20-Amp outlets throughout the house - a nutty idea ???
The original contractor-grade electrical outlets in my home are in rough shape. Many of them are too loose to reliably accept a plug. A few are even cracked (not the outlet cover, but the face). Most of them (with exception of the bathroom and kitchen) are the "backstab" style.
I want to replace the whole lot with something "different". Other than the bathroom, I want to change all of the two-outlet boxes to quads. I really like some red outlets I've seen on a design website. My dilemma...should I go with the "standard" or Decora style?
- The "standard" red ones come only in 20A. These are NOT the isolated-ground orange ones. I plan on upgrading to 12-2 and 20A breakers wherever these are installed; no 20A outlets will go on a 15A circuit. Advantage: half the price of Decora outlets. Disadvantage: Will have to upgrade wire and breaker on each new outlet right away.
- The red Decoras come in either 15A or 20A. Will still upgrade wiring in future. Advantage: No need to upgrade wire or breakers right away with 15A units. Disadvantage: Decoras are expensive.
I don't know if "standard" outlets are more durable than Decoras. I also don't know if 20A outlets will "wear out" more quickly when plugging/unplugging only 15A plugs.
Here's what I do know...
- House panel is a 200A Square-D QO-series with plenty of room for more breakers.
- Some breakers trip from time to time because too many outlets are fed by a single breaker (iron + aircon or TV plus microwave).
- Using 20A breakers/wiring, or more breakers/homeruns will stop the nusance breaker trips.
- A dual or quad 15A outlet can be fed from a 20A breaker. However, a 15A single outlet needs a 15A breaker.
- It's my own home so local BI will issue me a permit (he's done so in the past).
- The only place "backstab" outlets should be installed is in a landfill.
- I'm a little nuts to go through all this trouble to get red outlets.
Here's what I need to know...
- Adding 20A outlets in every room would be overkill, but is it otherwise "wrong" ?
- Should I spend twice as much to get the "lesser" 15A Decora outlets, even though my pitiful wiring will be upgraded anyway ?
- Have any of you pros seen wear issues from connecting/disconnecting 15A plugs on 20A outlets ?
- Sould I install one of those KVAR units to save on my electric bills...JUST KIDDING !!!