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Yesterday I had a fuse blow 3 times and I eventually tracked it down to an outdoor outlet that wasn't so watertight. The outlet had an outdoor cover on it but after opening it it was obvious that moisture and debris had been getting into the box. The outlet in the box also seems to have shorted inside and was actually rusted (may have been 40yrs old).

I bought another cover plate, but I really don't think a new cover plate with the foam insulator is sufficient. It seems like a regular INDOOR box that's been embedded into a brick wall. The electrical outlet is installed on the top of the box with the screws going into holes on the outside. I'd like to know how to properly close up this box.

Here are some pictures:

front of outlet left side of outlet right side of outlet

The circuit is also not GFCI protected so I'll add one to an outlet inside on the same circuit.

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    Likely a "WP Extension Ring" (Google that for picture) and a tube of silicone will get you started. Silicone the top and sides, leaving the bottom edge unsealed so that anywater that makes it in can drain right out. – Tyson Oct 28 '16 at 12:39
  • @Tyson - I'm not find anything... Could you provide a link? I'm just finding extension rings that go on existing waterproof boxes (boxes where the mounting screws for the outlet are inside the box). – Tim Tisdall Oct 28 '16 at 12:48
  • It will take a little human element adapting and securing, but I think it will help you fix a difficult situation. – Tyson Oct 28 '16 at 12:50
  • @Tyson - I'm not sure if that will work as the long holes on the sides would need to be used to mount to the box and also the outlet at the same time. – Tim Tisdall Oct 28 '16 at 13:10
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Generally, it's a matter of providing a flat, smooth surface to apply any outlet cover to. This is a masonry/carpentry question, and not an electrical one.

Your photos are so close I can't see the design context, but I'd fit a block of cedar or vinyl around the box. Shape it as needed on the back side to fit fairly well, then caulk and fasten it to the brick using a non-shrinking urethane or pure silicone.

Extend the box to flush with the new surface, and mount a modern weather-resistant cover.

On a related note, you can probably salvage the mount screw tabs by drilling out the broken-off screws with a very small bit. It's tricking to keep centered, but it can be done.

  • So, then would the electrical outlet be screwed into the cedar/vinyl block? (I guess if the block isn't too deep the screws can reach through the block and into the tabs on the box) Am I understanding that correctly? – Tim Tisdall Oct 28 '16 at 13:56
  • One or the other. Depends on what you buy. – isherwood Oct 28 '16 at 14:21
  • Wouldn't there be an issue with cedar getting wet? – Tim Tisdall Oct 28 '16 at 17:29
  • Houses by the millions are sided with cedar, including my own. It's a naturally rot-resistant species. Of course, you'd seal the wood with a penetrating stain. Or use vinyl. – isherwood Oct 28 '16 at 19:02

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