ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
ShoutChat Box
Recent Posts
Questioning the electrical norms
by HotLine1 - 03/04/21 12:35 PM
Lock-down Thread
by gfretwell - 03/03/21 12:38 PM
Northern Tool Recalls Powerhorse Generators
by Admin - 02/25/21 09:49 PM
You will never guess
by gfretwell - 02/25/21 07:48 PM
New in the Gallery:
Facebook follies, bad wiring
FPE in Germany pt.2
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 14 guests, and 19 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Outdoor Receptacle Problems #174619 02/09/08 08:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
[Linked Image]

I post this pic here, not because of the violations ... but because of some other issues, that might very well make complying with the code an impossibility.

This little gem controls the yard irrigation. I can imagine how the receptacle came to be mounted where it is ... opposite a receptacle inside the house. Placing it on the drive, up high like this, also ensures that it doesn't get hosed by the sprinklers. Some good points there.

Yet ... let's imagine that one were to make this receptacle code compliant. First off, the mandatory 'bubble' cover will stick out of the wall much further ... presenting additional hazards.
Nor will you find a cover with enough room to accept the 'wall wart' transformer.

While I did not examine this controller for a UL listing, I would not be surprised if it were UL listed. It would also likely pass the NEMA 'rain test.' Perhaps an oversight on UL's part, but there is no UL requirement that the transformer fit in a bubble cover ... or that bubble covers be large enough to accept them!
Nor do any of the codes, or standards, address the additional trim / impact hazard presented by large bubble covers.

The house is also wired in knob & tube ... which brings up two additional details.
First of all, despite the three prong receptacle, there is no ground. Put in a GFI? Sure, except for one thing ....
The older boxes, with their smaller dimensions, do not have room for a GFCI. You can -maybe- force one into the box, but the depth is limited ... and filled with soldered splices.

Tear it down? Rewire? Sure, the homeowner would agree to that ... just remember - that's asbestos cement siding you're looking at.

It seems that sometimes you just can't win!

Tools for Electricians:
Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: renosteinke] #174621 02/09/08 09:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
LarryC Offline
Are you SURE it is listed for outside mounting? In my very limited exposure to sprinkler controllers, most of them have been installed inside garages or other sheltered environments.

Is the bottom of the enclosure threaded to accept cord grips or conduit fittings?

Larry C

Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: LarryC] #174622 02/09/08 09:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Theelectrikid Offline
Originally Posted by renosteinke
Tear it down? Rewire? Sure, the homeowner would agree to that ... just remember - that's asbestos cement siding you're looking at.

It seems that sometimes you just can't win!

Tell the HO they have to call a vinyl contractor when you're done. laugh

I'd go inside and, HO permitting, cut the drywall/plaster and lath out of that area to cut the box off the stud, then push it out and go new in the hole (that is if the new box fit the hole.)

Hmm, then you gotta call the plasterer and the EPA...

None of this solves the problem of the not-big-enough-for-the-wall-wart problem though.

Ian A.

Last edited by Theelectrikid; 02/09/08 09:21 PM. Reason: Last bit

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: LarryC] #174630 02/10/08 12:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
I speculate as to the listing, and the location.
A large part of my speculation is based upon my knowledge of testing methods ... and the fact that everything after the transformer is low voltage.

The underside of the unit has a knockout that can be used to attach conduit. The same firm makes units for hard-wiring (no wall wart); I assume they just used the same case on both products.
FWIW, I find these "Virtual Rain (IIRC)" controllers to be both cheaper than, and superior to, the better known "Rain Bird" brand.

Locating a receptacle in a passageway - as this one is - is always problematic.

Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: renosteinke] #174646 02/10/08 11:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 38
venture Offline
Question, how do you feel about boxing it in? It would only need to be deep enough to cover the wall wart and the only desterbance to the siding would be some screws. Your thoughts. Rod

Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: venture] #174648 02/10/08 11:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
Probably the best solution there ... make a little 'dog house' over it, open at the bottom, with a front you can flip open.

The result? Inside the box it would be a 'damp' location ... and depth would be as minimal as possible.

Guess I didn't think of that, as I'm no carpenter. When all you have is a pair of strippers, all your problems look like wires laugh

Last edited by renosteinke; 02/10/08 11:36 AM.
Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: renosteinke] #174657 02/10/08 07:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 202
32VAC Offline
Mount the transformer in the roofspace or into the interior of the home (if allowed), extend the wires for the 24 volt supply from the wallwart to the controller-is this an option?

Another option: mount the unit in the laundry of the house, covers all the waterproofing problems and easy to find a supply.

Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: 32VAC] #174658 02/10/08 07:36 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 247
techie Offline
Don't rule out the bubble cover just yet.. It might fit, depending on the size of the wall wart.

I have used bubble covers with wall warts before, in places where I needed the wall wart to remain plugged in.

For instance, I used one in the bottom of a podium. A bit of hard foam to fill the space between the wall wart and the cover serves to keep the wall wart from falling out as the podium is moved, and the cover prevents people from trying the use the outlet, as opposed to the other outlets provided. I might have used a single receptacle in that example. It was a smaller wall wart for a Littelite.

Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: techie] #174661 02/10/08 08:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 908
NORCAL Offline
Only solution is, use the proper sprinkler controller w/ a outdoor enclosure* or move it indoors like it should be.No need to use duct tape and silly putty fixes.

* There is housings made to mount controller in even has a receptacle installed in it,cant say if it has a UL or other label on it...

Re: Outdoor Receptacle Problems [Re: NORCAL] #174670 02/11/08 10:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,287
electure Offline

Page 1 of 2 1 2


2020 National Electrical Code
2020 National Electrical
Code (NEC)

* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Sebago, ME, USA
Posts: 109
Joined: January 2005
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Popular Topics(Views)
275,641 Are you busy
209,564 Re: Forum
196,916 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3