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Old 04-18-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


I'm looking at installing some of the new power outlets that have USB built in. These come in regular and tamper resistant.

Does anyone have a reference to the NEC that describes what's needed for replacing a regular outlet this way? It's not a like-for-like replacement, so does the new one need to be TR?

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


TR is new code. If you don't them then you don't require them. You can install them is you want the extra safety of some little one not being to poke something into the holes.

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


Any reputable supply house will have them. I know the ones local to me stock them.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


If your area is under the 2008 or 2011 and there are no amendments, then yes, you would have to install TR receptacles.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:36 PM   #5
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


buz and joe seem to be saying 2 different things.

Here is my understanding.

Part 1. If you replace something "like for like", you don't have to follow new codes. For example, I can replace a broken outlet in an old without ground with another outlet that is the same - no ground. Likewise, I can replace a broken outlet without TR if the broken one has no TR. For that matter, I can replace it if I just want to change the color. Correct?

Part 2. I'm replacing an outlet, but it's not exactly "like for like". I'm replacing an outlet with a different type of outlet (one that has USB). This would be similar to replacing a light switch with a dimmer switch. I'm not changing any wiring or anything. This falls into a different category than 1?
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


If you replace it, strictly by the NEC, it has to meet current code. Take a kitchen counter receptacle. If you replace the receptacle to change from ivory to white, it must be a GFI.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
If you replace it, strictly by the NEC, it has to meet current code. Take a kitchen counter receptacle. If you replace the receptacle to change from ivory to white, it must be a GFI.
I'd go with this for sure. last time I had an electrician out to replace some receptacles he said the exact same thing. Even though it was just a swap for a receptacle he had to put in tr since it was current code. not really a big deal either imo since they are readily accessible and the cost difference is pretty negligible, surprisingly.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:28 AM   #8
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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not really a big deal either imo since they are readily accessible and the cost difference is pretty negligible, surprisingly.
Well, in this case the difference is $7, which adds up if you put in a bunch of them.

Anyway, since you brought up the idea of accessibility, why do you think it is that the big box stores stock so much stuff that is out of code? I don't get it. You'd think most of their outlets would be TR, but they're not - not even close.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #9
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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Well, in this case the difference is $7, which adds up if you put in a bunch of them.

Anyway, since you brought up the idea of accessibility, why do you think it is that the big box stores stock so much stuff that is out of code? I don't get it. You'd think most of their outlets would be TR, but they're not - not even close.
because its not big box's responsibility to make you comply Also, have you checked for bulk packs of the tr? should be able to save a lot more that way. The cost difference for me was only like $3.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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because its not big box's responsibility to make you comply
Well that is obvious, but completely misses the point. It has nothing to do with legal or ethical issues - it's a practical matter related to their profit.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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Well, in this case the difference is $7, which adds up if you put in a bunch of them.

Anyway, since you brought up the idea of accessibility, why do you think it is that the big box stores stock so much stuff that is out of code? I don't get it. You'd think most of their outlets would be TR, but they're not - not even close.
Because tamper resistant are only required in a dwelling. Many commercial buildings work shops and garages don't require them.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:18 AM   #12
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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Because tamper resistant are only required in a dwelling. Many commercial buildings work shops and garages don't require them.
Since the vast majority of big box customers are homeowners, it still doesn't explain why the vast majority of fixtures offered for sale are standard.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:34 AM   #13
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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Since the vast majority of big box customers are homeowners
I think you just answered your own question. Since most of their customers are diy homeowners who probably have no clue or interest in meeting a current code, they go straight for an exact matching replacement that they can easily replace. Big box stores spend a LOT of time knowing what their customers want.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #14
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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Well that is obvious, but completely misses the point. It has nothing to do with legal or ethical issues - it's a practical matter related to their profit.
I didnt miss anything and you just answered your own question

and not every receptacle has to be tr so they still carry other options.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:39 AM   #15
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Power and USB outlets - tamper resistant?


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I think you just answered your own question. Since most of their customers are diy homeowners who probably have no clue or interest in meeting a current code, they go straight for an exact matching replacement that they can easily replace. Big box stores spend a LOT of time knowing what their customers want.
Before I answer, I just wanted to say that while some Home Depot and Lowes associates are clueless, some are extremely knowledgeable. They certainly have some people who know what they're selling and what the codes are.

So my point is, by
- stocking more code compliant parts and putting them front/center
- by posting materials showing how to make common repairs (like they do with many other things)
- by having associates who know that TR fixtures should be installed

The stores would make a lot more money. TR fixtures are certainly no harder to install. The stores should be pushing them. I don't understand it.

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