Outdoor electrical installations require electrical boxes must be designed to shield against moisture, driving rain, wind, snow, sleet, and ice. At the same time they must possess the right performance specs to suit the electrical application. Water damage and corrosion in electrical panels are commons causes of electrical system failures. Once moisture enters an electrical box, it can start the process or corrosion to copper wiring, and the contacts for power electronics such as circuit breakers, contactors, and relays.
When metal boxes are used for outdoor applications, it only takes a small amount of water infiltration to start the process of corrosion and rust. Rust weakens the metal, leaving cracks and crevices that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Any number of scenarios can follow – a system failure, a short-circuit, overheated wires, an electrical fire, or an electrical shock that could result in burns or death.
What is a waterproof electrical box?
Anytime electrical components are mounted and/or wired outdoors, they are considered exposed to the elements. The electrical components contained within must be protected above and beyond typical local and industry codes. You can choose a watertight electrical box according to IP or International Protection Ratings or according to its NEMA rating to make sure it is waterproof or weatherproof.
A waterproof enclosure protects the interior components and wiring within an electrical box from water or liquid intrusion when the box is completely submerged underwater. These types of boxes are often used in offshore drilling installations, marine applications, and sometimes for industrial uses. Watertight electrical boxes are often manufactured with non-metallic materials, such as fiberglass or high-strength industrial polycarbonate.
A waterproof electrical enclosure is the highest standard for keeping out condensate, dripping, splashing, hose-directed, or pressurized liquids. All of these conditions can be found at your local drive-through car wash.
What is a weatherproof electrical box?
A weatherproof electrical box is also an excellent choice for wet locations because they provide a high level of moisture protection and even more. Even though you can find weatherproof boxes in many materials such as aluminum or stainless steel, fiberglass or polycarbonate electrical boxes are a more economical choice. These two materials are inherently rust-proof, corrosion-proof, and weather-proof. – but they cost less than their metallic alternatives.
Weatherproof electrical boxes effectively seal out weather, including ice crystals and driving rain. This is accomplished with rubber seals and gaskets, special hinges, and strict adherence to quality construction. Expect your fiberglass or polycarbonate weatherproof electrical enclosure to protect against the following:
- Condensation that may develop from fast temperature changes from extremely low to high
- Blowing dust, dirt, and other debris that can cause electrical components to fail
- All manner of precipitation including hail, snow, and rain
- Ice formation caused by freezing temperatures on the enclosure’s surface
- Corrosion from seawater spray, industrial salts, and chemicals
Visit Allied Moulded Products for a complete selection of waterproof or weatherproof electrical enclosures, junction boxes, and device boxes for outdoor applications. In addition to keeping out moisture, fiberglass and polycarbonate electrical boxes will never rust and never corrode, so you never have to worry!