Outlet question-

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by wrdtlpf, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. wrdtlpf

    wrdtlpf Carpentry/Handyman Service

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Hope someone can help me. Just bought a place short time back and now cash strapped. There are 20 amp breakers in the panel for a couple different runs of outlets. There are heavy duty ivory 20 amp outlets in place right now but want to switch them out for white and was wondering if I can just put in 15 amp outlets on the 20 amp run or do I have to change the breaker too? What would happen if I put 15 amp outlets in and left the 20 breaker in place? The 20 amp outlets are like $7 each and can get regular 15 amp outlets for pennies compared. TIA-
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You can put multiple 15 amp receptacle devices on a 20 amp breaker. In my opinon, it would be a mistake to use the recepeptacles which you can by for 69 cents. Very flimsy. Spring $3.50 or so to get a good quality unit. Or buy the cheapies and use the money saved to up your fire insurance. Your choice.
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Per my understanding of the new code cycle, if you replace any 120V outlets, you must now replace them with tamper resistant ones.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I don't think the latest NEC gets adopted immediately by every city and state, so he may or may not have that hanging over him. And I suspect that in many cases, just replacing an outlet does not mandate the upgrade. REMODEL is where current codes get called in. But check with local authority for final answer.
  5. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    You are correct.

    406.4 D (5) Tamper-Resistant Receptacles. Listed tamper-resis-
    tant receptacles shall be provided where replacements are
    made at receptacle outlets that are required to be tamper-
    resistant elsewhere in this Code.


    Areas required elsewhere in this code is pretty much everywhere in the house.
  6. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    In addition, any area that would require GFI protection would need it installed should the devices be changed out.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That takes me back to my other question. I assume from the WALL of non-tamper proof outlets that are found in all the stores, including the wholesale electric supply houses.....that this requirement does not currently have the effect of law in many cities????
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,211
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    This is a good example of why people do their own work.

    If you charge for your service or do it for a living then you Must meet the NEW Codes.

    All work should be done by a Qualified Electrician. What makes a person Qualified ?

    When was the last time You called an inspector after replacing a Wall Outlet or light switch ?

    Or when you replaced the bad end of your extension cord ? Repairing it is a code violation.


    If you are a code Freak, More Power to you. Most people just want it working safely.


    I say buy good replacement parts and save the Inspector Fee.


    I think that tamper-resistant is a Joke. Just makes people want to Tamper with it.


    Be careful playing with electricity...
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The codes must be met no matter what type of installation or who is making the installations
    As defined by the NEC; One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved.
    Pay close attention to the last half of that definition
    Last week
    It could be a listing violation and one that OSHA frowns on
    This is the purpose of the inspection process. Anything that is non code compliant is an unsafe installation, see 90.1
    90.1 Purpose.
    (A) Practical Safeguarding. The purpose of this Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.
    Your homeowners insurance may disagree with you. It may very well jump up to bite you should you decide to sell.
    And therefore the purpose of the tamper resistant device. The ones that want to tamper with them the most are children.
    Good advice
  10. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,793
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Now THAT is good advice:)
  11. wrdtlpf

    wrdtlpf Carpentry/Handyman Service

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Thanks guys, appreciate it.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,055
    Location:
    New England
    The internal construction of the cheapy and a quality receptacle is quite different...don't skimp.
  13. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    You are correct, not every area adopts the new code the year it is issued, besides there is no law against manufacturing non-tamper recpts, there is no law against buying non-tamper recpts, now all we need to do is decide what to do with them.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  14. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That is an interesting concept. I mention some plumbing parallels...it is not legal to SELL a high-flow toilet, or leaded brass faucet ( in certain states today, more states in 2013, and federally in 2014). Even in the electrical arena, I believe it is no longer legal to manufacture or import a magnetic T12 ballast. I think it was legal for sellers to sell though all their inventory.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; When was the last time You called an inspector after replacing a Wall Outlet or light switch ?Last week

    Really? That repair must have been really expensive since you had to obtain a permit, and the cost would have been charged to the customer, and some inspectors want the contractor on the job when they do the inspection, which adds more to the bill. Sounds like you changed a $105 job into a $200.00 one.

    One problem with 15 amp receptacles in a 20 amp circuit, is that it should be #12 wire, and cheap outlets may only have back wiring, in which case the openings will be too small for a #12 wire.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  16. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The total bid for changing out all the devices was $$$. The inspections assured that the homeowner’s insurance requirements were fulfilled and there would be no questions should something go wrong a couple of years down the road.

    It also insured that should he decide to sell there is a record of the work done in the house through the inspection department and no hidden secrets for a home inspector to find.

    Everything was done to the requirements set forth by the Licensing Board and the DOI as outlined in the laws set forth by North Carolina.

    The bottom line is; the cost of the permit is nothing more than insurance for the insurance company. It assures that the work was done in a code compliant manner and there is no danger imposed by the work that was done.
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