Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Proper Cover For In-Service Use on Outdoor Outlet

It seems like we home inspectors spend much of our time posting photos and descriptions of problems. I saw this photo and decided to post a photo of something that is right. While it does not have anything plugged into it, this is an "in-service" cover for an exterior outlet -- a GFCI. Inspectors often see outside appliances or devices, from lights to ponds, plugged into an outlet and an improper cover is in place. This ranges from no cover at all to a cover that swings open at the top and rain, and garden hose water, get down into the outlet. That, of course, is bad. This type of cover is deep enough to allow a couple plugs in it, even when closed, and there are openings at the bottom that allow the cords to come back out the bottom. I have one at my pond and they are amazingly waterproof.


Thanks for peaking,

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA home inspector

Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 







Comment balloon 4 commentsSteven L. Smith • December 30 2007 11:36PM


Good tip! I see non-covered, non GFCI outlets regularly - I'm not an inspector, I'm an investor. This always makes me wonder "what else is wrong?"
Posted by Ken Cook, Content Marketer/Creator (Content, coding, marketing, host.) over 12 years ago
Yes, great point, I see so many shoddy conditions in my line of work, its amazing, sometimes I think I should have been a fire inspector, half of the things I see, I would give them a citation, just another minor disaster waiting to happen, good thing we have folks like you on the look out - Lance.
Posted by Lance Winslow (The Car Wash Guy) over 12 years ago
Thanks for the comments. It is nice to put in something helpful that is not negative once in a while.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 12 years ago
Good point Steve.  However, I will add that the type of cover pictured is a "relatively" new requirement, and the other types of spring-loaded covers have been approved for a long time.  They make a great safety upgrade on older homes----especially in conjunction with making the receptacles GFCI protected.
Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 12 years ago