Our heater is out in the patio, right next to the kitchen. So is the washing machine and the freezer trunk. That means we need electricity out there, and the builders of the apartment complex knew that. Unfortunately, they decided to take the cheap way out and install a normal, indoor outlet box outside.
It’s been more than three years since we moved in here and we never thought twice about it. We used that outlet together with a typical multiple socket to plug in all three devices I mentioned, plus a drill/saw/sander occasionally when we worked on building projects outdoors. Until a few days ago, when we decided that enough was enough. The setup didn’t look too safe to us because of the rain that can get in there:
Thank goodness we decided to swap it out because when we unplugged it we saw something like mold inside the outlet box!
After removing the original outlet, Andoni used a chisel and a hammer to remove some of the rocks to make room for the new outlet boxes. We decided to install four of them, three will be constantly in use (heater, washing machine and freezer trunk) and the fourth one will be free for building projects. They didn’t sell a four-socket outlet so we bought two two-socket outlets and install one on top of the other, so we have a 2×2 outlet box.
Once he made room for the outlets it was a matter of installing them one by one. First he did the top left one. He used the original wires plus a terminal strip to carry the wires onto the top left outlet. Once that one was done, he carried the wires to the top right one and installed it. From that one it was onto the bottom right, lastly the bottom left. It’s just a matter of connecting the three wires (phase, neutral, ground) in each outlet.
Then screw on the outlet covers and you’re done. An easy, albeit not too cheap (they were around 40€) upgrade. But safety first, right? We’re glad to cross this off our list and I can’t believe we didn’t do this sooner. Seems a bit foolish considering the bad state of the original outlet box… so if you have any interior outlets installed outdoors, I urge you to upgrade them to outdoor ones! It was very easy to do and I feel a little better now knowing that it’s not a safety hazard anymore.
P.S. We finally put up our Christmas stuff! Check it out: