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Receptacle Type???

Receptacle Type???

Receptacle Type???

What's the difference of these receptacles and their specific application if any? Thanks!

1. Hospital grade
2. Hospital grade - tamper resistant (safety type)
3. Commercial grade receptacle
4. Industrial grade receptacle
5. Residential receptacle


RE: Receptacle Type???

The difference is mostly price and quality.

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Receptacle Type???

Suffice it to say Residential is garbage..

Hospital is the best.

And a bigger difference is in the make more than the grade in my experience.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Receptacle Type???

Ditto both comments by waross and itsmoked, plus my experience:  

1) residential or commercial (spec grade) will become weak over time in the clamping force to hold the plug in.  If plugged into daily or more frequently, you'll find that plugs just fall out oun their own after a couple years.  

2) Hospital grade will never get weak, they seem to last forever even in really demanding service.  Safety type just has springy covers that keep young whippersnappers from poking mom's car key in there.

3) Haven't experienced "industrial grade" personally, except in twist-lock configurations.

4) Brand does make a difference.  Stick with the major players like Hubbell, Bryant, Arrow-Hart, Pass & Seymour, etc...

Good on y'all,

Goober Dave

RE: Receptacle Type???

As the others have noted Hospital grade devices are of the highest quality of these.  The major factors which make Hospital grade devices different are:

The contact pressure, they are required to resist pullout of the contacts to a greater degree.

They also have nickel plated brass contacts and one piece nickel plated brass mounting straps with integral grounding contacts.

They have deeper and more dense thermoplastic polyester bodies which reduce heat buildup and maintain the stabity of the assembly through years of heavy duty use.

The tamper resistant or safety type are as previously stated for use where children may have access as in schools and hospital waiting or pediatric areas, the higher quality ones such as Hubbell actually use a dual switch scheme where the insertion of the plug operates two switches, with the left male contact energizing the right receptacle contact and the right male contact energizing theleft.

Commercial grade are "middle-of-the-road" quality devices that are physically inferior to hospital grade but offer somewhat better durability than the bottom of the line residential devices, (which I would not put into any residence with which I was associated), as this is precisely where these devices recieve the worst treatment.  These devices break easily and have small weak contacts, small ground straps and cheap, weak terminals.

Industrial devices can be any number of twist lock devices, pin and sleeve devices, watertight devices in the unused or in connected conditions.

Hope that is of some help.


RE: Receptacle Type???

I agree with most of the comments above.  But I have seen clients get carried and require hospital grade receptacles in a government office building or lab and come to regret it.  It can be VERY difficult to insert and remove plugs into hospital grade receptacles - and intentionally so.  When this is combined with the unfortunate practice of removing plugs by pulling on the CORD (ugh!), there can be "issues".  

Except for hospitals, I'd stick with a good quality "spec-grade" receptacles for most applications.

Also, the tamper-proof receptacles are now required in residences by the new NEC.  

My three favorite manufacturers:  Hubbell, Hubbell, and Hubbell.   

RE: Receptacle Type???


You are absolutely correct about using hospital grade devices in offices-bad idea.  You are also correct about the best brand of devices, but you forgot to mention Hubbell!

RE: Receptacle Type???

Yeah, Hubbell is pretty good too!

But unfortunately, that is generally about the first substitution request received from the contractor.  Hey, if they are both "5262" they must be equal, right?  


RE: Receptacle Type???

That is why I ALWAYS require them to bring in samples and tools to take them apart to compare to my Hubbell take-apart samples.  There is so much difference inside these things it is easy to demonstrate the inequalities if it comes down to that.

RE: Receptacle Type???

Getting off track, I guess, but we used to have some nice cutaways of the various brands of receptacles (all "5262") and you're right, there is no real comparison.


RE: Receptacle Type???

Spec grade receptacles are what I generally require.  

BUT, IMO, the best way to assure you get a better receptacle for a reasonable cost is to require ALL receptacles be 20A vs 15A.  Go to any big box store and see the difference in force required to pull out a 20A vs 15A.  Dramatic.

Those 98 cent, 15A residential receptacles are pure JUNK!!


RE: Receptacle Type???

Very interesting Thread... Thanks guys for the info. Made for a good read :)

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