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in use covers #69167
08/31/06 08:46 PM
08/31/06 08:46 PM
sparkync  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
What kind of "in use covers" do you use for outside receptacles? Lowes did sell one from Carlon I think, that looked pretty decent. It was clear and had sort of a half moon front on it. It really was the best looking that I came up with for a while. The only problem with it was when you were putting it on, the front cover always would drop and get in the way of putting the screws in. I was afraid to try to take it off; afraid it would break. The Intermatic type, I don't like at all. The looks are in my opinion, are "tacky", with all the "tabs" on the sides and tops, and
don't at all look professional, and actually I'm ashamed to put it on a person's house. I found one at Home Depot that looks decent and actually is pretty easy to install, but when you go to tighten the outlets up, I'm afraid the plastic is going to break behind the screw head. I think the name is "Maxi fit" or something like that. I have used the metal ones before from "Red Dot", but some customers want a clear one, and the Red Dot ones seem to be limited of how high you can raise the cover. Has anyone ever used one from Steel City? I have a chart that shows one, the name on the cover says "Perfect-Line" but I can't find it on the Raco site or any other search I've tried so far. I don't have any distributors that supplies them as far as I know. Surely I'm not the only one that sees the need for a good quality "in use cover". You'd think the manufactures could come up with something that looks good and works good. Thanks for the input. Steve...

[This message has been edited by sparkync (edited 08-31-2006).]

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Re: in use covers #69168
08/31/06 09:28 PM
08/31/06 09:28 PM
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,035
Brick, NJ USA
Basically, it's Intermatic, or whatever the supply house has.

The Red Dot Alum ones are nice, we use them on comm sites, they last longer.

"Perfect Line" used to be around here quite a while back, Haven't seen it in a long time.

On new work (resi), Arlington has the 'recessed' in-use device that looks clean. There are probably other mfg with a similar item


Re: in use covers #69169
08/31/06 09:29 PM
08/31/06 09:29 PM
NJwirenut  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Bergen County, NJ
The "Code Keeper" covers from Red Dot are the only ones I have seen that hold up for more than a few months of use.

Big, ugly cast aluminum things...

Re: in use covers #69170
08/31/06 09:32 PM
08/31/06 09:32 PM
HCE727  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 186
Delaware County, PA, USA
I liked the Carlons, I went to Lowes the other day and saw that they discontinued them.

Re: in use covers #69171
08/31/06 09:44 PM
08/31/06 09:44 PM
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,298
I have even seen the code keepers snapped off. I agree the Arlington looks pretty nice if you can do it. I saw another pretty one in ECM magazine this month. I guess "butt ugly" is falling out of style.

Greg Fretwell
Re: in use covers #69172
08/31/06 09:46 PM
08/31/06 09:46 PM
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,298
BYW how do you keep the paper wasps out?
I have a half dozen around here and they are always a wasp airport when I want to use them.

Greg Fretwell
Re: in use covers #69173
09/01/06 12:21 PM
09/01/06 12:21 PM
mhulbert  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 132
Anaheim, CA USA
My concern with thte Arlington "built in" covers is what happens when they get damaged??? These things are built into the wall, behind siding or stucco, and made out of what looks like thin plastic. If the lid gets snapped off and damages the housing in the proccess, what are you supposed to do? Cut out the stucco? Re-side half the house? 99% of the time it will go unfixed due to the highe price of the wall repair, so now we have an open outlet in the outdoors. I wish somebody would make a really nice built-in unit, that can withstand the punishment of the outdoors, and can be easily fixed if needed.


Re: in use covers #69174
09/01/06 05:14 PM
09/01/06 05:14 PM
luckyshadow  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 315
Maryland USA
Arlington covers can be replaced.
Their recessed boxes are by far the best looking, code compliant installation.

[This message has been edited by luckyshadow (edited 09-01-2006).]

Re: in use covers #69175
09/02/06 08:16 PM
09/02/06 08:16 PM
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
I agree with Mike the arlingtons are nice but the covers are cheap plastic and after a year in the sun the will snap off and then what. I have been using intermatic just the same and cut off all those exta thingy's. I wish we could get a good cover as well.

Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.
Re: in use covers #69176
09/05/06 11:06 AM
09/05/06 11:06 AM
Almost Fried  Offline
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 98
Madison County, Ark. USA
I recently had the opportunity to install several in use covers mfg. by Cooper. the big difference these covers made was the universal hinge design which allows you to (a.) remove the lid while you install the thing, (b.) reposition the hinges for vertical or horiz. mounting. They seem to be moulded of Lexan, so they should hold up for a while.
SparkyNC: it is really not made clear in the instructions but if you use the device to clamp the cover frame to the mtg. surface/Bell box you will be frustrated less. That way the included cover plates fit snug and all is secure. I had to fumble & fiddle with a bunch of these to figger it out. I just love these items designed by some engineer or "product designer" with no callouses, absolutely zero time in the trade and mfg. in China, complete with chinese printing and proofreading of the bilingual installation instructions. A case in point is the "new" Hubbell ground fault receptacles, of course, made in China. The old ones made in Conn. and Mexico were of the usual Hubbell quality, while these new devices have tinny, flaky wire clamps that require a deft wrist and carefully cut wire ends, and even thinner mounting yokes. There are more and more products we are forced to use that are designed to be only strong enough to withstand installation, period. If you should be so unfortunate to have to, say, replace the light bulb, you are on your own...


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