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  1. #1
    RobertSmith's Avatar
    RobertSmith Guest

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    Robert - I note these things in my reports, but not as "material defects". Here in PA we have a home inspection law that defines a material defect as a problem with the property that would have a SIGNIFICANT impact on its value or pose an UNREASONABLE risk to people on the property. Reasonable people can debate all day about what constitutes significant and/or unreasonable, but for me, the covers being on the wrong way don't cross the line.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    I would note these items. Michigan currently does not regulate home inspections or home inspectors. It would concern me if the government decided to define everything that a home inspector does. The experience here is that they do not have much knowledge in that area.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    I wish forum users would complete their profiles so we can easily see where they are from. So many issues we discuss differ by region, state, city, etc.
    Plus, astrological signs would be helpful. (Insert inevitable joke about Uranus being in retrograde motion here.)

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSmith View Post
    I often see on older homes horizontal rated outlet cover installed in the vertical position. Likewise, a vertical rated outlet cover installed in the horizontal position.
    I'm scratching my head on what you are describing.

    Those old flip type covers are made to be installed either way.

    The new bubble type covers are designed to 'open upward' and, as such, can be installed on the cover base either way.

    This is because the old flip type covers *are only weatherproof* when closed, regardless which position they are installed in. Once open, they are no longer considered weatherproof. Which is why, if something is plugged in and no one is there attending to its use, the wrong cover is installed (needs the bubble type covers).

    The bubble type covers are considered weatherproof when closed, with or without a cord and plug in them. That's why they need to 'open upward', not 'sideways'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    Robert, are you referring to these?

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    Robert,

    To my knowledge, they are rated for mounting either way.

    Those *are only* weatherproof when closed.

    They are not allowed for anything which is plugged in and left plugged in (plugged in unattended).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    And I believe I'm remembering correctly that they are only permitted in protected areas. Full exposure requires the full face cover with the knockouts so that plugs can be left plugged in all the time and still have full weather exposure protection.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  9. #9
    RobertSmith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    So the defect is that if these covers are in exposed areas, they should be upgraded to the bubble covers?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSmith View Post
    So the defect is that if these covers are in exposed areas, they should be upgraded to the bubble covers?
    Yes, and to define "exposed areas" first we must use the correct terminology - "wet location" versus "damp location".

    From the NEC.

    Location, Damp. Locations protected from weather and not subject to saturation with water or other liquids but subject to moderate degrees of moisture. Examples of such locations include partially protected locations under canopies, marquees, roofed open porches, and like locations, and interior locations subject to moderate degrees of moisture, such as some basements, some barns, and some cold-storage warehouses.

    Location, Wet. Installations under ground or in concrete slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth; in locations subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as vehicle washing areas; and in unprotected locations exposed to weather.

    406.8 Receptacles in Damp or Wet Locations.
    - (A) Damp Locations. A receptacle installed outdoors in a location protected from the weather or in other damp locations shall have an enclosure for the receptacle that is weatherproof when the receptacle is covered (attachment plug cap not inserted and receptacle covers closed).
    An installation suitable for wet locations shall also be considered suitable for damp locations.
    A receptacle shall be considered to be in a location protected from the weather where located under roofed open porches, canopies, marquees, and the like, and will not be subjected to a beating rain or water runoff.
    - (B) Wet Locations.
    - - (1) 15- and 20-Ampere Outdoor Receptacles. 15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt receptacles installed outdoors in a wet location shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof whether or not the attachment plug cap is inserted.
    - - (2) Other Receptacles. All other receptacles installed in a wet location shall comply with (a) or (b):
    - - - (a) A receptacle installed in a wet location where the product intended to be plugged into it is not attended while in use (e.g., sprinkler system controller, landscape lighting, holiday lights, and so forth) shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof with the attachment plug cap inserted or removed.
    - - - (b) A receptacle installed in a wet location where the product intended to be plugged into it will be attended while in use (e.g., portable tools, and so forth) shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof when the attachment plug is removed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Exterior Receptacle Outlet Covers

    And from a perspective of communicating with my Clients, I have found it easier for them to differentiate between damp and wet by using "protected outdoor" and "exposed outdoor" receptacles. When I have to talk to the electrician I use damp locations and wet locations.

    Bottom line, I recommend to them that if it is outside that they use a receptacle that is suitable for full exposure (wet locations). That way, it will be appropriate no matter where it is located and irrespective of if they leave something plugged in or not.

    "An installation suitable for wet locations shall also be considered suitable for damp locations."

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

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