Reno- I guess I agree with your answer but I think this would be worthy of a code change. The wording does say receptacle and an inlet is not a receptacle but the same concerns are there as to water and shock hazard IMHO. If I were installing this at my own home I wold use an inuse cover. As an Inspector I'd have to approve it without an inuse cover.
George, the reason I speculate that inlets wold pass a rain test is because they tend to be set back from the face; that is, the plug is virtually 'inside' the wall ... sort of like what Arlington tries to do with it's "In Box." I speculate that adding a bubble cover might not inprove wet weather performance one bit.
Of point: Didn't the mention of 'inlet' and 'generator' in the same post scare you? I know - based on some real hack work - the idea scares me!
IMHO in use covers are a great idea that got negated by the realities of manufacturing and hitting a price point. They are not really that effective. Most I see that are actually used very often are either inproperly closed, incapable of being closed over the big plug caps on commercial cords or simply broken off. I have in use covers on receptacles where I leave things plugged in all the time like my boat lift but I don't have them on receptacles that will be "attended" use. The old code actually had it right in my opinion. The snap cover does a whole lot better job in keeping water out of a receptacle when it is not in use. They are also not the natural home for wasps that an in use cover is. The fact remains that outside electrical connections are "wet locations" and that crumby little cover does not change that.
Greg I can't disagree with any of that, the thought was good, the execution has been poor.
One exception in my mind are the recessed type like Reno mentioned.
I have taken time to order more expensive Crouse Hinds die cast in use covers, sometimes the biggest they made and they still would not close on the heavy duty cords that where needed at that location.
Given time maybe they will get it better, but I would not hold my breath waiting for 'Bee resistant' covers....I don't think the CMP cares much about bees.
Bob Badger Construction & Maintenance Electrician Massachusetts
When equipment 1s teated for use in "wet" locations, a 'rain test' is performed.
While there are several such industry-wide tests, they differ in detail and language only, and effect essentially the same conditions.
Water enters a pan. In the pan are holes. Into the holes are placed nails. This results in the water forming drops, that fall with the force of gravity. A fan is used to angle the 'rain' approximately 15 degrees from the vertical. The samples are tested ... exposed to the 'rain' for the required time .... then opened up, and checked for 'excessive' water entry. Depending upon the equipment, actual operation may not be required.
Because of this "15 degree" rain, nearly anything set back at all, or angled down in the slightest, is almost a slam-dunk to pass the test.
This is not to be confused with other tests that may employ hoses, or greater angles.
I guess that is a reasonable test if the wind never blows while it is raining. My experience is, that is not always true. I thought that might only be a Florida problem but I got caught in a little squall in South Dakota a couple weeks ago that was as nasty as our storms, (wind and water) just no lightning to speak of. To the semi-trained eye I would say it was gusting 50 or so, dropped a half inch of rain in about 15 minutes and pea sized hail.