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IAEI Magazine | Author: Charles S. Kurten
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Charles S. Kurten

Chuck Kurten is the principal engineer (PDE) for Wiring Devices & Components for Underwriters Laboratories Inc. He is a member of both domestic and international wiring device technical committees, including those of UL, CSA, CANENA, NEMA, IEC, IECEE CB CTL Task Force Expert and International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI). He holds an AS in engineering science, B.S. in electrical engineering and a master's degree in business administration (MBA).


Receptacle Grades: What Do They Mean?

In today’s world there are so many different types of receptacles to choose from—straight blade, locking-type, and pin and sleeve. The variety of straight blade receptacles offered by manufacturers alone is staggering—in fact, wiring device manufacturers produce and market more than a 1,000 different types. Differences include electrical rating, color, style, sizes, and configuration. Receptacles are marketed using terms such as general grade, specification grade, heavy duty, industrial grade, commercial grade, residential grade, hospital grade, specialty grade, and fed spec. There are, however, only four receptacle identities that are specified in the Standard for Attachment Plugs and Receptacles, ANSI/UL 498 and CSA CAN/C22.2 No. 42-99, General Use Receptacles, Attachment Plugs, and Similar Wiring Devices.