So you have made the decision to get rid of your outdated duplex receptacles and are ready to install some new GFCIs. But which one do you need and where do you install them? Deciding between Tamper Resistant and Weather Resistant interrupters can be tough if you aren’t informed about GFCIs and the NEC code requirements.
15 Amp Duplex Receptacle
Formerly known as the standard electrical outlet in American homes. These receptacles do not offer ground fault protection. Without ground fault detection, the user is at higher risk of accidental electrical shock. The lack of protection from these receptacles prompted the innovations required by the National Electrical Code now. Best to replace these with GFCIs.
GFCI’s or ground fault circuit interrupters monitor the current flowing through the conductor to determine if any current is leaking from the circuit. If it discovers that electricity is not on its intended path, then the GFCI trips to stop the flow of electricity. Stopping the flow of electricity prevents accidental electrocution. These are required to be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, laundry rooms and outdoors.
Tamper Resistant GFCI
Required by 2008 National Electrical Code for use in new construction or renovation. The main objective for these GFCIs is to protect from shock and injury, especially in the case of children. The tamper resistant GFCI protects children with built-in shutter that only open when a proper plug is inserted. These are required by code to be used in hallways, bathroom areas, small-appliance circuits, wall spaces, laundry areas, garages and countertops within residential homes, apartment buildings, and hotels.
Weather Resistant GFCI
Required by 2008 National Electrical Code for use in damp or wet areas including: Patios, decks, porches, pool areas, garages, yards, and other outdoor damp locations. The weather resistant is designed to withstand extreme cold, corrosion, and damp environments. When installing a weather resistant GFCI in a damp location remember that you must also use a weather resistant cover.
Required by 2015 Underwriters Laboratories standard 943, the Self-Test function has the ability to automatically, periodically test the status of the GFCI. After the test is complete, the GFCI must visually indicate its status. These functions will deny power if the GFCI is not working properly and can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, laundry rooms and outdoors. These improvements have been made to further prevent serious injuries as a result of electrocution.