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post #1 of 44 Old 02-16-2017, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Monoprice.com code warning

Just to aid in preventing anyone from running into what I ran into today. I purchased 2 recessed media boxes with outlets from monoprice. I had to run new electrical so I had the city building inspector make sure everything was up to code. One thing he noted was that the receptacles sold by monoprice do not meet national code standards which require all outlets to be tamper proof. He is a going to let me use them because it is an existing home but said if it was a new build he would have failed the inspection.

I contacted monoprice and they have opened a trouble ticket and said they would check with their compliance team. Really eager to see what the outcome is. I like monoprice but cannot purchase items that are going to be non code compliant.
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post #2 of 44 Old 02-16-2017, 07:30 PM
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For what its worth, 'tamper proof' outlets suck. Its almost impossible to get a plug in them. When I was a kid we were told not to stick anything in outlets because it would shock us. If we did....we learned a lesson and didnt do it again....but we all survived.

The next thing the government will likely do is destroy gas cans with impossible valves and no venting to make them completely useless and cause gas to spill everywhere when used.



~JH
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post #3 of 44 Old 02-17-2017, 12:35 AM
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It's not the case that all receptacles must be (to be NEC compliant) tamper resistant. The non-tamper resistant type are still readily available and can be used where allowed.
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post #4 of 44 Old 02-17-2017, 05:32 AM
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Having the **pleasure** of dealing with electrical inspectors once or twice, I can affirm that "code" is whatever that particular inspector says it is. It doesn't matter that your NEC or local code listings say, the inspector is always more righter than you will ever be. YMMV.

And yes, tamper proof outlets also tend to be plug-in proof.

Curious why you would call out an inspector on work you were doing yourself in your own home? If you don't trust your own work, call someone you do.
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post #5 of 44 Old 02-17-2017, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Hotnuts View Post
For what its worth, 'tamper proof' outlets suck. Its almost impossible to get a plug in them. When I was a kid we were told not to stick anything in outlets because it would shock us. If we did....we learned a lesson and didnt do it again....but we all survived.

Yup!


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Originally Posted by Jonny Hotnuts View Post
The next thing the government will likely do is destroy gas cans with impossible valves and no venting to make them completely useless and cause gas to spill everywhere when used.

Already happened in California.
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post #6 of 44 Old 02-18-2017, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonny Hotnuts View Post
When I was a kid we were told not to stick anything in outlets because it would shock us. If we did....we learned a lesson and didnt do it again....but we all survived.
Yes, that was something we used to call learning....something we don't seem to allow children to do anymore.....

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Originally Posted by Luke M View Post
It's not the case that all receptacles must be (to be NEC compliant) tamper resistant. The non-tamper resistant type are still readily available and can be used where allowed.
Correct, at least commercial installs are different where I'm at.

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Already happened in California.
Ah, the state that put Nanny in the term Nanny State........
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post #7 of 44 Old 02-18-2017, 08:38 AM
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Tamper proof outlets I believe are required on electrical down here. I can't recall if you can use old outlets on existing outlets. I replaced all mine with TP, when I remodeled my place. They are a pain, but for the most part they aren't that bad.

I don't think you can knock Monoprice for not having TP outlets. I haven't looked lately, but HD and Lowes were still selling regular outlets.

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post #8 of 44 Old 02-20-2017, 03:41 PM
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Isn't this complaint really akin to buying a regular outlet and then having the inspector say you needed a GFI outlet? If you need a GFI, you buy specifically a GFI. If you need a tamper proof outlet due to code, you buy a tamper proof outlet. I understand the confusion, but I don't see how Monoprice is at fault for anything here. Did they claim it was tamper proof? It's really more of Consumer / Code ignorance at fault here. There are so many different local codes out there, this certainly isn't applicable to all, and as someone said, it also depends on your inspector. Some feel they aren't doing their job unless they find a problem, and others don't really care unless you're running your own feed from the power lines in front of the house with exposed copper.
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post #9 of 44 Old 02-20-2017, 07:19 PM
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Don't know which media box you purchased, but on many, the high voltage outlet can be swapped with a tamper proof for when that is unfortunately needed.

It is the high voltage and not the low voltage stuff that the inspector was concerned with?
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post #10 of 44 Old 02-23-2017, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Hotnuts View Post
The next thing the government will likely do is destroy gas cans with impossible valves and no venting to make them completely useless and cause gas to spill everywhere when used.

~JH
I literally LOL'd at this. I curse those cans every time I have to use one.

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post #11 of 44 Old 02-24-2017, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Walters View Post
Just to aid in preventing anyone from running into what I ran into today. I purchased 2 recessed media boxes with outlets from monoprice. I had to run new electrical so I had the city building inspector make sure everything was up to code. One thing he noted was that the receptacles sold by monoprice do not meet national code standards which require all outlets to be tamper proof. He is a going to let me use them because it is an existing home but said if it was a new build he would have failed the inspection.

I contacted monoprice and they have opened a trouble ticket and said they would check with their compliance team. Really eager to see what the outcome is. I like monoprice but cannot purchase items that are going to be non code compliant.
I do not think that this falls under Monoprice's responsibility at all.

As was said above the TR outlets are pretty much a pile of junk (my personal opinion) and after your inspection is done, remove the TR outlets, return them to where you bought them and install 15 amp (or 20) commercial grade outlets and you will be better off in the long run.

I would however avoid giving any government entity money to come out and enter my house and tell me what they think. Like a post above mentioned, if you are unsure, call an electrician.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Hotnuts View Post
For what its worth, 'tamper proof' outlets suck. Its almost impossible to get a plug in them. When I was a kid we were told not to stick anything in outlets because it would shock us. If we did....we learned a lesson and didnt do it again....but we all survived.

The next thing the government will likely do is destroy gas cans with impossible valves and no venting to make them completely useless and cause gas to spill everywhere when used.



~JH
Gas proof gas cans SUCK!!

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post #12 of 44 Old 03-14-2017, 06:13 PM
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When I built my addition, the inspector at first said I must use tamper proof receptacles. He later came back and said I didn't have to. Anyhow I had already installed a few of them and like stated earlier, they are nearing impossible to plug anything into. Don't companies test things before they put them on the market?

This is probably just another money making scheme someone came up with. There are just too many rules and regulations anymore.

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post #13 of 44 Old 03-15-2017, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Skytrooper View Post
When I built my addition, the inspector at first said I must use tamper proof receptacles. He later came back and said I didn't have to. Anyhow I had already installed a few of them and like stated earlier, they are nearing impossible to plug anything into. Don't companies test things before they put them on the market?

This is probably just another money making scheme someone came up with. There are just too many rules and regulations anymore.


Pretty cynical view, until your child sticks something into the receptacle
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post #14 of 44 Old 03-15-2017, 09:31 AM
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Having the **pleasure** of dealing with electrical inspectors once or twice, I can affirm that "code" is whatever that particular inspector says it is. It doesn't matter that your NEC or local code listings say, the inspector is always more righter than you will ever be. YMMV.

And yes, tamper proof outlets also tend to be plug-in proof.

Curious why you would call out an inspector on work you were doing yourself in your own home? If you don't trust your own work, call someone you do.
You are correct that code is what the particular inspector says it is. There's an actual provision written into the NEC stating as much.

Inspections are required in certain parts of the country, usually in the places where higher quality building standards are important. It has nothing to do with the OP not trusting himself.

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Originally Posted by D.R.Archer View Post
Pretty cynical view, until your child sticks something into the receptacle
When my kids were small, we simply plugged in those plastic blocking things. Those tamper proof receptacles are a real pain to plug something into. When kids grow up, simply remove them. And now you're not stuck with pain in the butt receptacles.

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post #16 of 44 Old 03-18-2017, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Utopianemo View Post
Inspections are required in certain parts of the country, usually in the places where higher quality building standards are important. It has nothing to do with the OP not trusting himself.
If you are doing your own install and just adding an outlet? Would you really call an inspector?

I'll stop ripping my BDs when I can put them in and watch the movie without trailers, warnings, cutesy menus...
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post #17 of 44 Old 03-19-2017, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Utopianemo View Post
You are correct that code is what the particular inspector says it is. There's an actual provision written into the NEC stating as much.

Inspections are required in certain parts of the country, usually in the places where higher quality building standards are important. It has nothing to do with the OP not trusting himself.

The NEC is the minimum standard accepted. The city is allowed to add additional standards to their building code as it see fit as long as the are as good or better then what the NEC states. The inspector is not allowed to just decide on the spot that this or that is required. In most cases what they want is minor and it's just easier to accept and correct what they are asking for. I've had numerous discussions with inspectors and have both won and lost them.
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post #18 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 09:15 AM
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The NEC is the minimum standard accepted. The city is allowed to add additional standards to their building code as it see fit as long as the are as good or better then what the NEC states. The inspector is not allowed to just decide on the spot that this or that is required.
That's not quite accurate. The NEC is a body of standards, put out by the NFPA every three years. Jurisdictional authorities, whether they be cities, states, or counties, decide to adopt or not adopt the new version of the NEC. Additionally, they may choose to supercede a portion of the code with local code if they feel there is merit. For example, Oregon waited to adapt some of the code pertaining to AFCIs because the manufacturing of those devices wasn't reliable enough. There are some jurisdictions that are enforcing old editions of the NEC for various reasons....So the Code isn't a bare minimum per se.

You're correct that the inspector doesn't get to decide what's required on the spot, but each inspector, as the "Authority Having Jurisdiction", interprets the NEC and local codes a little differently, as well as uses common sense to differing degrees. Some have power trips and will enforce the code as if it were Mosaic Law; others are capable of seeing the forest for the trees.

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post #19 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcos View Post
If you are doing your own install and just adding an outlet? Would you really call an inspector?
I wouldn't call an inspector for that, but he didn't specify that the outlet was all he was doing. Maybe it was part of a larger project or maybe he was being conscientious. Who knows?

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post #20 of 44 Old 03-20-2017, 11:08 AM
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I see your points, I've personally never worked somewhere not adopt the new code. I've been out of the electrical game for a while now, can't say I miss all that nonsense.

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as well as uses common sense to differing degrees.
This made me just laugh....great line.
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post #21 of 44 Old 03-24-2017, 11:44 PM
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Pretty cynical view, until your child sticks something into the receptacle
And...? Either learns to not do that again , or like me , learns to take those little plastic safety plugs out even faster than my parents could , jam anything metal I could in the outlet , grow up and become an electrician .
Tamper RESISTANT receptacles are at best annoying , try explaining to an elderly woman with arthritis that she'll need to call you out to plug anything in from now on because she doesn't have the hand strength to overcome the stupid springs on the shutters , because the inspector demanded they be installed when the work he was inspecting was 2 lights fixtures , nothing to do with the receptacles .
My question about the inspector is why he didn't require the circuit to be AFCI protected , guess he didn't get around to that part of the code book .
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post #22 of 44 Old 03-25-2017, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Hotnuts View Post
For what its worth, 'tamper proof' outlets suck. Its almost impossible to get a plug in them. When I was a kid we were told not to stick anything in outlets because it would shock us. If we did....we learned a lesson and didnt do it again....but we all survived.

The next thing the government will likely do is destroy gas cans with impossible valves and no venting to make them completely useless and cause gas to spill everywhere when used.



~JH
I have one of those gas cans. Unusable unless you have 5 minutes to watch 2.5 gallons of gas dribble in to your tank.

I recently bought a tamper proof GFI receptacle in the bathroom. Home Depot was out of the non-tamper proof and I didn't have time to shop around.
It is a battle of wills when ever I plug something in to it.
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post #23 of 44 Old 03-25-2017, 02:32 PM
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Some tamper proof receptacles are much better than others. They range from requiring unreasonable force to being almost normal.
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post #24 of 44 Old 04-11-2017, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcos View Post
If you are doing your own install and just adding an outlet? Would you really call an inspector?
Do people not understand that any electrical work you do on your house requires a permit and inspection from the city most of the time? If those outlets were deemed at fault during a fire investigation and no permits no inspections were done, claim denied. Yes its a remote possibility but when it comes to an investment as large as your house do you really want to take that chance?

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post #25 of 44 Old 04-11-2017, 06:33 PM
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... If those outlets were deemed at fault during a fire investigation...
Oh please, tell me how a tamper proof outlet would prevent a fire...
And inspectors have your safety first in their minds.

I'll stop ripping my BDs when I can put them in and watch the movie without trailers, warnings, cutesy menus...
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post #26 of 44 Old 04-12-2017, 12:48 PM
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A few years back my upstairs toilet cracked at the lever, ran all night & flooded the house. While the insurance inspector was around, I asked him if insurance would still cover a fire if a homeowner did his own wiring & a fire resulted. He said they couldn't deny a claim due to stupidity. I'm in Canada though.
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post #27 of 44 Old 04-13-2017, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Hotnuts View Post
For what its worth, 'tamper proof' outlets suck. Its almost impossible to get a plug in them. When I was a kid we were told not to stick anything in outlets because it would shock us. If we did....we learned a lesson and didnt do it again....but we all survived.

~JH
So true, this just makes it harder for parents to know if or when to start saving for the kids collage
Smart phones don't tell the whole story, smart phones make every kid seem like a genius, to the parents
Hell, if they were worried about kids safety fifty years ago, they would of installed the outlets 5 feet off the floor, not just 12 inches
The good old screw-in light bulb socket the original booby trap
Look at pictures of albert einstein, he looks like he stuck this tongue in a socketmore then once I bet
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post #28 of 44 Old 04-14-2017, 01:47 PM
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In most jurisdictions it's required that any electrical work means taking out a building permit. Normally, when you hire an electrician, he does this and you may not even know it happened, but it did.

If he fails to take out the permit, he can be fined, and the fine is way, way higher than he charged you (typical here is $2000) so trust me, he won't be willing to neglect the step.

If you do the work yourself, you can, but it is supposed to be inspected, which means you are supposed to take out the permit yourself, and in some places you might need a licensed electrician to sign off on your work or do the last connection to live AC.

Lots of Audio guys ignore all of the above, but it can become a problem when you try to sell your house, as the record for the electrical work won't exist, and the new buyer might be required to take out permits for all unpermit-ed work. Aside from the expense, this brings up problem No2, which is what I suspect the OP ran into with the "tamper-proof" requirement.

When you do modifications to your home, it's exactly the same as new construction. In other words, the mods must meet the *current* electrical code. Things that are perfectly fine in an existing home may not be fine if a change is made. So existing outlets could be A-OK but any new outlet, including a simple replacement in some circumstances, might have to be current code compliant.

Monoprice is great for a lot of things, but I would buy my electrical parts from the usual sources, personally (Leviton, Pass & Seymore, Legrand, Hubbell, etc). There is too much safety risk with offshore sourced products from dubious brands, there are regular instances of counterfeit CSA and UL approvals on electrical products from China, and the cost is not unreasonable for a known good outlet.

Remember ... your house CAN burn down, even with perfectly good work and perfectly good components in the power system. Why throw another unknown in the mix?
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post #29 of 44 Old 04-16-2017, 08:12 PM
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Johnny2Bad, your comments are spot on. My son just sold his house. Did his own electrical work. Not very good work. It cost him 2000$ to have a electrian to correct his shortcuts.

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post #30 of 44 Old 04-16-2017, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrandal View Post
...others don't really care unless you're running your own feed from the power lines in front of the house with exposed copper.
Well, that is generally OK as long as it is "six nines" copper (affixed with "DO NOT LICK" stickers every 2 meters, of course, for safety's sake).
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