National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Monday, December 23, 2019


Charlie, For the NEC retrofit requirement for residential homes to tamper-resistant outlets, isn't this essentially rendering all old-stock non-tamper-resistant receptacles obsolete and worthless? Is there any way to comply with this NEC requirement and somehow create a tamper-resistant outlet from a non-tamper-resistant receptacle? Somewhere at some point the NEC has said that "a receptacle cover shall be permitted to be used in place of a tamper-resistant receptacle" but I can't find any reference to that now. Thank you for your help.

Kevin Kayden


Hey Kevin thanks for your question. The specific ratings of receptacles described in 406.12 must be tamper resistant in the areas described. Replacement receptacles must be of that type as stated in 406.4(D)(5). Standard non-tamper resistant receptacles can still be used in other areas. Tamper resistant covers are not allowed. For Pediatric Locations (Category 2) in health care facilities all receptacles must provide tamper resistance and listed covers are allowed as stated in 517.18(C).

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CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

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