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outdoor outlet
Old 04-20-2017, 02:47 PM   #1
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outdoor outlet

The builder put two plastic covered electrical outlets boxes.

The problem is that all the outdoor extension cords I have cause the box cover to not latch in place which defeats the purpose of the plastic boxes.

What do I do?

The box I want to use is by the front door.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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The outlet itself should be a GFI outlet, so if it gets wet it may trip and kill the power. Those big plastic covers must be code now as our electrician put one on the switch to an outside light, they are UGLY. I think you'll be fine without it shutting completely, I've never had one trip from rain landing on it.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:11 PM   #3
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There is usually a cutout at the bottom, that you can cut out a spot with wire cutters, so that the box can be closed and the cord still passes thru. I'm not home now, or I'd take a pic and post it. But you should be able to find it easily enough. Contractors never seem to cut them out for you, but it isn't hard to do. It looks like just an indentation in the clear plastic portion of the box, the part that closes. Just nip out that indentation and you are good to go.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:16 PM   #4
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You should be able to find a replacement cover at the local big box hardware store that will let you close it while running the extension cord out through a cutout in the bottom. Pretty common, really. I've done a number of them.

Depending on how thick and stiff your extension cord is, you may have to put a good crimp in it to get it to bend enough to feed out the bottom cutout, but I've always been able to do that.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:26 PM   #5
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Attached is a photo of what the covered box looks like.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20170420_171652954.jpg (331.0 KB, 46 views)
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
There is usually a cutout at the bottom, that you can cut out a spot with wire cutters, so that the box can be closed and the cord still passes thru. I'm not home now, or I'd take a pic and post it. But you should be able to find it easily enough. Contractors never seem to cut them out for you, but it isn't hard to do. It looks like just an indentation in the clear plastic portion of the box, the part that closes. Just nip out that indentation and you are good to go.
I never thought of that, an excellent solution. A fine bladed coping saw would do it too. To think I thought I knew it all, I guess that was only when I was a teenager.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:58 PM   #7
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Attached is a photo of what the covered box looks like.


The receptacle needs to be flipped and then the cord will lead to the cutout that is built into the cover. Or you can cut another hole in the bottom at the other side.

Personally, I'd flip the receptacle.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nativenewenglander View Post
The outlet itself should be a GFI outlet, so if it gets wet it may trip and kill the power. Those big plastic covers must be code now as our electrician put one on the switch to an outside light, they are UGLY. I think you'll be fine without it shutting completely, I've never had one trip from rain landing on it.
+1

To the stickler in me, this is suboptimal, but to be honest, I have two such outlets ( front and back), and have yet to have a problem after 26 years of use.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:15 PM   #9
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The receptacle needs to be flipped and then the cord will lead to the cutout that is built into the cover. Or you can cut another hole in the bottom at the other side.

Personally, I'd flip the receptacle.
The receptacle? You mean the two electrical outlets?
If so, I would need to remove the plastic box which I don't know how to do. There are no screws holding it to the siding.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:22 PM   #10
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The receptacle needs to be flipped and then the cord will lead to the cutout that is built into the cover. Or you can cut another hole in the bottom at the other side.

Personally, I'd flip the receptacle.
+1

If this a new home you just moved into, I would call the builder and complain. It is not a difficult modification to make on your own, but D@MN, if an electrician can't install the cover right, what else did they miss?
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:56 PM   #11
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Looking at the photo, I see what appears to be a bendable tab to the left of the receptacle/outlet. I'd hazard a guess that access to the outlet, and possibly screws securing the box, are behind that plate.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
There is usually a cutout at the bottom, that you can cut out a spot with wire cutters, so that the box can be closed and the cord still passes thru. I'm not home now, or I'd take a pic and post it. But you should be able to find it easily enough. Contractors never seem to cut them out for you, but it isn't hard to do. It looks like just an indentation in the clear plastic portion of the box, the part that closes. Just nip out that indentation and you are good to go.
+1..mine were notched and I just knocked out with wire cutters. Box doesn't close completely but more than if I hadn't taken out the piece.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:28 PM   #13
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The receptacle? You mean the two electrical outlets?
If so, I would need to remove the plastic box which I don't know how to do. There are no screws holding it to the siding.
Yes the plastic box most likely has to be removed first. Then the receptacle cover. Under that, the receptacle (the 2 outlets) has screws at the 2 red circles (under the cover in this photo) that mount the receptacle to the electrical box. Those need to be unscrewed, the receptacle rotated 180 and screwed back to the electrical box. Do this with the power off.

I would call the builder back and have him fix this. This is a rookie mistake.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:43 PM   #14
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Yes the plastic box most likely has to be removed first. Then the receptacle cover. Under that, the receptacle (the 2 outlets) has screws at the 2 red circles (under the cover in this photo) that mount the receptacle to the electrical box. Those need to be unscrewed, the receptacle rotated 180 and screwed back to the electrical box. Do this with the power off.

I would call the builder back and have him fix this. This is a rookie mistake.
Unfortunately, this house is a 5-year old.

I am not sure how to remove the plastic box. Am afraid of breaking it. I will take a closer look at again tomorrow.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:44 PM   #15
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Looking at the photo, I see what appears to be a bendable tab to the left of the receptacle/outlet. I'd hazard a guess that access to the outlet, and possibly screws securing the box, are behind that plate.
I will take a closer look at that tab and see what is behind it.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:51 PM   #16
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Unfortunately, this house is a 5-year old.

I am not sure how to remove the plastic box. Am afraid of breaking it. I will take a closer look at again tomorrow.
This tab looks suspicious. Maybe the receptacle cover snaps on the plastic box using the tab, and the screws holding the plastic box are behind the cover
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:52 PM   #17
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This is not quite the same fixture, but at the end, he cuts out the openings for the cord (at the bottom of the cover).

https://youtu.be/plPzdu99rp4
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:52 PM   #18
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the tab in circled here:
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:46 PM   #19
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the tab in circled here:
That plastic cover around the receptacle likely bends just a bit to get the tab in the circle out of the slot. Then you can slide the plastic cover to the right a bit to remove it. Make sure you have the circuit breaker turned off and test the outlet with a lamp or something to make sure there is no electricity. If worse comes to worse, you can buy another cover at Home Depot for about $10 bucks but you should not have any problem. By the way, the latest code I believe requires a weatherproof GFCI outlet. If you want to be safest, that would be the way to go, but they are around $25. (Your GFCI might be on another outside outlet.)

How do I know all this stuff? You find a whole lot of stuff out when you build a house!
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:11 PM   #20
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I'm sure there is a GFI installed in the circuit. That outlet doesn't have to have a GFI but it has to be protected by a GFI up stream/or before that outlet. That is code.
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