The homeowner contracted to install a beautiful outdoor living area complete with a patio kitchen and fire pit. The stonework is amazing!
Unfortunately, the living area had electrical problems which began less than a year after installation. Upon investigation, we found multiple installation problems which were creating the malfunctions.
The National Electrical Code requires all electrical junction boxes be accessible. The wiring on this project was not placed in the proper type of boxes and was buried under stonework. The project also had several open splices (open wires not contained in a watertight junction box as required by code).
Code requires outdoor wiring be UF rated, which allows the wire to be buried either underground or in the direct sunlight. The original contractor had used household romex wire which is not watertight or rated to be used in an outdoor setting. The wiring was not GFCI protected which posed a potential safety hazard.
The National Electrical Code now requires all exterior outlets have "in use" covers. These covers close over the outlet and are designed to retain their watertight qualities even when being used.
To repair the project, it was necessary to remove all the existing wiring and replace it with the proper UF rated wire and watertight junction boxes. The electrical portions of the project now function as designed.
To avoid problems of this nature, when completing an outdoor landscaping project, always check to make sure the electrical work is completed by an experienced, licensed & insured electrician.