How to Make a Weatherproof Electrical Box

Written by jonra springs
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How to Make a Weatherproof Electrical Box
Outdoor outlet cover plates help to keep weather from disturbing electrical boxes. (outlet image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)

Electrical boxes that are mounted outside commonly house outdoor electrical sockets. These outlets are subject to taking in moisture from rain, snow, humidity and dew. The wires and terminals inside an electrical box should not be dampened by exposure, and the contacts for electrical sockets should be dry when a plug is inserted and electricity begins to flow to an appliance. Electrical box covers are made to keep out moisture and shelter plugs from precipitation during use.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicone tube
  • Utility knife
  • Foam rubber outlet gasket
  • Weatherproof cover plate
  • Weatherproof plug cover

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off the power going to the outdoor electrical box you plan to make weatherproof by shutting off the breaker switch. Leave a lock, or a warning label on the breaker box to keep anyone from turning the power on while you work.

  2. 2

    Remove the screw or screws holding the cover plate on the electrical box with a slotted screwdriver. Take off the cover plate.

  3. 3

    Place a tube of silicone into a caulking gun and cut the tip off the dispenser spout at a 45 degree angle with a utility knife. Turn the handle on the back of the caulking gun to one side and push the ratchet plunger into the back end of the tube. Turn the handle downward and depress the ratchet trigger until silicone begins to come out of the tip.

  4. 4

    Spread silicone around the perimeter of the electrical box so that it fills any gap between the box and the wall. Keeping moisture from entering between the wall and the box helps to make a weatherproof electrical box.

  5. 5

    Put a weather resistant foam rubber outlet gasket over the opening of the electrical box. Line up the holes in the gasket to allow the outlet sockets to show through.

  6. 6

    Put a weatherproof cover plate on over the outside of the electrical box. Use a weatherproof outlet shield that covers the outlet and any plugs inserted, or use a weatherproof outlet cover that shields the outlets from moisture with spring-loaded caps that have an outer ring of sponge rubber covering the individual sockets.

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