Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was reading the latest entry on this blog and I saw that she'd mentioned that they'd installed some child-proof outlets. But they don't look any different from normal outlets to me!

What's the difference between child-proof outlets and normal ones? How would I go about installing them, if I needed to?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

A child-proof, or tamper resistant (TR for short) receptacle, has a spring-loaded cover over the electrical contacts that retracts when both pins of the plug press against it. You need to push against both sides simultaneously, and some force is required to open the cover, making it difficult for a child to get something in far enough to get a shock.

A regular outlet doesn't have that cover, so a child can easily push something into the slot, touching the electrical contact and getting a shock.

Installation is exactly the same as for a regular receptacle (as you noted, they look identical from the outside).

Some other points:

  • The 2008 NEC requires TR outlets in new construction and renovations (thank you, @Tester101).
  • TR outlets are somewhat more expensive than regular.
  • TR outlets grip the plug much more firmly than regular ones, reducing the risk of them pulling out accidentally.
share|improve this answer
    
To any new parents - they are well worth the effort to install. My 1 year old could yank out those plug-in receptacle covers in a brand new outlet within about 10 unattended seconds. –  Steve Jackson Sep 6 '11 at 16:01
3  
It might be worth mentioning that these receptacles are now required in new builds and renovations by code (NEC, and possibly others). –  Tester101 Sep 6 '11 at 16:19
    
@tester101: thank you, incorporated into my answer. –  Niall C. Sep 6 '11 at 23:58
1  
Here's a great animation that shows how these work: leviton.com/OA_HTML/… –  gregmac Sep 7 '11 at 21:08

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.