When changing out receptacles should I be installing tamper resistant receptacles?

It seems that the 2008 NEC requires these devices to be installed for any new install, should I be installing them when I change out old or damaged receptacles as well?

Tamper resistant receptacle

2 Answers 2


I doubt it's required for existing construction and repairs, depending on where you live; some states have not yet adopted the code but it looks like most (pdf) have;

The incremental cost is small and if you have small children, it'll save having to buy those plastic inserts. And since I'm one who vividly recalls being a toddler a long time ago getting his first lesson in electricity after finding out that a metal coat hanger fits nicely in a wall socket, I think it's not a bad idea.

  • +1 The cost difference is negligible. I replaced all my downstairs outlets last year (plugs were falling out anyway). My 14 month old can pull out the plastic inserts on the nearly new "normal" outlets in my upstairs office - no sweat. Oct 30, 2010 at 19:31

In the 2008 version of National Electrical Code, replacements were not required to be TR. However, now receptacles must be replaced with TR receptacles, if TR receptacles are required in that location.

As near as I can tell, nearly all dwelling unit receptacles must be TR as of 2014 code.

National Electrical Code 2014

Chapter 4 Equipment for General Use.

Article 406 Receptacles, Cord Connectors, and Attachment Plugs.

406.4 General Installation Requirements.

(D) Replacements. Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.4(D)(1) through (D)(6), as applicable. Arcfault circuit-interrupter and ground-fault circuit-interrupter type receptacles shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

(5) Tamper-Resistant Receptacles. Listed tamper-resistant receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be tamper-resistant elsewhere in this Code.

406.12 Tamper Resistant Receptacles.

(A) Dwelling Units. In all areas specified in 210.52, all nonlocking-type 125-volt, 15-and 20-ampere receptacles shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.

  • Out of curiosity, was 406.4(D)(4) not in the 2008 NEC as originally asked? I don't have a 2008 copy to check
    – mjohns
    Jul 10, 2015 at 20:59
  • @mjohns In the 2008 version, it was 406.3(D) but there was only 1, 2, & 3. I don't think TR receptacles were mentioned at all in 2008 NEC, but I could be wrong about that.
    – Tester101
    Jul 10, 2015 at 21:03
  • Your question did state It seems that the 2008 NEC requires these devices to be installed for any new install, but it was almost 5 years ago so I'll cut you some slack
    – mjohns
    Jul 10, 2015 at 21:04
  • 1
    @mjohns 406.11 (which is now 406.12) was in there, so TR receptacles were required in new installs (2008 NEC 406.11 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles in Dwelling Units. In all areas specified in 210.52, all 125-volt, 15and 20-ampere receptacles shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.)
    – Tester101
    Jul 10, 2015 at 21:06
  • Excellent clarification. I had a feeling the TR requirements had been around since before 2011.
    – mjohns
    Jul 10, 2015 at 21:12

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