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Old 09-25-2010, 09:10 AM   #1
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Question about electrical Outlets


Two quick ones for you? Does the code specify a certain type of outlet that must be used in residential bedrooms, or will any of the outlets at your local box store do the trick? Don't want inspector to bust my chops.

Also, I think I already know the answer but can 15a outlets be used on 20a 12/2 wire?

Is there anywhere to get outlets/switches online that is more resasonable than a local store? Just curious...

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Old 09-25-2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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Question about electrical Outlets


For a bathroom your outlet must be a GFCI or must be GFCI protected. Yes you can use a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit as long as its not a single receptacle. Go to a Home Depot or Lowes for cheap devices

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Old 09-25-2010, 09:22 AM   #3
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Question about electrical Outlets


And that's three questions not two haha!
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:23 AM   #4
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Question about electrical Outlets


Yes. As of 2008, the NEC now specifies ACFI protected outlets in all spaces that are not Bathrooms/Wet areas (ie kitchen, washing machine, unfinished basement), and that outlets should be the type that do not allow objects to be pushed in. Newer outlets have a sliding window in them that falls back in place when you remove the plug.

As for 15a outlets, yes, but read the code in your area, since AHJ's may be different from one area to the next.

As for online, I would rather purchase locally, then some place online. I mainly use Leviton, which I have not had any problems with any of their outlets.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dSilanskas View Post
For a bathroom your outlet must be a GFCI or must be GFCI protected. Yes you can use a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit as long as its not a single receptacle. Go to a Home Depot or Lowes for cheap devices
Keep in mind, cheap is not better. You can still get good quality outlets at Home Depot & Lowes.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:54 AM   #6
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Question about electrical Outlets


As far as receptacles go...

Remember that 20a connectors turn the neutral sideways, 15a connectors do not. Most 20A receps you'll find have a "T" shaped neutral socket to allow for both 15 and 20A connectors to be plugged in. Receptacles located in "wet locations" (either outdoors or within 6' of a plumbing fixture) must be GFI receptacles. Also, any circuits within reach of, say, a shower must also be GFI protected. The simplest way to do this if you are not doing any service on the panel is to connect the circuit (other receptacle, switch, etc.) to the "LOAD" terminals of a GFI. Both hot and neutral should connect to the load. If you do not want to provide GFI protection to devices downstream of a GFI either splice as normal in the j box or connect them all to the "LINE" side of the GFI. The feeder (the truly hot wire from the panel) is always to be connected to the line side of the GFI.

Also, be apprised that the '08 NEC mandates TR (Tamper Resistant) receptacles in all new work. TR receps have covers over the hot and neutral sockets that are only supposed to release when both are pressed at once. An inspector may flag you on that.

Also too, the '08 NEC mandates that all circuits in a dwelling (read: home) other than the kitchen, bathrooms, garage/outdoor must be on AFCI (arc fault) breakers. AFCI breakers do also give GFI protection. The circuits I mentioned earlier are supposed to be on GFI breakers.

In addition to self-test buttons on breakers/devices, also use a receptacle checker with a GFI button. The reason being that the receptacle checker actually shunts a few mA of current to ground to trip the device, this ensures you have a good ground connection to said device and it will actually work in a true Ground-Fault scenario. Then also too test it with the self-test button because that makes sure there is no internal fault with the device. It's only truly bad if its own test button won't trip it. The self test buttonw will trip it without a ground, and the checker won't trip it without a ground. Either way, if it won't trip from both, something's wrong.

Finally, remember that a GFI device works by measuring the current on both the hot and neutral side of the device and tripping when there is more current on the hot side than on the neutral side. (Meaning it has found another path to ground, either along the safety ground or through a person's body.) There are two lugs on GFI/AFI breakers. The hot wire goes on the brass (or gold) coloured lug. The neutral goes on the silver coloured lug, then the neutral wire of the breaker is connected to the neutral bus. Safety ground is connected directly to the ground bus as normal. Test the breakers both with the onboard test switch and hit the GFI checker on receps for all the individual circuits just to ensure in a worst case scenario they would trip and not just zap somebody.

The human body has about 500 Ohms resistance limb-to-limb and will not most likely trip a breaker.

Hope I've been of some help!
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #7
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Question about electrical Outlets


Yeah, new outlets must also be TR - Tamper Resistant
Prices have gone up since that went into effect
I buy a 10 pk of TR outlets for ~$10 now

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Also too, the '08 NEC mandates that all circuits in a dwelling (read: home) other than the kitchen, bathrooms, garage/outdoor must be on AFCI (arc fault) breakers. AFCI breakers do also give GFI protection. The circuits I mentioned earlier are supposed to be on GFI breakers.
While a combo AFCI does give some GFI protection it is nowhere near what is required for a GFCI

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The circuits I mentioned earlier are supposed to be on GFI breakers.
Incorrect, GFCI breakers are not required
A GFCI outlet can be used

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Originally Posted by superdeez View Post
Receptacles located in "wet locations" (either outdoors or within 6' of a plumbing fixture) must be GFI receptacles.
Also incorrect...they must be GFCI protected
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:18 PM   #8
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Yeah, new outlets must also be TR - Tamper Resistant
Unless someone is just replacing an existing outlet than it can be non tamper. But of course when the 11 code comes out I'm sure that will change....
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:19 AM   #9
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Question about electrical Outlets


Dave/ eveyone,
Where do you buy the 10pk of TP outlets, the Depot?

Ok, so I can use 15am TP outlets on a 20a circuit.

Do they mount witht he grounds facing down? Every once in a while I see the grounds pointing up.

Lastly, may be a dumb question, but should I install all the outlets and switches before the the breakers are installed, or vice versa. Should I place breakers in and then install the different outlets/switches.

Thanks for all your help. Yes it was three questions too!!
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:12 AM   #10
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Question about electrical Outlets


It's kind of a holy war, but grounds up has a slight technical edge since if something is plugged in but pulled out a little, and you drop something flat on top of it, grounds down will short, grounds up will probably bounce off.

If you are remodeling I'd put the ground the same way as the rest of your house. If it's a new house, grounds up should be considered.

About the breakers/outlets... have you passed the rough-in inspection yet?
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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Question about electrical Outlets


I would never put grounds up...I don't care if it's safer.

It's ugly!!!!!!
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:31 AM   #12
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Question about electrical Outlets


Yes, i passed the rough electrical inspection. Now I want to get the power up there.

So what would you do? currently there are no breakers and none of the outlets or switches are connected. Should I connect outlets/switches then throw the breakers in or the other way around?
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:37 AM   #13
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So what would you do? currently there are no breakers and none of the outlets or switches are connected. Should I connect outlets/switches then throw the breakers in or the other way around?
you aren't making sense. You can install the breakers but leave them off until you install the rest of the devices. There is no reason to turn a breaker on unless the rest of the circuit is installed.

whether you put the breaker in (or connect it) first is irrelevant unless you have people that like to flip breakers without knowing what is on the other end of the line.

Once you do connect the breakers (and presuming this is a hot panel) be sure to keep a non-contact voltage tester (tic tracer) handy. Check each circuit/box/device before reaching in and grabbing some bare conductors. You never know when somebody does flip a breaker on.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:40 AM   #14
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Question about electrical Outlets


when are you going to drywall?paint?that should be done before you worie about plugs and switches.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:37 PM   #15
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Question about electrical Outlets


To the OP can you edit your info and put in where you live. The answer is different in Canada then the USA. If you happen to be in Canada 20A plugs need to be installed on 12/2 20A breaker. 15A plugs need to be installed with 14/2 on a 15A breaker.

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