Tips For Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen Structure
Outdoor kitchens are gaining popularity across the country. With an installation cost of as little as $2,000 and as much as $100,000, there are a lot of variables to consider. Before you make the leap and invest in an outdoor kitchen, you should understand exactly what you're getting into. The best place to start is with your local electrician, because he or she can help you understand how that outdoor kitchen will affect your home's electrical circuits. In fact, here are a few of the things that you should consider.
Outlet And Breaker Quality
Since most outdoor kitchens will have some electric appliances, lighting and music features, you'll want to make sure that you have sufficient electricity to meet those demands. In addition to these things, you'll also be powering things like freezer and refrigerator units, ice machines and electric grills. Make sure that all of your electrical panels are outfitted with ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) breakers and power outlets.
These are the same types of outlets that you'll find in your bathroom. They are popular for use in areas where there's a risk of water exposure or power fluctuation. Any water in the circuit or interruption of the power will trigger the circuit to shut down. You can then reset it once the threat is clear. This protects your electrical grid and appliances from shock or overload.
In addition to using the GFCI breakers and outlets, you'll also want to make sure that you have multiple outlets installed in the kitchen area. This reduces the need for extension cords or power strips, which can be trip hazards in a kitchen.
Shopping for outdoor kitchen appliances is a different process from that of indoor appliances. You'll want to be sure that you're choosing appliances designed to stand up to the weather and the demand of an outdoor environment. Any time you're choosing electrical appliances for outdoor use they should be sealed to protect them from moisture.
You'll also want appliances with durable, insulated cords. The power cords will be exposed to the elements, so you need confidence that they won't suffer damage or wear. Opt for appliances designed for indoor/outdoor use whenever possible and discuss the models you're considering with an electrician before you make a final selection. Your electrician can ensure that the appliances you choose are energy efficient and durable enough for your outdoor environment.
Keep Plumbing and Electrical Separate
When you're designing the layout of the kitchen, take time to talk with your plumber and electrician together. This way, you can determine where the electrical lines and pipes will run to keep them apart. Water is a serious threat to your outdoor kitchen's electrical system, so the more proactive you can be about protecting against damage, the better.
In fact, you might even be able to have your electrician use waterproof coverings over all of the electrical cables and wiring that has to be run throughout the kitchen. Anything that can't be run underneath or behind walls can be hidden under waterproof shells that will not only protect the wires, but also reduce trip hazards.
In addition to keeping the electrical and plumbing systems separated, you'll also want to identify any areas that might be vulnerable to pooling water after spills, leaks or rain. Ensure that there is sufficient drainage put in around the entire kitchen to reduce this concern. Multiple large drains installed throughout the area will help keep water from settling. You might also want to think about using permeable pavers for the entire kitchen floor surface. That makes it easier for water to drain away from the surface of the floor, keeping it from settling around electrical cords and outlets.
For help with setting up the electricity for your outdoor kitchen, contact a company like Excel Electric Inc.