I just disassembled a weatherproof box with a bubble cover over a switch.
After only a year of service I found the interior of the box to be showing
signs of rust. I called the supplier who said that the thin gaskets didn't
hold up well (between the switch and the cover). He also said that the
gaskets come with the bubble cover and that I would have to buy another
cover to get another gasket. What the heck! Is that true? There has got
to be a better mousetrap - er, gasket - out there.
That is why they call everything installed outside a wet location. In
a practical sense you really can't keep the water out. In fact the
2008 NEC will require that devices installed outdoors will be required
to be corrosion resistant. They know they will be wet sooner or later.
Usually electricians drill holes in the bottom of boxes installed
outside to let the water out. It is also a good idea to point the
wirenuts up in the box so they won't fill up with water. That keeps
your GFCIs from tripping as much when you get a blowing rain.
This will be a new device as far as I can tell. It is certainly a new
listing category. It is not unlike the current thinking at NFPA to
mandate a device that does not exist. They mandated AFCI device types
that didn't exist at the time. Some still don't.
Am I the only person who's worried by this? I see this possibly
becoming a situation like with CAFE or NHTSA's passive restraint
requirements where immature technologies and/or requirements that are
unfeasible or contrary to market forces are mandated and all sorts of
problems and unintended consequences occur. Corrosion resistant wiring
devices should be easy to accomplish but I wonder about AFCI's.
Hopefully they will prove to be useful and not just an extra-cost item
that ends up causing problems for homeowners.
Unless the coordinating committee changes it, all 15 and 20 circuits
in a dwelling will be required to be AFCI of "the combination type"
(upstream plus downstream arc) in 2008. That device did not exist when
the rule was accepted and I am still not sure someone actually has a
working one. They are performing "beta testing" in the customer's home
at the customer's expense. Square D had a massive recal on their AFCIs
and I doubt half of them will ever actually get replaced.
Corrosion resistant devices have existed for many years, and are normally
used in marine applications, or other corrosive environments.
(My 1988 Bryant catalog has an entire section of corrosion resistant
The contacts are nickel plated, and the devices are normally yellow in
Of course, they don't make GFCI devices in corrosion resistant versions.
-- Welcome My Son, Welcome To The Machine --
Bob Vaughan | techie @ tantivy.net |
I wouldn't! or at least, would only around the top and sides, not
Previous owners did around the whole box. The devices (switches,
outlets, etc) breath and condensation forms. The box will fill up until
water comes running out the device. And I live in a dry desert...
Wanted: Omnibook 800 & accessories, cheap, working or not
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