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What is a Weatherproof Outlet?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2016
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The weatherproof outlet is a particular type of electrical outlet that is designed for installation outside the home. Outlets of this kind are often installed on the exterior of homes, garages, or storage buildings. Many public and government buildings also make use of an outdoor outlet for a variety of purposes.

For the most part, outlets designed to be weatherproof bear a strong resemblance to any other type of electrical outlet. What is different is the materials used to create the plates and covers for the device. The metal casting is watertight, making the junction box where the wiring is housed virtually rainproof. The cover is normally high grade metal, allowing the casing to hold up to all types of weather conditions, including constant exposure to sunlight and snow in the winter. Typically, a spring-loaded door covers each plug contained on the outlet unit, making it easy to seal off access to each plug when the outlet is not in use.

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Around the house, a weatherproof outlet is practical for a number of applications. By strategically placing the outlets around the exterior of the house, it is possible to provide access to a power source when using electrical lawn and garden equipment, such as electric hedge clippers. In addition to using the outlets for various types of equipment, these exterior power sources also come in handy when holding an outdoor social event. The outlets can be used to help set up lighting around the patio, yard and driveway, making the environment more inviting for guests. The weatherproof outlet also comes in handy when connecting appliances to prepare food, keep liquids cold, or to power a music system for the event.

A weatherproof outlet is also helpful in a garage or outdoor workshop. Since spaces of this type are normally not heated and cooled with the frequency of the interior of a home, the opportunity for a buildup of moisture is more common. Outlets that are weatherproof will last longer than standard outlets, as the design offers more protection from changing weather conditions. As with the backyard, a weatherproof outlet in a garage ensures that electrical current is available when needed and can be sealed off when the plugs are not in use.

Public and governmental buildings often feature an outdoor outlet in exterior areas where public gatherings may be held. The presence of a weatherproof outlet makes it much easier to set up sound systems for use on a bandstand, a speaker’s podium, or to power audio- visual equipment used in a presentation of some type. The outlets may be mounted on the sides of the building or built into the concrete or marble used as the floor surface in the area.

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