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Old 11-16-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


I bought an electrical outlet to install in an electrical junction box from Rona. I had two choices, the model costing .99 cents, or the one costing $3.00. I am just asking if there is any difference is quality and/or safety between the ones that are allegedly used by contractors costing just .99 cents and the "higher quality" ones costing $3.00.

Everything, even our world famous healthcare is potentially more expensive here in Canada.

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Were they the exact same, or was one the old style and the other a decora? The decora ones tend to be more expensive.

Funny you mention health care, because if it was a hospital grade receptacle it would be more like 20 bucks. :P

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


A lot of times, they break down the bulk boxes to load the pick bins. I would go with a commercial outlet if used in a kitchen, for a/v equipment or bath/wet area if downstream of a gfci. What ever you do, only use the screws to secure, not "backstabbed".
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


The 99 cent receptacle unit is probably for at most 15 amps for each appliance plugged in. The 3 dollar unit is probably rated at 20 amps for each receptacle and probably constructed more ruggedly. It may also have easy to use connections in the back with screw down clamps that are just as reliable as the side screws.

Either will allow daisy chaining 12 gauge wires carrying 20 amps using the screw terminals or screw down terminals.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


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Originally Posted by Mikon8er View Post
the model costing .99 cents, or the one costing $3.00. I am just asking if there is any difference is quality and/or safety between the ones that are allegedly used by contractors costing just .99 cents and the "higher quality" ones costing $3.00.
Many studies have confirmed that there is no correlation between price and quality. You might as well flip a coin.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #6
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Besides the clamping mechanism already mentioned often times the face material is different, the strap a heavier gauge material and the blade tension is better. All of those features increase the cost and typically the lifespan of the device.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Be wary of the more expensive one: IF you have encountered one rated CO/ALR, you are paying a premium for a device designed for direct connection to aluminum conductors. Don't buy that one unless you absolutely need it for aluminum wires.

OTOH, if you are looking at a "specification grade" vs a cheapie, you might want to go for the better one.

How about posting the manufacturer and catalog numbers so we can tell you the REAL differences?
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


there is a big difference. The cheap ones have metal that just spreads apart when you plug something in. The memory in the metal pushes the prongs back together when you unplug. The more expensive ones have a spring loaded tab that spreads apart when you plug something in. When you unplug something, the spring pushes the prongs back together. The cheap ones wear out quickly if stuff is plugged in and removed all the time. If it is for behind a clock or something, use a cheap one. If its a receptacle that's going to be used constantly for general use, buy a good one
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:20 PM   #9
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


It is like the difference of door knobs on many homes as opposed to the door knobs on business, government, and school doors.

Notice the door knobs on commercial buildings are MUCH more higher quality - and also cost quite a bit more. You get what you pay for.

Same with outlets. A hotel may vacuum its rooms every single day of the year. They are plugging and unplugging the vacuum into the same outlet in each room 365 times a year. A commercial grade or industrial grade outlet will hold up to that heavy use. A cheap outlet would not last long.

FYI - There is a whole world of "commercial grade" products sold out there - Built for heavy use. You just don't see these in retail stores typically. For example search for commercial vacuum and you will see the vacuums used in hotels and businesses.

Or...
commercial locksets
commercial grade electrical receptacles
commercial grade lawnmower

Then for medical...
hospital grade receptacles

Leviton 5-20R Duplex Receptacle Hospital ...
http://www.onestopbuy.com/leviton/8300-7896.asp
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:18 AM   #10
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Thanks for the advice. My house has copper wiring, so I don't need to worry about using something compatible with aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring hasn't been used in Canada nor the United States since the 1970s.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:38 AM   #11
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Mikon8er, actually they still use aluminum for electrical wiring. Not only for the drops to panels, but also for branch circuits.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:46 AM   #12
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy21 View Post
there is a big difference... If it is for behind a clock or something, use a cheap one. If its a receptacle that's going to be used constantly for general use, buy a good one
I've got some $0.99 back-stab receptacles which get frequent and heavy use (e.g., in my kitchen and workshop), probably should be replaced with a better unit. Can someone give a specific recommendation -- manufacturer/model # -- to look for?
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:28 AM   #13
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


You want something like this: 20 Amp, 125 Volt, NEMA 5-20R, 2P, 3W, Duplex Receptacle, Tamper & Weather Resistant, Straight Blade, Industrial Grade, Self Grounding, Side Wired, Nickel Plated Brass Strap – WHITE :... form $6.35 ea at Amazon.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:02 AM   #14
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Just go to any place that sells electrical supplies and buy a nicer one. Cheap ones range in price from like .50 to a dollar. The good ones are like 2 to 3 dollars. You should be able to feel the quality just by looking at the outside, just by looking at the outside. But the internals are different too.

Even on cheap receptacles, don't use the back stabs, ever. Wrap the wires around the screws
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:14 AM   #15
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Cheap is the way to go. Why spend more for basically the same thing. If you use a receptacle that much, you should put it on a switch. Think about it. How often do you unplug and plug things in.

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