February 2011 Edition

Tamper Resistant Receptacles

What are tamper-resistant electrical receptacles, and what are the new requirements?
The 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires new and renovated dwellings to have tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles. These receptacles have spring-loaded shutters that close off the contact openings, or slots, of the receptacles.


When a plug is inserted into the receptacle, both springs are compressed, and the shutters then open, allowing for the metal prongs to make contact to create an electrical circuit. Because both springs must be compressed at the same time, the shutters do not open when a child attempts to insert an object into only one contact opening, and there is no contact with electricity. Tamper-resistant receptacles are an important next step to making the home a safer place for children.
Why require tamper-resistant electrical receptacles?
In 2006, approximately 1,800 children age 14 or under received treatment at a hospital emergency room for shock or burns resulting from an outlet or receptacle.
If homeowners do not have children, are TR receptacles required?
Yes. Owners or tenants of homes and apartments change frequently. In addition, exposure to electrical shock and burn accidents are not limited to a child’s own home. Children visit homes of relatives and friends who don’t have children of their own. This requirement ensures all new homes and apartments are safe for children, whether the home is their own or they are there on a temporary basis.
Do TR receptacles require greater insertion strength than standard receptacles?
TR receptacles require comparable force to other receptacles. The insertion force may vary depending on the newness of the device to the shape or style of the plug being inserted.
Are TR receptacles costly?
No. The cost of a TR receptacle adds about $0.50 to the cost of an unprotected receptacle. Based on current statistics, the average home has about 75 receptacles, resulting in an overall added cost of under $40. This amount may vary slightly based on the type and style of TR receptacle used. This minimal increase in cost buys a significant increase in electrical safety for children.
Shouldn’t people accept responsibility for their children and teach their children not to stick items in receptacles?
Accidents involving children and receptacles cannot be blamed entirely on parents. They involve people who look away for a moment, only to face undue tragedy and pain as the result of a child’s curiosity. The NEC’s mission is to provide electrical safety in the home. TR receptacles are a simple and easy way to protect children from serious injuries that continue to happen every year.
Why are TR receptacles preferred over products such as receptacles with caps or with sliding receptacle covers?
Receptacle caps may be lost and also may be a choking hazard for some ages. Children can learn to defeat sliding  receptacle covers when they watch their parents. TR receptacles provide security against the insertion of objects other than cord plugs into the energized parts.

Receptacle 2

What is the NEC?
The NEC is the National Electrical Code. The NEC’s mission is to provide practical safeguards from the hazards that arise from using electricity. It is the most widely adopted safety codde in the united States and the world, and it is the benchmark for safe electrical installations.
 Source: National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org 

Choosing 4x4 Wood Post

 I have a 4x4 wood post on my deck that has warped. I heard that 8 foot pressure-treated 4x4s contain the pith. Longer 4x4s are less likely to warp, and are  more decay resistant. Is this just old carpenter's talk?
 Chalk one up for the crotchety old guys. Pressure-treated 8-ft. 4x4s are typically made from “peeler cores” which are the byproduct of plywood production. When a log is turned on a lathe to produce plywood veneer, the center that remains, called the peeler core, is used as a post. These cores often contain the pith, or center of the log, which doesn't accept pressure treatment as well. Peeler-core posts are more likely to warp and twist than posts cut farther away from a tree's center.


When shopping for 4x4 posts, look at the ends. If growth rings start near the center of the post and expand outward, it's almost certainly made from a peeler core (see photos). If the rings are off center, it's not the log's center. Buy 10 foot. posts instead of peeler-core 8-footers and trim them to fit.

Source: The Family Handyman, www.thefamilyhandyman.com


With Any Home Inspection By

Christian Building Inspectors, Inc.


If you have a question, change of address, comment or home tip, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.


Quote Of The Month

"If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well’.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.



A Tip Of The Hat To:

Jennifer & Shack Lewis

The Lewis Group, Inc.

1585 Holcomb Bridge Road

Roswell, Georgia 30076

**** Thank You**** 

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