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Old 11-19-2011, 02:14 PM   #31
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Some of us here are actually real electricians and contractors. Prices are very important to us. I can say with complete confidence that 59 cent receptacles have their place. You see we work from specs which you do not. If the job specs a certain grade receptacle we use that receptacle. That way we can be relevant as far as job consideration.
I have installed my fair share of 59 cent ones. $3 dollar ones and $20 dollar ones. I can say the 59 cent ones hold up just as well as the rest do in the right application.
I could care less about posting history. I will gladly give all my posts to you if that will make you feel better.

One more thing. I come here to help. Not to defend myself. This forum is for questions, comments and advice. I gave my advice. If you do not like it. Well you know what you can do.

Cheers!
i agree with you to a point, except the way i look at is, i KNOW this receptacle is going to be extremely low use, therefor it can get a low grade one, where as most places get better ones. Kind of same as you, but kind of the opposite at the same time.


As far as what gets plugged in and unplugged. I put my toaster, coffee maker, blender, mixer away after each use. I just don't have the counter space to leave them plugged in at all times.

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Old 11-19-2011, 02:20 PM   #32
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


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Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
I'm no expert mind you, but I understand that code in Canada,unlike the US, says that 20A circuits MUST have the outlets with the "sideways slots" while 15A circuits MUST use the outlets with regular slots. am I wrong? maybe that's the dif between the cheapo and more expensive one?

tnx,
I'm pretty sure this is the case. If I look at a 15 amp receptacle it says "125v 15a" so to me that means that's the max it is designed for. I always use the T slot plugs for 20 amp circuits just to be on the safe side and it's a quick way to know that it's a 20 amp circuit.

As for "cheapy" vs "well made". For general purposes the "cheapy" stuff will do just fine. Remember, it's still UL / CSA approved, so that means it's good enough to comply to those strict requirements. It's not like it's some Chinese rip off that is on the black market, it's still officially a "to code" device.

I would MAYBE go with the high end grade for very specific uses, but even then, probably not needed.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:32 PM   #33
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


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As for "cheapy" vs "well made". For general purposes the "cheapy" stuff will do just fine. Remember, it's still UL / CSA approved, so that means it's good enough to comply to those strict requirements. It's not like it's some Chinese rip off that is on the black market, it's still officially a "to code" device.
right, they work fine, they just wear out much faster. Remember, an electrical installation isn't just supposed to work when its installed, its supposed to last 50+ years.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:37 AM   #34
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


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right, they work fine, they just wear out much faster. Remember, an electrical installation isn't just supposed to work when its installed, its supposed to last 50+ years.
Ehhh... Define electrical installation. When I complete my taps inside a box then they should last forever. What ever I attach (be it duplex recps, sp or 3W switches, or lights) depends on how much they are used. Are you insinuating when i screw in a light bulb it should last 50 years?

I have replaced comm grade recps that were slap wore out after a year. Use some common sense and think about what you are typing Mr. Jimmy.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:44 AM   #35
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Was that a $0.59 commercial grade receptacle?
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:52 AM   #36
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


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Originally Posted by Toofarfromfenwa View Post
Yes, you gave your advice, and I gave mine. I think you're a cheap electrician. Nothing personal, just me personally, I would rather see a good quality job that lasts for years to come, than garbage.
When I bought my first townhouse I was sure that the cheapest devices were used. Fifteen years later when i moved they were still installed without replacing one. Why waste money for no benefit?
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:21 AM   #37
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


I totally agree with "why waste money." I'm redoing my entire house and I tend to over-analyze everything.
When it comes time to select receptacles, I'll go through the trouble of disassembling a cheap and a premium version to see if there is any difference. That's really what this conversation is about; nobody has done the due diligence to know what the difference is.

Edit: I am surprised that a licensed electrician has not had the curiosity to discover this yet; just cheap-cheap-cheap is all that's offered.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:09 AM   #38
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


The following is from "Relay Contact Life" (Tyco Electronics). Although this discusses relay contacts, this will give a general idea of how different metals can last longer than others...

Contact Materials

Fine Silver
Fine silver has the highest electrical and thermal properties of all metals. It is the best general purpose material available. However, it is affected by sulfidation. The rate of sulfidation indoors in a metropolitan area is approximately 70 micrograms per square centimeter per day. This sulfidation forms a film on the surface of the silver which increases contact interface resistance.

Because silver and silver alloys sulfidate, contact pressures must be great enough to break through this film. (Controlled arcing will also be helpful in that it burns off the sulfidation, and contact overtravel wipes away the residue.) While such pressures have no appreciable effect on silvercadmium contacts, they do result in increased material wear of fine silver contacts. Also, an interface voltage of several tenths of a volt can result with fine silver contacts because of the sulfide film. This film has been known to capture and imbed airborne dirt. Breaking through this film generates electrical noise. Because of this, fine silver contacts are not used for low-level switching, such as audio circuits. Rather, fine silver and silver alloy contacts are for use in circuits of 12 volts, 0.4 ampere, or more.

Gold-Flashed Silver
For relays which must sit idle for long periods of time before initial operation, sulfidation of silver contacts can result in an impregnable contact interface resistance. Instead of specifying silver contacts for such applications, gold-flashed silver contacts should be specified. Gold flashing on each contact results in minimal sulfidation, and provides good electrical make upon contact. Because gold has a low boiling temperature, the flashing will burn off after just a few switch cycles if arc voltage and current is exceeded. The silver underlayment is then exposed, and may develop a sulfide film. Unless this situation can be tolerated, gold-flashed contacts should not be subjected to arcing.

Gold Overlay
A common contact for use in dry-and low-level circuits is gold overlay. The overlay is of sufficient thickness that it should not wear through to the base metal unless subjected to arcing conditions.

Silver Nickel
Depending on the application, material transfer may be quite prevalent with fine silver contacts. Typically, material tends to accumulate in the center of one contact, while the loss of material on the other contact leaves a hole, or “pit.” This pitting may cause premature contact failure. In such an application, it may be desirable to use fine grain silver contacts.

These contacts are alloyed with 0.15% nickel, which gives the contacts a fine grain structure. As a result, material transfer is evenly distributed across the entire surface of the contact and the contacts last longer.

Silver Cadmium Oxide
Silver cadmium oxide contacts have long been used for switching loads that produce a high energy arc. Silver cadmium oxide contacts are less electrically conductive than fine silver contacts, but have superior resistance to material transfer and material loss due to arcing. They do exhibit greater interface resistance between mated contacts, and also a slightly greater contact assembly heat rise. The minimum arc voltagerating of silver cadmium oxide is 10 volts and, like fine silver contacts, the silver in this alloy will oxidize and sulfidate. Therefore, an arc is necessary to keep these contacts clean.

Silver Tin Indium Oxide
Silver tin indium oxide contacts, although not readily available, exhibit better resistance to arc erosion and welding than silver cadmium oxide contacts. They are even less electrically conductive, though, and are harder than silver cadmium oxide contacts. They have greater interface resistance between mating contacts and, therefore, a greater voltage drop and heat rise. At the present time, silver tin indium oxide is more expensive than silver cadmium oxide, and many relay users limit its use to applications such as incandescent lamp loads and capacitors where there is a massive inrush current during contact bounce. For low and medium power resistive and inductive loads, silver cadmium oxide is still the most commonly used and is recommended by Siemens Electromechanical Components (SEC). For applications where it is believed that silver tin indium oxide should be used, contact SEC applications engineering.

Silver Copper Nickel
Silver copper nickel contacts are for use in high inrush DC applications such as incandescent lamps and capacitive loads. These contacts exhibit good resistance to welding.

Gold Silver Nickel Alloy
Gold silver nickel alloy contacts are for use in switching loads generally of less than one ampere, and are characterized by less electrical noise on make and break than fine silver contacts. Gold diffused silver contacts offer characteristics similar to gold silver nickel alloy, but are less expensive.

Palladium
Palladium contacts do not sulfidate or oxidize, and so offer extremely low electrical noise levels. They have an electrical life expectancy of approximately 10 times that of fine silver contacts. However, because of relatively poor conductivity properties, load currents are limited to about 5 amperes.

Palladium contacts require .006” to .012” overtravel to insure good wiping action. Because of this, they are used primarily on telephone-type relays—that is, relays on which the contact arms are parallel to the length of the coil, and on which such overtravel is easy to obtain. Also, palladium contacts should be bifurcated to help insure circuit continuity on contact closure.

Tungsten
Tungsten contacts are for use in high voltage applications, usually where highly repetitive switching is required. Tungsten has a melting temperature of 3,380oC which gives it excellent arc-erosion resistance. Tungsten may develop troublesome oxide films, especially when used as the anode contact in some DC applications. Therefore, tungsten is often used as the cathode contact, and a palladium alloy used as the anode contact. Such a combination also minimizes contact interface resistance and material transfer.

Full Application Note...
http://relays.te.com/appnotes/app_pdfs/13c3236.pdf

Last edited by Billy_Bob; 11-20-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:19 AM   #39
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Then electrical receptacles have contacts which are "spring loaded" to apply pressure to the plug and therefore make good electrical contact...

And there is a whole world of "Spring Engineering" out there! Actually there is even a "springipedia.com"!

Some materials used for springs will keep their "springiness" better under various conditions like heat or in harsh corrosive environments. Some are better conductors of electricity.

Here is a "spring materials" chart...
http://springipedia.com/material-spring-materials.asp
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:54 AM   #40
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


Then I saw that beryllium copper was a spring material which also was good at conducting electricity. So I searched for "beryllium copper receptacle" and found the following (Bingo!)...

On Adobe reader page 11...
Leviton: Materials Used in Wiring Devices
http://stevenengineering.com/tech_su...Fs/74IPD-R.pdf

"Leviton uses a phosphor bronze alloy of 95% copper and 5% tin to form power contacts in some Industrial Grade receptacles. Phosphor bronze power contacts at .031" outperform brass power contacts of a thicker gauge."

Last edited by Billy_Bob; 11-20-2011 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:01 AM   #41
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Buying an electrical outlet costing .99 cents vs. $3.00


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Ehhh... Define electrical installation. When I complete my taps inside a box then they should last forever. What ever I attach (be it duplex recps, sp or 3W switches, or lights) depends on how much they are used. Are you insinuating when i screw in a light bulb it should last 50 years?

I have replaced comm grade recps that were slap wore out after a year. Use some common sense and think about what you are typing Mr. Jimmy.
I would say the same thing. Use a little common sense. Lightbulbs? Obviously some parts have a limited life expectancy. Also, there are going to be examples of stuff wearing out prematurely but how many houses have you gone in to from the 60's and 90% of the electrical is original? Hell, how many houses have you been in that are significantly older and most of the receptacles and switches are original. It's quite common. But the same isn't going to be true for the .59 receptacles.

Also my comment wasn't directed at any particular piece of equipment. It's directed at the workers attitude. I get annoyed when people say "well its working fine and that's all that matters.". I have to say "its fine for now but in 5 years..... "

That's what u have to say to anyone that would show up at someone's door step to replace a wore out receptacle and uses a .59 cent receptacle. Just so their customers bill can be $81 instead of $83

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