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I really am not a fixer type of gal but this seems like it should be simple enough. Please respond appropriately for someone who has limited knowledge.

I have a hanging outlet in my horse barn. It seems to be properly wired per a contractor friend. All wiring enclosed in conduit, etc. The only problem is, it appears that this outlet box has lost its seal? The front plate is coming off (where the outlets are) of the rest of the box. There are no screws that can be tightened to fix this. The box says on it "For use in wet or damp spaces, use sealing compound to seal."

Okay, but what type of sealing compound? And do I apply it around the edges?

Don't worry, I know to shut off the power to the barn prior to fussing with anything electrical.

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There should be screws holding the outlet to the box and the face plate to the outlet — perhaps something else has broken. The sealing would be for weather-proofing, not mechanical assembly. Also, an outlet box shouldn't be hanging loose — do you just mean it's mounted in an overhead location? If you could post a photo of the outlet, that would be very helpful to understand the situation. –  Kevin Reid Aug 11 '13 at 19:24
    
Kevin -- Thanks for you response. It is hanging from the ceiling and secured to metal conduit and hangs about 11ft. Up above the wash stall so it is an outdoor and wet conditions rated box. They are common in larger stables so I assume they must be safe. This is a new property for us and I'm finding other things I'd like to change so I'm going to call in a professional and likely just replace the box. –  user14488 Aug 12 '13 at 3:15
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A picture of the box would be helpful. –  Tester101 Aug 12 '13 at 11:56
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3 Answers

Silicone caulk works wonders in all kinds of situations. The screws that are missing to hold all parts together can usually be replaced at any Home Depot or electrical supply store for just a few cents per ea. The hanging outlet box I have seen used several times in barns, however if a 2 by 4 can be attached to a ceiling crossbeam and placed perpendicular to those beams it will offer more stability to the box and wiring. It can be installed high-up still rendering it useful and out of the way of any horses but will provide more stability to the whole thing.

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I think I know what kind of outlet you have, but I am vexed trying to find a photo of one online.

It is a thick flexible cord hanging from the ceiling or a joist with a strain relief—like coiled spring-like wire with an outlet box at the end. Maybe the cord has some flexible coils or other means for adapting the height of the outlet above the ground.

To seal this, clear silicone caulk is more than sufficient.

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I agree with the above answers that the box should be secure to a beam or post. The outlet then has two screws that hold it into the box. Finally there is a center screw (or with a GFI type receptacle - one at each end) that holds the cover over the receptacle and sandwiches a soft gasket between the cover and the box. Since this is an installation over a wet area, it must be a GFI (ground fault) receptacle to be safe.

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It's a bit broad to say all outlets in wet locations need to be GFCI. I'm not even clear that it is a wet location. Additionally, because there may be an upstream outlet that is a GFCI outlet, adding a GFCI outlet here is not necessary advisable without more information. –  Keith Hoffman Mar 5 at 6:37
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