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Old 11-13-2008, 05:28 AM   #1
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


seem to recall seeing a post discussing normal house receptable replacement which i never heard of & always thought them permanent,,, op thought leviton's the best units,,, personally, have never been sorry i bought the best - even in these.

1, is it 'normal' to replace household receptacles as scheduled maintenance; & 2, what time interval ?

house's 30 yrs old & probably never had any done 'cause the p-o was as ignorant as i,,, thanks, guys - you're a great resource !

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Old 11-13-2008, 05:30 AM   #2
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


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1, is it 'normal' to replace household receptacles as scheduled maintenance;
No. That sounds like a recipe for work-hardening the wires going into your receptacle boxes and wearing them out. Don't do it.

Edit- To elaborate, every time you cold-bend solid copper, it gets a little harder. Eventually it just cracks and breaks. It's why you don't use solid wire for extension cords, and also why you don't want to be replacing outlets that are working fine.


Last edited by Gigs; 11-13-2008 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:39 AM   #3
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


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Originally Posted by yesitsconcrete View Post
seem to recall seeing a post discussing normal house receptable replacement which i never heard of & always thought them permanent,,, op thought leviton's the best units,,, personally, have never been sorry i bought the best - even in these.

1, is it 'normal' to replace household receptacles as scheduled maintenance; & 2, what time interval ?

house's 30 yrs old & probably never had any done 'cause the p-o was as ignorant as i,,, thanks, guys - you're a great resource !
I have never thought of replacing receps as regular maintenance... and i probably wouldnt advocate the average homeowner messing with electricity on a semi regular basis.

My rule of thumb, if its old and falling apart, replace it. if the slots are feeling loose, replace it. if its cracked, replace it. other than that, leave it alone.

You could probably go around the house with a plug in tester and test each recep for correct wiring, and at the same time if one is broken or loose you will most likely be able to tell when plugging in the tester.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:11 AM   #4
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


You only replace the receptacles when you need to. I think its a waste of money, time, and copper to be replacing receptacles all of the time.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:13 AM   #5
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


If the plug pulls out easily or if the plug gets hot for appliances that draw heavy current, I'd replace the receptacle. Be careful with the wires and the insulation. You might want to get heat-shrink tubing; maybe someone makes it with a UL stamp for this application.

Hot plug = power dissipated in the contacts = high contact impedance because of low contact pressure because the spring contacts have lost their springiness.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:24 AM   #6
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


It is a good idea, although I won't say you should take time out of your busy schedule to do it now -- to go through all of the switches and receptacles and redo back stabbed connections to be screwed on or screwed down connections. This does not require replacing the receptacles themselves.

RE Hot plugs -- Sometimes the problem is in the plug. This would be true if the appliance suffers a hot plug condition wherever you use it and other appliances don't encounter the condition at the receptacle in question.

OT: Once I encountered a hot plug condition while staying in a hotel. The item was their electric heater which was being used overnight and, come morning, the receptacle had melted! I decided to investigate and found that a wire was loose in the plug. Fixed it and it worked fine in a different receptacle the next night (verified that it was not hot after the first ten minutes).
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


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It is a good idea, although I won't say you should take time out of your busy schedule to do it now -- to go through all of the switches and receptacles and redo back stabbed connections to be screwed on or screwed down connections. This does not require replacing the receptacles themselves.

RE Hot plugs -- Sometimes the problem is in the plug. This would be true if the appliance suffers a hot plug condition wherever you use it and other appliances don't encounter the condition at the receptacle in question.

OT: Once I encountered a hot plug condition while staying in a hotel. The item was their electric heater which was being used overnight and, come morning, the receptacle had melted! I decided to investigate and found that a wire was loose in the plug. Fixed it and it worked fine in a different receptacle the next night (verified that it was not hot after the first ten minutes).
wait, you were staying in a hotel and brought an electric space heater with you, plugged it in, melted the recep, then repaired the plug and used it again?!!??!!?
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:13 AM   #8
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


thanks, guyz,,, now i can get back to the honey-do list instead


replacing alum wire to the oven's next
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:32 PM   #9
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


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wait, you were staying in a hotel and brought an electric space heater with you, plugged it in, melted the recep, then repaired the plug and used it again?!!??!!?
I think that is exactly what he is saying, thats the way I understood it anyway....
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:14 PM   #10
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


Here is my post from this morning that I somehow posted in the wrong thread:

Replacing receptacles every few years will NOT harm or "cold harden" the copper. Maybe if you did it every day.

That said, I see NO reason to routinely replace receptacles. I can see replacing well used ones that are losing their grip. This is a very good idea.
A loose gripping receptacle is dangerous.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:48 PM   #11
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


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thanks, guyz,,, now i can get back to the honey-do list instead


replacing alum wire to the oven's next
Why are you replacing the wire to the oven? Just because it's aluminum? Have you had a problem with this circuit?
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:35 PM   #12
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Here is my post from this morning that I somehow posted in the wrong thread:

Replacing receptacles every few years will NOT harm or "cold harden" the copper. Maybe if you did it every day.
I donno petey.

Take some 12 gauge solid, stripped. Grab the end of it with pliers and bend it back and forth 90 degrees until it breaks. Mine only made it 8 cycles before breaking.

Copper work hardens very quickly.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:57 PM   #13
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


actually the breakers've never tripped in the 9yrs we've owned these dble ovens,,, in order to redo the kitchen cabinets & oak flooring, oven box & ovens had to come out,,, disconnecting the wires in the jct box, discovered corrosion 'tween the alum feed & oven copper leads which were only wire-nutt'd together,,, that & the black carbon junk on the box walls got me to thinking in a 35yr old house, 35' of #10 3wire w/gnd's cheap insurance.
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:06 PM   #14
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Take some 12 gauge solid, stripped. Grab the end of it with pliers and bend it back and forth 90 degrees until it breaks. Mine only made it 8 cycles before breaking.
Wow! Is that how you install devices???

A) I do NOT bend my wire 90 deg when installing devices, no one should. In fact it is a code violation to bend even #12 into a hard 90.

B) Yes, if you do it over and over repeatedly the copper will get warm and begin to fatigue. Once every five years will never cause the copper to "work harden".
In the context that the OP is asking this is NOT an issue.
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:19 PM   #15
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maintenance replacement of house receptacles


As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Broke as mentioned before meaning loose plugs, cracked, or otherwise worn out.

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