Install a New Outdoor Outlet Cover for Electrical Safety

10 Minutes
If you're like us, the electrical receptacle on the front of our house gets serious use around the holidays. When I put lights for Halloween, I realized that the outlet was open to the elements. It hadn't been an issue for years, since it was previously covered by an ugly overhang / tunnel / thing that I'd torn down. Now it's open to the rain. (Yes, it rains in Arizona, occasionally)
New homes require "In Use" covers, but our ol' 1979 tract home didn't. It just had these flip covers that leave the thing open to the elements.
Electrcal tape isn't really the solution
It's an easy job. The cover pops off with two, face mounted screws. Peel off the foam gasket behind it as well.
Shorts in November!!!
I used a heavy duty grade cover. This particular model comes with the foam gasket permanently adhered to the back. Pry out the appropriate knock-out, for a vertical or horizontal install so that an extension cord will enter through the bottom of the cover.
If you are putting the box over a device other than a rectangular GFCI receptacle like I did, most of these covers come with snap-in adapters.
The cover screws on using the same screw holes on the device yolk that the old flip cover used. The hinged cover snaps on easily. I chose one that featured a steel hinge pin for extra toughness and an additional "wasp-guard" gasket for the cord entry port.
Installing the hinge pin
That's it. Just plug in a cord...
... and close the cover.
This is a super easy project that can help bring your house up to modern code. Check out the blog post for more tips and details, including "AZ DIY Guy's Scary Electrical Warning" and the unique challenge I faced trying to fit this slightly larger cover next to that vertical batten (?) board.

John @ AZ DIY Guy
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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