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Our electrician installed a "Wet location" NEMA 5-20R outlet under our sink recently and have been trying to figure out what makes it special? He states it isn't GFCI, which by my understanding would be required in such a location (or perhaps just unwise not to do so). What on earth makes a "wet location" outlet different from a standard NEMA 5-20R outlet?

  • Thanks @MicahMontoya. Could you also advise how this is different from a non-wet location outlet (as in the internal differences, not just that it is different)? – user66001 Jan 10 at 16:20
  • I'm not sure about the difference other than the WR stamped on it. I suspect something internal. Someone with more knowledge than I may know. – Micah Montoya Jan 10 at 16:31
  • Assuming it is not GFCI, you may already have GFCI in the breaker panel. If so, great. If not, your electrician was violating the spirit of current code, if not actual code (can't say for sure) by NOT installing GFCI in a kitchen under sink outlet. – manassehkatz Jan 10 at 17:04
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    @manassehkatz or put it downstream an existing gfci (likely already present because kitchen) to provide protection. – ratchet freak Jan 10 at 17:15
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Reading your question and the other comments, I'm just answering to try and sum things up.

First a Weather Resistant Receptacle. Provides compliance with 2011 NEC Article 406.9 that states that all receptacles installed in wet and damp locations must be weather resistant. “WR” designations provide visual identification. Weather Resistant Receptacles offer protection from rain, snow, ice, moisture, and humidity when properly installed in an approved weather protective or while-in-use cover. Weather resistant receptacles are for use in any residential or commercial outdoor location. Designed with enhanced nylon and corrosion resistant metal components Weather resistant receptacles are extra durable.

I think the electrician was just trying to give you the best job he knew how, even though it isn't necessary. Either that or that's the only receptacle he had on hand. There is no problem with installing better than code minimum.

Hope this helps.

  • WR isn't necessary but isn't everything, except basically barns and sidewalk heaters, supposed to be tamper proof, and/or (somehow) GFCI/AFCI protected? – Mazura Jan 11 at 9:41
  • Thanks Retired Master Electrician. I addition to Mazura's question, might you know where I can find a copy of the NEC online? Would be interested to read the section you cite in it's entirety, and likely the rest of it also! – user66001 Jan 11 at 13:35
  • @user66001 - I have never found a site where the NEC is online and free, but the NFPA site will sell you a copy. However there are many online magazines that will cover different sections in each publications. Some of the more popular are EC&M, EC (electrical contractor), the IAEI puts out a quarterly magazine as well as IEEE. Also there are plenty of discussion sites you just have to type in the topic or section your looking for. I would recommend you get an UGLY'S Electrical Reference or something like it which can give you some reliable information at a basic level. Good luck. – Retired Master Electrician Jan 11 at 15:49
  • Thanks Retired Master Electrician. Will check out UGLY'S, though despite what can be gleaned in terms of my understanding of electrical theory from my question, I did electrical studies in High School and am technically minded, so not sure a book at basic level would increase my knowledge. – user66001 Jan 11 at 18:20
  • @user66001 -FYI I am not trying to judge your ability just your wallet. A new 2017 NEC retails for somewhere around $125.00 which is pretty pricey unless you are going use it year round. You might look online and see if someone is selling a used or older 2014 edition. – Retired Master Electrician Jan 11 at 20:47

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