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Old 02-20-2009, 10:57 PM   #1
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replace receptacles now or later?


I was wondering the life span of receptacles, they are 25 years old but this one is for the refrigerator so didn't get much use.. will they last another 20 years without trouble? Will the plastic become brittle, etc?

Is it better to replace with the receptacle that uses screw to hold the wire (as opposed to push in) while I am remodelling?

What is the right thing to use to release the existing wire? Sometimes I use an awl but sometimes no success.

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Old 02-20-2009, 11:20 PM   #2
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replace receptacles now or later?


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I was wondering the life span of receptacles, they are 25 years old but this one is for the refrigerator so didn't get much use.. will they last another 20 years without trouble? Will the plastic become brittle, etc?

Is it better to replace with the receptacle that uses screw to hold the wire (as opposed to push in) while I am remodelling?

What is the right thing to use to release the existing wire? Sometimes I use an awl but sometimes no success.
My opinion, replace them all with the clamp down. Many of the outlets in my house are from 1963 and they all work and for the most part they only fall apart when you are hard on them. But they don't grip plugs very well anymore and create high resistance connections.

The fridge one will probably last, if it were me, I'd replace it, new ones are cheap, back stabs suck.

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Old 02-21-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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replace receptacles now or later?


A receptacle is never used will be like new. A refrigerator receptacle should be like new.
Definitely replace with screw type terminals. Pushins are very common source of open connections.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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replace receptacles now or later?


If the recept. holds the plug loosely the contact impedance will be high, the recept. will be hot with a heavy load plugged in, and it will shorten the life of motors plugged into it.
Screw terminals = low contact impedance = good.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:17 AM   #5
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replace receptacles now or later?


Personally, I would suggest staying far away from the .38c bargain receptacles at the box stores. Same goes for the light switches. A good high quality receptacle will cost a few bucks, but they will last longer and grip the appliance prongs better. Loose receptacle slots can cause arcing, and that's a fire hazard.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:58 AM   #6
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I buy the $2 Pro grade outlets, much better

Check on the NEC code for your area
These days Tamper proof receptacles are required almost everywhere

I never use the push in's
I use an awl too, ice pick, very thin screwdriver
Sometimes they are just stuck & if I have enough wire I cut the wire
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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I buy the cheap ones and do not back stab.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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I buy what the budget will allow, and I have no problem installing a 38cent receptacle, its UL approved and will most likely last 30+ years in a residential environment.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:30 PM   #9
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Was thinking of putting all GFCI in the kitchen except for the refrigerator. I know it's overkill but looks more professional instead of having 1 or 2 protect the downstream ones. (well, all 4 of them!)

If that is that case does that matter to identify which wire is upstream and which is downstream?

Someone had a post saying CGFI draws about a watt?
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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Was thinking of putting all GFCI in the kitchen except for the refrigerator. I know it's overkill but looks more professional instead of having 1 or 2 protect the downstream ones. (well, all 4 of them!)

If that is that case does that matter to identify which wire is upstream and which is downstream?

Someone had a post saying CGFI draws about a watt?

Well, all receptacles in the kitchen require GFCI protection anyhow, so at least you'll have that covered. But no it does not matter as far as line/load connections. Both wires will go under the LINE terminal.

Last edited by chris75; 02-21-2009 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:03 PM   #11
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My last house I had to replace every single receptacle because they were all loose & did not hold a plug tight
They were the cheap ones
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:06 PM   #12
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My last house I had to replace every single receptacle because they were all loose & did not hold a plug tight
They were the cheap ones
Yeah, but how old were they?
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #13
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They were only about 8 years old
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:18 PM   #14
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So, when I was installed the Cooper GFCIs it had a sticker saying you must find out the downstream wire (something like that) is the reason only if you wanted to protect downstream receptacles?
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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They were only about 8 years old

Pretty strange, never had to replace every receptacle unless they were from the 50-60's era. Once in awhile you get one that gets lots of action from the vacuum and such.

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