Permitted work is important for selling your home. Plus, a permit requires a professional inspection that ensures the work is up to code and done safely. The residential electrician works with your local codes office to handle the inspection, and make any changes if necessary. Once this process is complete, your outdoor kitchen is ready to put to work entertaining and feeding your friends and family.Share