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Old 10-03-2009, 01:09 AM   #1
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Ok so I checked out a couple stores tonight and have a few questions. Just want to replace all the switches/outlets in my home and change the bath/kitchen with gfci's. Came across Leviton and they had standard or preferred on the shelf.....is the tamper resistance the only difference between the two? What exactly is that? As for the other store I think they had Cooper. Those boxes had comm or spec in the descriptions. What do they stand for and what's the difference of those two? I just know that the spec version was a little more in price.

As for switching kitchen/bath to gfci's.....will that just be a simple swap like the rest of the outlets in the house even though I'm switching to gfci outlets?

Leviton vs Cooper.....does it matter?

Thanks for the help.

Mike

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Old 10-03-2009, 05:29 AM   #2
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Regardless of the brand, I've opted for the more expensive devices when replacing; they conform to commercial or industrial specifications. They are cheaper in the long run. They are made beefier and some are back-wired using screws to hold the connection, not backstabbed.

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Old 10-03-2009, 09:16 AM   #3
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


You are required to buy the Tamper proof under NEC 2008
I also opt for the heavier duty outlets
I actually bought some 20a outlets for my house just in case
I've never had any item that needed a 20a plug

Switches I have just bought the normal switches

I have just about all Leviton
GFCI's I like the ones with the little LED light to let you know if there is power or tripped
I bought true 20a GFCI's since the bathroom gets heavy use from my wife's hair dryer

Kitchen the outlets only have to be GFCI protected
So this will depend upon your wiring
Replacing the 1st outlet in the line & connecting the rest to the LOAD side will meet code
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:55 AM   #4
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


I use the 39-49 cent ones. If I have a certain receptacle that gets plugged and unplugged alot I might go to the $2.00 one there only. If you think about it. How much do you unplug and plug stuff in? Switches get used much more. But I still get the El-Cheapos.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


I have used both brands and for a home owner you do not need a spec grade device. Changing your GFI's to 20 amp does not give you more power, your breaker is only going to be 15amp, if you change your wire size from 14 to 12 then you can up your breaker size. Your recept. within 5' of your kitchen sink should be changed to GFI's, yes it is code, for new constuction you run 12/2. Now would I change my split recept. in my kitchen to a gfi, I would not.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:55 PM   #6
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:00 PM   #7
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Since the requirement for TP I haven't seen any .39-.49 outlets any more
Cheapest I think might be $1.19-1.49
The 20a GFCI's were actually less via the Internet then anything local
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Since the requirement for TP I haven't seen any .39-.49 outlets any more
Cheapest I think might be $1.19-1.49
The 20a GFCI's were actually less via the Internet then anything local
The 2008 NEC is adopted on a state by state basis. New Jersey adopted the code effective 4/09 (original poster's state) but some states will not adopt until 2011. So, tamper resistant receptacles are not yet required in every state.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:56 PM   #9
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oilseal View Post
Regardless of the brand, I've opted for the more expensive devices when replacing; they conform to commercial or industrial specifications. They are cheaper in the long run. They are made beefier and some are back-wired using screws to hold the connection, not backstabbed.
There are three types of connection used with wiring devices and not all devices incorporate all these types. Quick-wire or push-wire is available on some devices for use with #14 wire- to use you would strip the wire (solid only) to the proper length and push it into the back of the device where it would be held in place. A number of years ago this type of termination was also used with #12 wire until UL changed their requirements for listing these devices. Any device currently manufactured must allow only #14 wire or it is not UL listed. I am unaware of any manufacturer making any devices allowing #12 wire to be used currently. This connection is normally used in residential applications.

Side wire is when the installer utilizes the screw terminals on the side of the device and wraps the wire (solid or stranded) around the screw and tightens it down. This is normally used in residential and commercial applications.

Back-wire is when an installer inserts the wire between a clamp or two clamps or plates on the back of the device and then tightens the screw terminal causing the plates to come together and trap the wire between them. This is not generally found on lower priced devices (read residential) except for GFCIs. It is the preferred way to terminate a device if it is available.

It is fine to put a higher grade device in a residential application, though it is often overkill. Industrial grade or hospital grade receptacles are quite expensive and quite hard to insert a plug into- they meet certain specs with regard to blade retention and other considerations. A good residential grade receptacle (or in some cases a commercial grade) will probably outlast the home owner.

I only quoted you, oilseal, to elaborate on what you were saying a little bit as I have seen some confusion in some of the posts on here with regard to types of termination and grades of devices. I do not at all disagree with what you say.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


The majority of states have adopted NEC 2008
Some states hav eadopted part but not all
Local codes canvary, so you always need to check with your loac Inspector

http://www.childoutletsafety.org/fil...doptionMap.pdf
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:13 PM   #11
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


I have a hard time buying "cheapo" stuff for my home.

First, I just hate the way it feels and acts when I install the stuff;

second, I love the touch and sound of a quality switch;

third, reliability and safety are always important to me

and lastly, I love spending the extra money to encourage companies to make better products.

_pete

oh..and I forgot to mention that houses that are worth over 100 grand deserve something better than "cheapo" materials.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:55 AM   #12
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Pete: You are quite right. I wonder how they get away with offering such El Cheapo devices -- they are no bargain. Don't you hate it when the cord plug almost drops out. Just from that standpoint, they can present a hazard.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:47 AM   #13
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I bought true 20a GFCI's since the bathroom gets heavy use from my wife's hair dryer
The only difference in the 15 and 20 amp devices are the shape of the slots. The 15 amp GFI is still rated for 20 amp feed thru.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reno 101 View Post
Your recept. within 5' of your kitchen sink should be changed to GFI's, yes it is code, .
The NEC requirement for GFI protection is for all the receptacles serving the countertop area, not just the ones within 5' of the sink.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:59 AM   #14
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
The only difference in the 15 and 20 amp devices are the shape of the slots. The 15 amp GFI is still rated for 20 amp feed thru.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
The 20a GFCI's were actually less via the Internet then anything local
I prefer to buy the less expensive 20a
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #15
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Changing all outlets, what do I buy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Since the requirement for TP I haven't seen any .39-.49 outlets any more
Cheapest I think might be $1.19-1.49
The 20a GFCI's were actually less via the Internet then anything local
Dave, You mean I can't get my El-Cheapos anymore? To be honest I have not purchased a receptacle or switch in quite a while. Whats the deal? Thanks John

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