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Thread: Outlet question-

  1. #1
    Carpentry/Handyman Service wrdtlpf's Avatar
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    Default Outlet question-

    Hope someone can help me. Just bought a place short time back and now cash strapped. There are 20 amp breakers in the panel for a couple different runs of outlets. There are heavy duty ivory 20 amp outlets in place right now but want to switch them out for white and was wondering if I can just put in 15 amp outlets on the 20 amp run or do I have to change the breaker too? What would happen if I put 15 amp outlets in and left the 20 breaker in place? The 20 amp outlets are like $7 each and can get regular 15 amp outlets for pennies compared. TIA-

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You can put multiple 15 amp receptacle devices on a 20 amp breaker. In my opinon, it would be a mistake to use the recepeptacles which you can by for 69 cents. Very flimsy. Spring $3.50 or so to get a good quality unit. Or buy the cheapies and use the money saved to up your fire insurance. Your choice.

  3. #3
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Per my understanding of the new code cycle, if you replace any 120V outlets, you must now replace them with tamper resistant ones.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    Per my understanding of the new code cycle, if you replace any 120V outlets, you must now replace them with tamper resistant ones.
    I don't think the latest NEC gets adopted immediately by every city and state, so he may or may not have that hanging over him. And I suspect that in many cases, just replacing an outlet does not mandate the upgrade. REMODEL is where current codes get called in. But check with local authority for final answer.

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    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    Per my understanding of the new code cycle, if you replace any 120V outlets, you must now replace them with tamper resistant ones.
    You are correct.

    406.4 D (5) Tamper-Resistant Receptacles. Listed tamper-resis-
    tant receptacles shall be provided where replacements are
    made at receptacle outlets that are required to be tamper-
    resistant elsewhere in this Code.


    Areas required elsewhere in this code is pretty much everywhere in the house.

  6. #6
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    In addition, any area that would require GFI protection would need it installed should the devices be changed out.

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    You are correct.

    406.4 D (5) Tamper-Resistant Receptacles. Listed tamper-resis-
    tant receptacles shall be provided where replacements are
    made at receptacle outlets that are required to be tamper-
    resistant elsewhere in this Code.


    Areas required elsewhere in this code is pretty much everywhere in the house.
    That takes me back to my other question. I assume from the WALL of non-tamper proof outlets that are found in all the stores, including the wholesale electric supply houses.....that this requirement does not currently have the effect of law in many cities????

  8. #8
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    This is a good example of why people do their own work.

    If you charge for your service or do it for a living then you Must meet the NEW Codes.

    All work should be done by a Qualified Electrician. What makes a person Qualified ?

    When was the last time You called an inspector after replacing a Wall Outlet or light switch ?

    Or when you replaced the bad end of your extension cord ? Repairing it is a code violation.


    If you are a code Freak, More Power to you. Most people just want it working safely.


    I say buy good replacement parts and save the Inspector Fee.


    I think that tamper-resistant is a Joke. Just makes people want to Tamper with it.


    Be careful playing with electricity...
    Last edited by DonL; 11-29-2011 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Op Error
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    This is a good example of why people do their own work. If you charge for your service or do it for a living then you Must meet the NEW Codes.
    The codes must be met no matter what type of installation or who is making the installations
    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    All work should be done by a Qualified Electrician. What makes a person Qualified ?
    As defined by the NEC; One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved.
    Pay close attention to the last half of that definition
    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    When was the last time You called an inspector after replacing a Wall Outlet or light switch ?
    Last week
    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Or when you replaced the bad end of your extension cord ? Repairing it is a code violation.
    It could be a listing violation and one that OSHA frowns on
    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    If you are a code Freak, More Power to you. Most people just want it working safely.
    This is the purpose of the inspection process. Anything that is non code compliant is an unsafe installation, see 90.1
    90.1 Purpose.
    (A) Practical Safeguarding. The purpose of this Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.
    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I say buy good replacement parts and save the Inspector Fee.
    Your homeowners insurance may disagree with you. It may very well jump up to bite you should you decide to sell.
    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I think that tamper-resistant is a Joke. Just makes people want to Tamper with it.
    And therefore the purpose of the tamper resistant device. The ones that want to tamper with them the most are children.
    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Be careful playing with electricity...
    Good advice

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Be careful playing with electricity...
    Now THAT is good advice
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  11. #11
    Carpentry/Handyman Service wrdtlpf's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, appreciate it.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The internal construction of the cheapy and a quality receptacle is quite different...don't skimp.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    That takes me back to my other question. I assume from the WALL of non-tamper proof outlets that are found in all the stores, including the wholesale electric supply houses.....that this requirement does not currently have the effect of law in many cities????
    You are correct, not every area adopts the new code the year it is issued, besides there is no law against manufacturing non-tamper recpts, there is no law against buying non-tamper recpts, now all we need to do is decide what to do with them.
    Last edited by ActionDave; 11-29-2011 at 08:31 PM.

  14. #14
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    You are correct, not every area adopts the new code the year it is issued, besides there is no law against manufacturing non-tamper recpts, there is no law against buying non-tamper recpts, now all we need to do is decide what to do with them.
    That is an interesting concept. I mention some plumbing parallels...it is not legal to SELL a high-flow toilet, or leaded brass faucet ( in certain states today, more states in 2013, and federally in 2014). Even in the electrical arena, I believe it is no longer legal to manufacture or import a magnetic T12 ballast. I think it was legal for sellers to sell though all their inventory.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; When was the last time You called an inspector after replacing a Wall Outlet or light switch ?Last week

    Really? That repair must have been really expensive since you had to obtain a permit, and the cost would have been charged to the customer, and some inspectors want the contractor on the job when they do the inspection, which adds more to the bill. Sounds like you changed a $105 job into a $200.00 one.

    One problem with 15 amp receptacles in a 20 amp circuit, is that it should be #12 wire, and cheap outlets may only have back wiring, in which case the openings will be too small for a #12 wire.
    Last edited by hj; 11-30-2011 at 08:01 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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