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-   -   Receptacle Grade/Quality (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/receptacle-grade-quality-35441/)

KE2KB 01-08-2009 01:34 PM

Receptacle Grade/Quality
 
I just bought four Leviton receptacles at Home Depot.
When I was in the store, I was a bit confused by the drastic difference in price between various "Pro Grade" product.
By the time I chose the ones I needed, (three 15A, one 20A), I wasn't sure what price I was going to be charged for each one.

What I bought were:
1ea BR15-I (15A) @ 1.99
2ea 5252-ISP (15A) @ 5.29
1ea 5352-ISP (20A) @ 6.49

When I checked out, I didn't want to return the expensive ones for the cheaper ones because I just wanted to get out of the store. Besides, I was kind of curious as to why I was paying so much more for three of them than I paid for the fourth.

I also have two from a previous trip to HD which are Leviton CR20-I.

I was very curious as to what I am getting for the huge difference in price.
After all, I thought the $1.99 were good enough, at least compared with the really cheap ones for $0.89.

I did a little research on Leviton's web site.
I found that the 5252 and 5352 are industrial grade.
The CR and BR series are commercial grade.
I don't know what the additional letters on the 5252-ISP and 5352-ISP are. I can only find -I, but not -ISP.

I went one step further to determine what difference the contacts have.
I plugged in a 3-wire plug into each type and found:

The BR and CR seem to have the same contacts.
The 5252/5352 have noticeably more tension on the contacts. I assume they are made to have plugs inserted and removed many times without degradation.

My conclusion: For residential use, I only need the BR series. I am wasting my money on the industrial grade.
That said, I am not going to run back to HD to exchange any of these products. I only bought three of the expensive ones.
But, in the future, I will know which ones are which, so I can save about $4 per receptacle unless I really need the industrial grade.

I am curious as to what others are using, whether you are an electrician, or a DIY.
For you electricians, do you ever have jobs where industrial grade is specified in a residence, or commercial grade in an industrial install?
Does code say anything about what grade of receptacle should be installed based on the type of building? My guess is that it does not.

Oh, I forgot to mention that there is another difference between the BR series and all of the others:

The BR are "assembled in Mexico", while all of the others are "made in the U.S.A."


Thanks for your comments/advice.

rgsgww 01-08-2009 01:41 PM

I am a diy, I like levition, but will only use industrial for workshops or garages for an example. Maybe a high load computer outlet. I will use "pro grade" (the ones a little more than el cheapo) for normal outlets. P&S pro grade are pretty sturdy outlets.

InPhase277 01-08-2009 02:03 PM

Take a look at hospital grade receptacles. They are the highest grade receptacle that I am aware of. Unless the customer specs otherwise, they are going to get a $0.50 receptacle for every area of the home, except maybe the work shop. Commercial installs will get a "spec" grade, like the $1.99 that you mention.

PirateKatz 01-08-2009 02:37 PM

Thanks for explaining that. I've been wondering the same thing regarding the different grades. Does the residential grade suffice for most homes or is it worth the small investment of upgrading to commercial? What would an electrician use in his own house?

On a related note... why are the ungrounded, 2 prong receptacles so expensive? Is there just very little demand for them in general?

KE2KB 01-08-2009 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PirateKatz (Post 209449)
Thanks for explaining that. I've been wondering the same thing regarding the different grades. Does the residential grade suffice for most homes or is it worth the small investment of upgrading to commercial? What would an electrician use in his own house?

On a related note... why are the ungrounded, 2 prong receptacles so expensive? Is there just very little demand for them in general?

Unless you're really on a tight budget, or planning to sell the house real soon <g>, I would use the $1.99 commercial grade, like the Leviton BR series.
These seem to be a huge step upward from the el-cheapo $0.59 ones, but even those pass UL standards, so there's really nothing wrong with them either.

As InPhase said, if nobody specs otherwise, those $0.59 (or whatever low price you can get) are going to work, and are perfectly safe.
I also agree with his using a higher grade for the workshop though. That's where you have heavy usage, both in current, and in insert/remove cycles where the higher grade will pay for itself over time.

It is difficult to get what I want (exactly) at Home Depot because shoppers (or maybe store employees who don't care enough) mess up the shelves, so I find all types of receptacles and switches mixed up. That's why when I got home I checked all of the ones I bought; to make sure I got what I paid for.

chris75 01-08-2009 04:02 PM

I sell CR015 receptacles... Thats all I use, the 0 means it has a flat face, pretty cool feature.


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