406.12 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles.

Three different types of tamper-resistant receptacles.
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Three different types of tamper-resistant receptacles.

Code Change Summary: The requirements for tamper-resistant receptacles have been expanded.

The use of tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles is aimed at keeping kids safe. Year after year there have been reports of children being injured, shocked or burned after inserting objects into receptacles. Each code cycle since the 2008 NEC, there has been revisions to the rules pertaining to TR receptacles.

In the 2014 NEC, the rules in Article 406 for TR receptacles only pertained to 15- and 20-ampere, 125-volt nonlocking-type receptacles in specific locations such as dwelling units, guest rooms and day care centers.

In the 2017 NEC, the requirements for TR receptacles have been expanded to include 250-volt nonlocking-type receptacles. Also, several additional locations were added including receptacles located in specific schools, offices, waiting rooms and certain places of assembly.

Now, “all 15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt nonlocking-type receptacles in the areas specified in 406.12(1) through (7) shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.”

Always be mindful of the exceptions and don’t forget about NEC 518.18(C) which requires receptacles located in patient rooms, bathrooms, playrooms, and activity rooms of pediatric units or spaces to be listed tamper-resistant or employ a listed tamper-resistant cover.

Below is a preview of the NEC. See the actual NEC text at NFPA.ORG for the complete code section. Once there, click on their link to free access to the 2017 NEC edition of NFPA 70.

2014 Code Language:

406.12 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

Tamper-resistant receptacles shall be installed as specified in 406.12(A) through (C).

(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.

(B) Guest Rooms and Guest Suites of Hotels and Motels. All nonlocking-type 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles located in guest rooms and guest suites of hotels and motels shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.

(C) Child Care Facilities. In all child care facilities, all nonlocking-type 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.

Exception to (A), (B), and (C): Receptacles in the following locations shall not be required to be tamper resistant:

(1) Receptacles located more than 1.7 m (5 ½ ft) above the floor.

(2) Receptacles that are part of a luminaire or appliance.

(3) A single receptacle or a duplex receptacle for two appliances located within dedicated space for each appliance that, in normal use, is not easily moved from one place to another and that is cord-and plug-connected in accordance with 400.7(A)(6), (A)(7), or (A)(8).

(4) Nongrounding receptacles used for replacements as permitted in 406.4(D)(2)(a).

2017 Code Language:

406.12 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

All 15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt nonlocking-type receptacles in the areas specified in 406.12(1) through (7) shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.

(1) Dwelling units in all areas specified in 210.52 and 550.13

(2) Guest rooms and guest suites of hotels and motels

(3) Child care facilities

(4) Preschools and elementary education facilities

(5) Business offices, corridors, waiting rooms and the like in clinics, medical and dental offices and outpatient facilities

(6) Subset of assembly occupancies described in 518.2 to include places of waiting transportation, gymnasiums, skating rinks, and auditoriums

(7) Dormitories

Exception to (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7): Receptacles in the following locations shall not be required to be tamper resistant:

(1) Receptacles located more than 1.7 m (5 ½ ft) above the floor

(2) Receptacles that are part of a luminaire or appliance

(3) A single receptacle or a duplex receptacle for two appliances located within the dedicated space for each appliance that, in normal use, is not easily moved from one place to another and that is cord-and-plug-connected in accordance with 400.10(A)(6), (A)(7), or (A)(8)

(4) Nongrounding receptacles used for replacements as permitted in 406.4(D)(2)(a)

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406.12 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles.

Below is a Real Question from our Electrical Continuing Education Courses for Electrical License Renewal:

Which of the following receptacles is required to be tamper-resistant?

A: A 15 amp, 125-volt, nonlocking receptacle located 18 inches above finished floor on the wall in a day care facility.
B: Receptacles that are part of a luminaire or appliance.
C: Nongrounding receptacles used for replacements as permitted in 406.4(D)(2)(a).
D: A receptacle located 6 feet above finished floor.
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