Tamper Proof Receptacles (Plugs and Outlets) - are they required?

johnfrwhippleMay 30, 2010

Question: Are tamper proof receptacles required in your home town?

Answer: I bet yes. Check with your local inspector at city hall.

Another Question.

"Is is right - that an 'Electrical Associate' in my local Box outlet told me it doesn't matter which plug I install in my home, my daughters room, my hallway etc. ?"

Here in Vancouver our latest code book on electrical was printed in 2009. This new code came into affect then. Home depot has dropped the price on these old plugs but when you go in and ask which is right - and you inform the staff you have inspections.

"Is it right they don't know the answer? Is it even fair they should have to? Surely the Home owner is required by law some where to understand every code and every modification for every city in Canada. Why would the "Electrical Assosciate" know anything about electrical code. He only works in that department and helps out in "Lighting".

Rona had only two tamper proof plugs in stock. 2! One white and one ivory.

Do they want to sell me these plugs - or maybe first they should sell off all the old ones. Is this right? No No No.

And at my favourite store - Dicks Lumber. "Where the Builders Buy"

Guess what - they didn't even have a SKU number or single tamper proof plug in stock.

What is wrong here people?

These codes protect our homes, our health and our families.

If my 4 year old looses her finger because of an electrical Arc when she plays with your plug in your home. Who is to blame?

You renovated this year. You seeked advice. What happened? Why did you not know this? How come homeowners don't study this code every day like me.

Oh Ya - I'm a GC. You have your own job to work on.

Double check your facts folks. Look up the code or ask me to help.

Lets change the "Box"!

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As a GC, you must be aware that most homeowners could not possibly care less about what the code says, as long as the plugs work and the price is low. And then there will always be the ones who resent being told what they are "required by law" to do. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 12:17PM
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"If my 4 year old looses her finger because of an electrical Arc when she plays with your plug in your home. Who is to blame?

IMO YOU are. NOT the guy who installed the receptacle OR the guy who wrote the code!!
Codes are NOT designed to be an alternative to good parenting.

WHY the hell is everyone these days looking to blame someone else for their OWN mistakes??? This makes my blood boil!

IMO this is stupid change in the electrical code. I think they should have printed up a parenting manual given to every potential new parent, and they'd have to take a test afterward to see if they posses enough common sense to raise a child!!!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 12:21PM
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as the saying goes....
"make something idiot proof, and they'll build a better idiot". I was playing around with a TR outlet the other day, if you try hard enough you can still jam a paper clip into the hot side of it.

How did we all ever survive before TR outlets, and arc faults and all the other "safety" things?
Common sense and good teaching techniques vastly outweigh some little gadget that's suppose to make things safer.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:09PM
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You know Home Depot's slogan dosen't say "You can do it right, and we can help."

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:44PM
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I think the point isn't how many survived but rather how many died or were injured in accidents that could be prevented.

There's a law that's been recently introduced into Congress to outlaw "drop side" cribs. How many infants have been killed in these cribs in the last decade? About 12. My kids survived sleeping in that kind of crib but obviously some others didn't. Does it merit Congressional attention? I'm not so sure but protecting the children does sounds good in an advertisement come re-election time.

Just as an FYI, about 6,600 people die in America every day (2006 data, all causes). About 333 of those are accidental.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 2:18PM
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what gets me is the "scare tactics" that are used. It's almost like if you don't put TR's or the like in your house you're in MAJOR danger and putting everyone that enters your home in danger. Statistics to me mean nothing, what you consider an accident I might consider as someone just being a careless idiot. Are they safer? Probably, but that does that mean that the predecessor's are that much more dangerous? I guess a house built pre 2008 is much more dangerous to be in? Don't ever go into a commercial building since they aren't required.
There are thousands of home still using knob and tube wiring even. Do you go around and ask the home owners about their entire electrical system before you enter their house?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 3:35PM
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Thank goodness we don't have to comply with every new code requirement that comes along, unless we update or upgrade.

Still, I'm all for changes that improve safety, even by a relatively small amount, as long as the changes are widely adopted so that economy of scale in manufacturing makes them affordable. Can you imagine what AFCIs would cost if they'd been required only in, say, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles?

Many insurance companies will lower your homeowner's policy rates if your home has updated wiring. There's a good reason for that - it's safer.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 4:06PM
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Perfect physical safety is not achievable. As far as I know, no philosophy or religion promises such in this life. We assume personal risks in exchange for perceived benefits, such as use of electricity or automobiles. Having government watch over and insure our safety is risky. A sparse concrete prison cell with guards and fire sprinklers is far safer than the places most of us inhabit and frequent. Hazards to children? Anyone ever heard of the practice of parenting?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 6:52PM
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NEVER trust the guy/gals at HD for code info.
Tamper proof are required by the new code. However you might still be able to replace existing with non TP and still be legal. Not 100% sure on that one.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:38PM
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The NEC in the USA requires the tamperproof receptacles in new residences. I do not know the specifics of Canada codes.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 9:18PM
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"As easy as changing a light bulb"

I asked yesterday at my building yard and both local Box Stores this simple question.

I went to box one and found the manager. "Kevin" is a great guy and I asked him to play a game with me. He said yes but wanted to know what the test was.

Here is Silent Shopper test number 3.

Project: Faulty Switch
Location: Clients rental suite

My request for help;

"Good Morning, A client of mine called me to say that she is trying to replace a broken switch that her rental suite tenant broke by accident. She says she bought a switch but can figure out how to put it in because the old one has 3 wires and the new switch has only 2 screws. Is she doing anything wrong? Is there a different product. I don't do electrical. Can I do this? Should I?....."

A simple request. Easy.

This salesman has worked here for years. He has opened display after display for me and knows the store back to front - good man. Helpful. Here is what he said to me in part. The best first.

"It's as easy as changing a lightbulb!"

Is it guys.

Am I as a non licensed contractor allowed to go in and change my clients switch - in her rental unit?

If it where my house and I could not afford an electrian - can I do this?

I know the answer and now the store, the manager and a few other's do as well - do you know the answer.

Question: If this house where to burn to the ground because it was harder than changing a light bulb - does any blame land on the "Box". What if the clients insurance doesn't cover the damage because of a clear wiring code violation? Is it fair that someone loose everything because of bad advice.

I wonder if that's why the electrical wholesaler has never told me anything - ever...

Think about it.

What about all the "sparkys" looking for work. I'm sure these men could use a nice service call at the end of the day - who couln't use an extra couple hundred bucks for the weekend.

People these men - these 'Sparkys" carry insurance. Own their work. Have tickets and have taken years to learn their trade.

"You can not work on a rental unit - never ever ever!!!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 7:17AM
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I'm not sure that I understand your point - that you're not a licensed contractor but you want us to rely on you rather than employees at a 'big box' store for code issues?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:09AM
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I understand the point well. It is clearly illustrated by the implied charge for hypothetical replacement of a simple 3 way switch-"a nice service call at the end of the day - who couln't use an extra couple hundred bucks for the weekend." No wonder people around where ever the OP is do their own work.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:18AM
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johnfrwhipple, are you an engineer?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 11:34AM
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My email text;

"I hope you have started training and re training. The fact that no one from your company has called me this week leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I have decided to remain out of your stores for good. I will no longer test your stores nor will I shop in them again (unless it is my last resort). This is a small step - I am one man. I do however spend over $100,000 per year on building material. I'm 42. My business is growing at 40 percent year over year. Not sure how much that makes Home Depots share over a 20 year period.

My plan is to continue my efforts with Rona. In my testing Rona has scored much much higher than you. I will work with the wining store (The Best). If I can make a change here in this one store perhaps they will make changes across the country. If this happens and you slowly loose market share to Rona perhaps then your company will change their ways.

Look for me online I will have lots of free advice and how to. Have your legal department look into your liability on given out advice about repairing switches in "Rental Units" your store manger the other day let me test her staff and I was told "You don't need a permit. It's easy." This was witnessed by your manager and this test was done with permission just yesterday at "Terminal Branch" 11:00 AM.

I hope no one gets hurt with your advice. I hope no one gets sick.

Your clients are for the most part lazy - they want it now. Cheap. Fast. But there is many who watch Mr. Holmes and want to do it right. This group of the market is growing - I see it in my own business.

I'm sorry that I have come across as a Mad Man - I really do care.

I wish you did more - faster. I wish someone would have called me back (all be it that I love the generic auto reply messages - not).

Schulter as well has chosen to not to call me. This is out of character. I will try them back and ask they send someone down to your outlets.

I can't do anything if no one cares. I can't change anything if no one thinks it's broken.

I like to tell my kids I'll be famous one day - I know I will. I would like to help make a difference in this world - I would like to leave my kids with less Garbage in our landfills than we have right now. This is a hard step and one that gets harder every day.
We can all make a difference. It's easy. Kind a easy. Not really easy. No it's hard......

Of well.

By By. I will not bother you again.

Kind Regards,

John Whipple"

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:17AM
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This just in...

Tiziana (Home Depot Head Office) replied back to me and informed me that they are on it! Things will be revisited! Better training is in the works.

I'm glad. I have re read my email replies from Tiziana with a calmer head and must say she was very patient with my rants and shear volume of my email. Professional to the core.

Thanks Tiziana I hope your company does change for the better.

That's a start and Home Depot can play a huge role in reducing our energy demands, educating the public and keeping our homes safe. We just need more training. We all want to do it right!

Better advice. Sound advice.

A happier man.

John Whipple

PS on a side note; Rona has yet to contact me... Schulter too...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:20PM
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is there any point to all of this or are you just so insecure that you need to make yourself look smarter?

You seriously have way WAY too much time on your hands.....

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 7:48PM
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I totally agree with Hexus.
WHO are these people? You refer to them as if we are supposed to know who the heck they are.
And WHY are you telling us all this???

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:56PM
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Mr Whipple was the man in the Charmin commercials.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 5:56PM
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Mr. Whipple here is the anti-phark. "Who cares how to do it? You're not allowed to. Now shut up and give me money."

Maybe if we both appear in the same thread we'll cancel each other out and disappear in a blinding flash of light and near-infinite release of energy...

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:42PM
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"...both appear in the same thread we'll cancel each other out and disappear..."


thanks for the laugh.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:32PM
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"Question: Are tamper proof receptacles required in your home town?"

-No, they are not required in my home town.

"Another Question.
"Is is right - that an 'Electrical Associate' in my local Box outlet told me it doesn't matter which plug I install in my home, my daughters room, my hallway etc. ?"

-My opinion is: Anyone who seeks electrical advice from someone who works at a hardware store should probably hire a professional.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:44PM
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Much of what happens these days regulation wise is an attempt to save us from ourselves. Example; I am of a generation where cars did not have seat belts and there were not car seats for infants and kids. We taught our kids not to stick themselves or something else in electrical outlets and we watched them.

Our present home built in 1959, had kid proof receptacles when we bought it in 1971. They were/are the type where you stick in the plug and turn till the plug enters.

Now, as we go about our electrical business, as we do service upgrades and remodels, we tell our clients that the inspector will be looking fro AFCI breakers in the living areas and tamper proof receptacles. We are often asked if we need to get a permit. Our answer, only if you want us to do the work.

Incidentally, in our city the fine for going over 20 in a school zone is $120. The fine for not wearing a seat belt is $275.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 8:33AM
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When new rules require new product, the old product still works.
The ancients must have given this some thought centuries ago too.
Phasing new rules in always causes funny little ripples in the product acceptability screen, whether the phase-in is sudden or gradual.

Now here we are,
so lucky to be here together,
watching one whipple chase one little ripple,
across the screen.

It's hard to educate a spanking new do-gooder who hasn't seen this, and who can't see 2 sides to the story.
The OP is a reformed man now. That is what he wrote yesterday.
The OP succeeded in making a change.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 5:32PM
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Have a little fun. Google JohnFRWhipple.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 5:41PM
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