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Thread: Preferred electrical receptacle devices??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    5,308

    Preferred electrical receptacle devices??

    For 120v circuits. I haven't done a whole house since 2007, so don't know what's currently available that might be different from back then.

    This is not for a workshop, but I figure this is probably the best place to ask.

    We bought a lake house to rent, that adjoins some of our other property, and I'm redoing a lot about it. It was built in 1963, and remodeled in 1974. I was glad to see that it has Romex in it, but all the receptacles are backwired, and some past end of life.

    Fortunately, there is plenty of wire to work with in each box.

    I've changed some receptacles over the past few years, but it was always guesswork which ones to get. They all worked, but I didn't pay enough attention to remember which ones I liked, and which ones I didn't.

    Since it's a rental house, I'm thinking the childproof ones are probably worth getting, but some of those I've used were a PIA to insert anything into.

    Any advice from experience is much appreciated. I'm not interested in trying to save a little bit of money. This is just one small part of that project. I don't mind bending loops, but don't mind the heavy duty side clamps either.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    55,443
    Tom, I typically always buy the better "commercial grade" labeled outlets and switches from Leviton. The difference in price between them and the standard "attractively cheap" versions isn't very much, honestly. They are noticeably beefier, too. I also like the unbreakable nylon covers from them, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Tom, I typically always buy the better "commercial grade" labeled outlets and switches from Leviton. The difference in price between them and the standard "attractively cheap" versions isn't very much, honestly. They are noticeably beefier, too. I also like the unbreakable nylon covers from them, too.
    I agree with Jim. Make sure you get tamper resistant outlets for safety. I think all the ones now are tamper resistant but I'm not sure.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
    According to code you have to use tamperproof {childproof rec} in houses. Also if redoing electrical you may have to install arc fault breakers for most rooms in the house.

  5. #5
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Leviton has always been a good brand. I'd bet good money that this house has shared neutrals. I won't be changing the breakers to arc faults.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Alberta
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    Childproof eh ? That explains my difficulty with plugging stuff in...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Okotoks AB
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    Probably the same where you are, but in Canada, tamper resistant is required in residences and any commercial facility that deals with kids, like a daycare. You probably already know this, but the push-in terminations should NOT be used. I worked in residential for a few years doing quality control & service work. Probably every 10th house would have a call back because of intermittent circuit problems that were almost always traced to those damned push-in terminals. They were a bugger to fix because of the intermittent nature. Sometimes the failure would be quite spectacular, with the receptacle self incinerating.

    I kept one for my "wall of shame" to show new hires why we don't do it that way. They knew that doing so meant a short trip to the unemployment line.

  8. #8
    Push in terminals are horrible, but the backwire outlets where you put a (stripped) straight wire in a hole in the back and tighten the screw to clamp the wire are great. You will never want to use outlets where you have to make fish hooks again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    121
    Tom I get my commercial grade back wire (screw clamps, not spring clamps) from a eBay store called ďtopgreenerĒ
    here is the description of the ones I used: ENERLITES 20A Commercial Grade TR Duplex Receptacle Outlet White 10 Pack.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    1,465
    I have also had bad experiences with the spring terminal type where the wire is pushed in the back. These were not the type Sean mentions. We have had several outlets and switches work intermittently, some have arced and shorted.

    I also have used the Leviton TR receptacles and nylon plates when possible on replacements. The better grade or commercial grade is not much extra cost and seem to be more rigid once installed. Maybe the mounting tabs are thicker?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mt Pleasant SC
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    551
    Don’t put 20 amp outlets on 14 gauge wire.
    What is the brand of the main panel?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kees View Post
    Childproof eh ? That explains my difficulty with plugging stuff in...
    The Eaton Arrow Hart (spec grade) receptacles have the best/easiest tamper-proof mechanisms Iíve ever seen, they put the others to shame.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    Leviton has always been a good brand. I'd bet good money that this house has shared neutrals. I won't be changing the breakers to arc faults.
    Itís a code requirement now that new receptacles have to be arc fault protected (there are some exceptions.) However, if you have an older panel that wonít accept the newer breakers, AFCI receptacles (used for the first receptacle in the run) are available.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    Push in terminals are horrible, but the backwire outlets where you put a (stripped) straight wire in a hole in the back and tighten the screw to clamp the wire are great. You will never want to use outlets where you have to make fish hooks again.
    I agree, side wire is great. The push-inís are a horror show, not only that but they damage the wire, donít try to remove it. Snip it off and restrip.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    2,286
    I like the Leviton Pro/Commercial grade receptacles as well. Their TR receptacles aren't as awful as many others (we initially had Hubbell TR receptacles in our new addition, they were so bad that the electrician had to come back and swap them all out after he figured out they were unuseable). The screw-down backwire connections are handy.

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