Building a new home or business means making several decisions, including the type of outlets you’ll use. Even if you’re only planning a remodel or doing some renovations, it’s still worth considering whether or not you have the right type of electrical outlets, especially if you are updating a home with an electrical system that wasn’t originally designed to handle all of today’s energy demands.
A homeowner grade outlet is the least expensive of the three outlets available. While these outlets can handle most electrical demands, they tend to wear out after about five to ten years, depending on use. An electrician may recommend a homeowner grade outlet in areas where outlets won’t be in constant use.
Commercial grade outlets are very similar to the homeowner ones. The main difference is the quality of the design. They cost about 50 percent more than the cheaper version of the same outlet, but the investment will pay off in time. Commercial grade outlets can last as long as 100 years under normal conditions and use. Electricians typically recommend these outlets in areas where something will be constantly plugged in, like appliances or computers.
Hospital grade outlets are specially designed for situations where an outlet needs to be highly durable and reliable, as would be the case with outlets used in hospitals and medical facilities. The only reason to consider a hospital grade outlet in a home would be if you or someone living in your home needs to be supported by a breathing machine or needs a never-fail outlet for similar devices.
Most of the time, your choice will be between homeowner and commercial grade when it comes to the outlets you’ll use throughout your property. Ideally, you want outlets that are going to be able to handle your power demands for many years. If you need some assistance making a decision, an electrician can help you make a choice that’s right for your needs and expected electrical requirements.
Receptacles 101, electrical-online.com
RECEPTACLE GRADES: WHAT DO THEY MEAN?, iaeimagazine.org