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The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires for all new construction and replacement outdoor outlet covers to be weatherproof in use covers. These covers are also called “bubble type” and are required to be installed to all receptacles in outdoor or wet locations while the outlet is in use. Electrical codes vary depending on your location so be sure to check with a certified electrician when installing a new in use cover. Check out our blog for more information on the National Electrical Code Updates.
Metal In use covers are used when EMT (electrical metallic tubing) conduit is used and must be grounded. Plastic In use covers are typically used with NM-B (nonmetallic sheathed cable) and are found primarily in Residential applications that are attached by cable connectors. Be sure to ask your local certified electrician about your state's local codes that regulate where each type of in-use covers are required.
NEC Codes commonly state that all outdoor electrical outlets must be safeguarded against weather from areas that are damp locations. A bubble type in use cover protects the electrical outlet while it is both in use and not in use. Bubble type in use covers allow the face of the cover to close completely while a plug is inserted into the socket.
A standard duplex receptacle is a power outlet or electrical outlet that features two sockets on each receptacle. In this case a duplex receptacle would have four electrical sockets underneath the in-use cover. This is important when selecting the correct in use cover for your electrical outlets so that each socket is covered while in use and adheres to local NEC Codes.