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Which exterior outlet cover is required by NEC?
There are two types of outlet covers used on external outlets. The first type is for damp locations that covers the outlet when it’s not in use:
And the second type is for wet locations that allow the outlet to be sealed while in use:
Wet in-use cover
How is wet vs damp defined by NEC to differentiate when one cover is required over another?
NEC 406.8 Receptacles in Damp or Wet 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).”. And “receptacles installed in a wet location shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof whether or not the attachment plug cap is inserted.”
406.8 Receptacles in Damp or Wet Locations.
(A) 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. All 15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt nonlocking receptacles shall be a listed weather-resistant type.
Article 100 Definitions
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 coldstorage warehouses.
Location, Dry. A location not normally subject to dampness or wetness. A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction.
Location, Wet. Installations underground 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 electrical exterior.