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Old 12-19-2008, 09:20 AM   #16
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Receptacle Rating question


I have been buying the 20A receptacles, only because I thought they were constructed better. I never bothered to actually compare them together with the 15A kind, and this was before I began studying the code.
To be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a 20A plug!

I'm not going to debate that something in the code is reasonable or valid, since it goes through a lot of review before an article is amended or added.
It just takes some interpretation to understand what was intended.

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Old 12-19-2008, 11:13 AM   #17
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Receptacle Rating question


If you remove the face of a 15 amp and a 20 amp receptacle of the same manufacturer, and look at the base and contacts of each, you'll find them identical. Both will accommodate either 15 or 20 amp plugs. The face configuration determines the rating.

It's less expensive for a manufacturer to build all bases and contacts the same, and simply install different faces for different ratings.

Different grades of receptacles certainly are made differently though. Most manufacturers have 4 grades of devices, some have 5, and some have even more. They are residential, commercial (also known as 'specification grade', engineers like those technical terms!), industrial, hospital, and high abuse. Some other grades are marine, explosion-proof, oil-tight, and likely a few others I can't remember at the moment.

Each of these grades must meet certain design and test specifications. For example, one of the many high abuse receptacle tests involves forcibly removing an angled plug (like a dryer plug) from the device by dropping a weight attached to the cord straight down, thus ripping the plug out of the receptacle. No damage may occur to the receptacle. I don't think a residential grade receptacle would fare too well here.

Most of the time, better grade = higher price.

Rob
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:38 PM   #18
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Receptacle Rating question


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Originally Posted by dgbehrends View Post
Yea I agree. I'm not an electrician and haven't studied the code extensively, but what makes sense to me is that you shouldn't use 20amp receptacles on 15amp circuits, and it shouldn't matter whether there is 1 or more outlets. I don't see any problem using 15amp recepticales on a 20amp circuit.
Sure, but when it comes to single receptacles, its a-okay...
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:40 PM   #19
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Receptacle Rating question


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.


Receptacle. A receptacle is a contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of an attachment plug. A single receptacle is a single contact device with no other contact device on the same yoke. A multiple receptacle is two or more contact devices on the same yoke.

Sorry, that was mis worded. I ment an outlet does not always equal a receptacle.
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:20 PM   #20
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Receptacle Rating question


I will never buy a residential grade receptacle or switch. I know I can get them for $0.59 compared with the $2.59 I pay for the commercial grade, but I sleep a lot better when I know that I have a quality device that I won't have to replace in a year because someone dragged the vacuum cleaner a bit too far, and it ripped the plug out of the receptacle.

I have also had the experience (way back when I was 20+) of literally destroying residential grade receptacles because I tried to tighten the screws on the conductors as hard as I would a commercial grade one. The force broke the plastic separating the two screws on one side of the receptacle.
I think I still have enough strength in my hands to do that today, even though I'm twice that age now<g>

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