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Subject: Re: American vs foreign electrical parts and installations
References: <3D84792C.15312F03@prontoREMOVETHISmail.com> <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 14:14:25 -0230
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 12:46:10 EDT
Organization: Bell Sympatico
John Gilmer wrote:
> The cheap switches very seldom cause ANY problem. Most of the few
> problems come from the basic design (poke in backwiring) rather than
> cheapness per se.
> Cheap outlets are a tradeoff between reliability and cost. In new
> construction there are quite a few wall outlets. Most outlets are almost
> never used or have a lamp semi-permanently installed. Thus, there is
> little justification for an upgrade.
> Where there is heavy use, the cheap ones fail more often. Then it is up to
> the (home)owner to make his own cost/benefit calculation. If his outlet
> failed after 5 years of use and a "good" outlet would have failed after 10
> years of use (but who really knows) he might spring for the extra few
> The last time I was at HD they were pushing a higher cost outlet that had
> extra strong holding power of the plug so consumers get a choice.
> For a homeowner doing a new room and a shoestring budget they money saved
> using the cheaper outlets can add up.
Agree: Light Switches, even those on circuits with an inductive
load, say fluorescent ballasts, rarely fail. In our 30+ year old
house wired back then by myself, we have replaced at most two or
three! Even the cheap little neon lighted switch near my now 36
year old daughter's crib still lights and works fine!
Agree also on outlets. Again we originally built with an eye to
cost. A few heavily used (frequently unplugged) outlets have been
replaced over the years, but we are ultra cautious. In the
workshop and garage it's usually more a question of an outlet
getting banged or nicked, maybe a cracked 'switch plate' etc.
i.e. external physical damage. We have used heavier quality
replacements for those including these days strings of or
individual outlets protected by what are called here GFIs.
(Ground Fault Interrupter) for outlets used outside or on
concrete floors etc.
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