Electrical – Replacing outdoor outlet


How can I replace an outdoor outlet cover that has a stripped center screw?

  • Do I need to replace the outlet as well?
  • Do I need to replace the box that the outlet is housed in if it is coming out from the wall?
  • Do I need to caulk around where the outlet and the wall will meet?

Here is a picture of the outlet.

outdoor outlet

I have purchased a Bell outdoor In-Use Weatherproof Cover, that I would like to use to replace the existing cover.


I have finished the project, and Bryce's answer was correct. I did end up replacing the outlet with a GFCI Weather/Tamper Resitant outlet for safety sake. Below are two tips and lessons learned.

  • When removing wires from existing outlet, if a firm tug doesn't do it, then try twisting the outlet or wire.
  • Never try to keep turning a screw after the head breaks off, which led to me asking a different question.

Best Answer

This style center screw extends into the outlet: it's possible both parts need replacing. Pull on the cover to add tension when removing the stripped screw.

Turn off the juice before taking the cover off.

Your new 'in service' cover comes with a foam gasket: do not use caulk.

Your existing box is probably fine, but when things are open evaluate if caulking is needed around the box (not the cover, the wall box).

But this is outdoors, right? That outlet should be 'GFCI' protected. And for that I recommend you hire a professional, or find a handy neighbor/friend/relative. Typically a GFCI outlet is placed right in the box, and it uses one large square opening, not the style shown in the picture. Other configurations are possible.