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#76049 - 11/28/00 05:25 AM Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
I suppose it's a loophole type of thing, but why doesn't a Bathroom outlet, which already must meet the expected power requirements of the inevitable hairdryer (20 amp circuit)have to be a 20 amp device? And why shouldn't the Hairdryer have a 20 amp plug on it? The latest (1875 watt) hairdryers are certainly capable of - and will most likely be used at a rating that would normally require such a plug. And the sudden appearance of this "funny plugs" might make the public more aware of what they are using and that an upgrade of some sort is in order to be able to use these things safely.

This is admitedly a pet peeve of mine, so Please excuse any emotion you might detect in this post. I think of the tremendous strain that these very, very popular items are putting on the Electrical systems of yesterday and it makes me very nervous. I have seen a jump in the number of service calls resulting from the use of these Hairdryers and their effects on a typical 15 amp household circuit. They will sooner or later find the weakest points in the system and it will fail. The fact I find most disturbing of all is that the average person is not aware of any of this. Do we have to wait for statistics to pile up on this?

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#76050 - 11/29/00 08:27 PM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
doc Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 119
Loc: Texas
YOU know that is one of the things I have a problem with,but keep in mind that the code sets min .standards and that is all most people use. We went and looked at new homes with our son and the bathrooms in most homes are on one circuit,no way could 2 people use a dryer at same time
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#76051 - 11/29/00 09:07 PM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
doc,

Yes it seems that this is a widespread deficiency (my opinion) in most homes. At least new homes will have a 20 amp circuit for the bathroom Outlets - it's an Improvenment anyway.

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#76052 - 11/30/00 08:07 AM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Amen, brother! Shouldn't anything drawing more than 1440W (up to 1920W; 120V assumed) have the 20A plug? Are they exempt from the 125% ampacity rule? How does UL come to their conclusions on this matter?

I've seen UL stickers on landscape lights with porcelain fixtures fastened directly to the wood frame and no box to contain the splice... go figure... Makes one wonder if UL even knows what they're doing...
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#76053 - 11/30/00 11:06 AM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Sparky,

The only thing I can think of is that they must sneak under the Fence somehow because they can be used at lower wattages and it is for a relatively short period of time. I just think that it's a matter of the manufacturers wanting to constantly come out with new (and "improved") products and testing the limits of the code. They kept taking an inch, and another .. and another ...........

I think they should use their Imaginations to come up with different styles, colors .. Attachments maybe? and stop pushing their luck and ours.

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#76054 - 12/04/00 01:21 PM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
Bill Butler Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/04/00
Posts: 1
Will arc-fault circuit interrupters be useful here?

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#76055 - 12/04/00 10:57 PM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Hello Bill!

It is my understanding that AFCI's should remove some of the Dangers that Loose/Poor wiring practices present. I should be putting a page on the subject soon.

Bill

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#76056 - 08/30/01 06:12 PM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Pardon me while I awaken an old thread...

So, where do we all stand on this issue?
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Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#76057 - 08/30/01 06:38 PM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
Anonymous
Unregistered


>Do we have to wait for statistics to pile up on this?

>120V assumed
Ah, but it is 125 V.

> Are they exempt from the 125% ampacity rule?
The appliances themselves? Absolutely.

>Will arc-fault circuit interrupters be useful here?
I don't see how.

As I've stated in other threads, I like the idea of the blow dryers having 20 A plugs... except that folks will then change their receptacles without upgrading the wire. And if they did have 20 A plugs, then we would start seeing 2475 W blow dryers... still on 14 AWG but now perhaps the breaker would be changed to 20 A.

Folks are not going to give up their blow dryers, window air conditioners, or coffee pots.

Aren't you glad that bedroom stereo systems and electric guitar amplifiers are solid state electronics rather than vacuum tubes?

Talk about continuous loads....

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#76058 - 08/31/01 11:11 AM Re: Re: Plugs on Hairdryers and 20a Outlets
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
As an "ignorant foreigner" I would've assumed that with a standard 15A plug 1800 watts would be the absolute limit. I hadn't realized manufacturers were fitting normal 15A plugs to larger dryers.

This whole business makes me think about I problem with excessive loading that I'm seeing more frequently in Britain.

I don't want to hijack your topic though, Bill, so I'll post it as another thread later.

Meantime, could someone define the NEC 125% ampacity rule? I seem to recall reading about it before: Something along the lines that the branch circuit must be rated 25% higher than the maximum CONTINUOUS load?

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