Defect or not?

Probably has GFCI protection via the garage.

Those weather covers were ok until 2002 right?

Yeah, I guess there isn’t much that can be done, but I can see someone easily tripping going in or out that doorway.

Not sure. I just say it doesn’t meet today’s standards and they can upgrade if they want.

The in-use cover requirement for wet location receptacles first appeared in the 2002 NEC.

Here’s the 2008 wording:

When writing this up do you also mention that under the 2008 NEC that all wet location GFCI receptacles must be weather resistant and tamper resistant too? Just wondering how far you go with making recommendations to bring things up to the current code.

I sincerely almost never see those plug covers even on new construction and wonder what percentage even write them up.
May be a good poll to have.

I see them all the time and hate them. You have to get on your hands an knees to figure out how to get it open without breaking the Chinese plastic.

Around here they are getting plugged in to while full of snow from the plugs anyway so one wonders how badly they are really needed as long as they are GFCI.

I’m modifying my report templates to address the use of tamper resistant outlets in all homes. It’s a documented life safety issue.

I attended some ICC electrical training last week taught by a guy on the ICC rule making committee (the ICC writes the IRC, IBC, etc.). He said that the request for tamper resistant outlets was presented by the CPSC. He said that the evidence for the need to do something was “overwhelming” as there was a documented “body count” of children that have been injured or killed by the old style outlets (890 deaths in 1984 alone). (Interesting that despite the overwhelming need for this simple, inexpensive, life-saving device, home builder’s associations fought it.)

Children watch their parents stick house keys into the door and want to emulate that. They end up getting injured or killed.

Read this.

This from your State Farm Link…
Plastic outlet protectors
Most of us are familiar with plastic outlet protectors. The prongs fit directly into the outlet holes, preventing the insertion of foreign objects. But many parents say they feel a little uneasy about the effectiveness of these devices. A study of 37 children conducted in 1997 by the Biokinetics Research Laboratory of Temple University seems to confirm their reservations:
47 percent of 4-year-olds and 31 percent of 2-year-olds could remove protectors with a round, flat face and two prongs
47 percent of 4-year-olds and 18 percent of 2-year-olds could remove protectors with a 3/16-inch thick oval face and a tapered side
100 percent of 2- and 4-year-olds could remove protectors with a 1/16-inch thick oval face and a flat side

I may see nothing worng with the receptacle depending on the age of the home and whether or not the receptacle is GFCI protected from elsewhere (upstream or breaker).

Then why have a cover at all?

Question: What might happen if water enters the junction box?

A lot of smart people developed today’s building code. Apparently they decided a GFCI alone would not suffice.

When it comes to safety and electrical issues, the house age has no bearing on me.

Joe, I agree that safety can never be overlooked, especially that of the electrical kind, but I think recommending the GFCI and protective cover as a “safety upgrade” is as far as I will go. I’m not sure if you’re saying it, but I don’t think it is appropriate to say it has to be changed, because that implies the seller should do it, which may not be required by the municipality.

Actually, they are Paul.

They are required in the 2004 CEC, which took effect in July of 2005.

If there is a patio cover above that receptacle, the current cover is acceptable.

Many inspectors are under the mistaken assumption that your report is a repair list for the seller. Not so! If the agents use it that way, that’s not your fault. Nobody has to make any repair or perform any upgrade you recommend. You’re not doing a code inspection so the date a code came into effect should have little bearing on your report.

Do you try to determine when stairs were required to have lights and a switch at the top and bottom??? I certainly don’t and it isn’t a factor in whether or not I report it.

I think we may be saying the same thing. I do a lot of older homes which do not meet many of today’s safety standards, such as lighting in stairwells and 3 way switching, etc. I report them as recommended safety upgrades.

You are right that many people, especially RE agents think a report is a punch list for the seller, which it is not. I do have a question about things like this when including them in the report, and I think there may even be a thread about it somewhere: Do you include these safety hazards in the Summary section of your report?

Yes. Everything I consider a safety issue and all electrical issues go in the Summary. Now, if I KNOW the date when something became required (such as GFCI issues), I include that detail in my narrative.

I don’t disagree, in general, but the question was ‘is this a defect’? I think the answer to that question may depend on when the home was originally constructed because otherwise we would have to list everything required to bring the system up to today’s requirements. Recommending that the installation be improved is another matter.

Point well taken.