Outdoor Power Outlet

By , June 11, 2014

On June 1st I opened my Franklin Planner to find the following task on that day’s page: “Make an outdoor outlet.” Accompanying notes explained further: “Set up a through-wall power cord for outdoor Christmas lights, etc.”

Back in December I saw the advantage of running power outside the cabin in a way that didn’t compromise the cabin’s insulation. I also realized that this job would be a lot easier in summer than in winter. I chose the date at random and made a note to myself; I assumed correctly that the weather would be pretty amenable to the task by June. I installed it yesterday.

Outside power! (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger)J.

Outside power! (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

I needed to drill a hole through the log wall. I’ve done this twice before in the past, but this time my hole could be considerably smaller—too small, it turned out, for the nose of my power drill to enter for the deepest drilling.

I started the hole with a spade bit until I drilled too deep for the power drill. I then took apart my hole saw mandrel and affixed it to a long drill bit, and bored the rest of the hole without too much trouble.

A hole saw can only drill so deep, but a friend taught me to drill to the limit, remove the hole saw, and break out the center wood with a screw driver. I repeat this as needed until I cut through to the other side.

The hole with a short (10 ft) extension cord inserted (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger)J.

The hole with a short (10 ft) extension cord inserted (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

I ran a short extension cord through the hole. I’d already found a water resistant power coupling capsule at one of our local hardware stores. I secured it to the wall with gasketed roofing screws. Now we can run inverter power to the outside for whatever we need. Between uses, the green capsule remains relatively unobtrusive.

I’ll be especially glad I took care of this when Christmas comes again (see Lighting a Candle in the Darkness). The components will be in place when needed, rather than adding to the list of steps necessary to light the cabin for the season.

The closed capsule, with the extension cord end inside (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger)J.

The closed capsule, with the extension cord end inside (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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