Are there different types of electrical outlets?

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Posted by: from Vancouver
7/9/2015 at 2:21:35 PM

I've bought a reno in which some of the outlets don't accept the cord when I try to plug it in. The openings are too narrow for the standard plug. Why is this?

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Jeff from JTL Construction in Winnipeg
Date/Time7/9/2015 at 3:08:09 PM

I am not sure I understand. You bought a renovated home? If so the new plugs are probably tamper proof which is code on new or renovated home. And yes they can be hard to plug some cords into as they are designed to be difficult for children to stick any foreign objects into. You have to be aa little aggressive if this is infact the case. If you could send a picture to an electrician of the outlet they could help you.

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Date/Time7/9/2015 at 3:14:52 PM

There should not be any non-standard sizes of outlets in a new reno. I do know however that last year or so there was a change in electrical code requiring all new outlets to be of a "tamper-proof" design. This change made it so that the connection points of the outlet have small plastic covers inside them. I found they generally make it annoying and hard to plug anything into, at least until they are thoroughly worked in...

If the prongs of your device look like they will fit on the outside but just won't "shove" in then this is what I would suspect.

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time7/9/2015 at 8:21:57 PM

Basically any new outlet installed will have the TR stamp on them and have plastic shutters inside the slots to prevent kids from shoving in a knife. My problem with these are that if a kid shoves 2 knives in each slot, there would be enough current flow across the chest to stop a young heart. Yes the chances are lessened they will figure that out, but 2 nails equally inserted at the same time, will slide right in, allowing current to flow from one arm, through the chest and out the other arm, essentially cooking arteries, veins, and everything else along the way. certainly not fool proof. And if someone installed "cheap" receptacles, they jamb while trying to install a normal plug. Better quality do not jamb.

Are there different types of electrical outlets?
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Date/Time7/9/2015 at 9:35:03 PM


There was a time in the past, many years ago, when receptacles had narrow slots for the cord ends. I am guessing this home was built in the early 1960's?

This type of receptacle wasn't used longer than a few years.

Then CSA wanted the three prong receptacle to become standard across Canada.

In the last 10 years, I have changed these kind of receptacles in two different homes in Edmonton.

Have a local, Licenced FSR Electrical Contractor come into your home, for a thorough Inspection. This will give you a much needed "peace of mind!'

Thank you,

Randy Paul

Master Electrician

RGP Consulting and Electric Ltd.

Ardrossan, AB.

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Date/Time7/11/2015 at 7:04:09 PM

I agree with Randy; there have been many versions of the "standard" receptacle prior to what I would call the modern one. There are old "radio receptacles", "shaver receptacles" and other speciality receptacles that I have come across over the years.

What I have never come across is a room full of them; or where I thought that would be in good enough condition that I would not want to replace them... So along that line I might think; as the others, that you are talking about a tamper-proof receptacle.



John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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