Every car owner knows the dreaded feeling of a car that won’t start. Whether you’re on your way to work or to pick up your kid from school, there’s never a good time for the engine to fail. This occurrence is all too common in the winter, especially in Winnipeg.

By using an electrical outlet in a parking lot, you can ensure that your block heater has the power it needs to keep the engine warm. Even when it’s below freezing, your car will be ready to start up.

But setting up an electrical panel in a parking lot can be tricky. Here’s what you need to know as a building owner:


What is a Block Heater?

During the summer months, we try to forget about Winnipeg’s cold winters. But the plugs we see in parking lots are a reminder of it. These outlets allow automobile owners to plug their cars in while they’re at work, home, or running errands. Power is drawn to charge the vehicle’s block heater, which warms up your car’s engine and oil to make starting it up easier. In plunging winter temperatures, this feature is practically essential for any car.


Using a Plug at a Parking Lot

Your block heater won’t be of much use to you if the battery is dead. Luckily, you can charge it the same way as your phone or laptop—by using an electrical plug. Throughout Winnipeg, you’ll find charging ports in public parking lots. 

Anytime the temperature drops below -15° C, consider plugging in your block heater at the parking lot. We suggest charging it for no longer than three hours—any more time will waste electricity.


Why You Shouldn’t Use a Damaged Extension Cord

Do an online search for “extension cords to charge a car”, and you’ll find warnings from manufacturers, technicians, and automobile specialists. If your extension cord isn’t suited for a parking lot plug, this is a dangerous and ill-advised practice. Two-pronged extension cords aren’t designed to handle the electrical current required to charge a block heater. This puts them at risk of overheating.

Overloading a socket poses a danger to anyone nearby. For the safety of your car and other residents, discard any damaged or frayed extension cords.


Do I Pay to Use Electricity in a Parking Lot?

The answer will depend on the location of the electrical breaker. If you’re charging your car at work, it’s unlikely that your boss will make you pay for the electricity you use. But if you live in an apartment complex, the answer might be different. In most cases, the owner of the building pays for the electricity that’s used in the parking lot.


Installing Parking Lot Plugs

As a property owner, you recognize the importance of providing parking lot plugs to your staff or tenants. Is this the type of task that you can do yourself?

DIY electrical work is almost always a bad idea unless you have the proper training and licencing for it. If not, it’s best to leave this job to the professionals. Doing so ensures that your parking lot will be safe and up to code.

You can trust the professional technicians at Powertec Electric. We offer premium Winnipeg electrical services with a focus on knowledge, safety, and customer service. Contact us today to schedule your installation of a parking lot panel and plugs.