Does the color Red signify anything special in a 20 amp 120 V duplex outlet.
Our local Habitat for Humanity Store has a lot of them for sale at a very
good price. Could one use them for replacement outlets if needed or would
that violate some wiring color code?
Red indicates that the outlet is connected to an emergency generator
in the event of a power outage. You usually see them a lot in
hospitals. Electrically they are the same as regular outlets. I'm not
sure about code issues using them as regular outlets.
I don't think it's code, certainly not for residential purposes,
possibly sector-specific like health care. For home use, I think
color is personal choice. Certainly a lot of folks will assume you've
got that circuit on backup power, but we know what happens when people
BUT if they're 20A t-slots, code DOES restrict where you can use them.
Certainly they should not be used on a 15A/14-ga circuit. I used to
think code restricted them to *single-outlet* dedicated 20A/12-ga
circuits, but have been told recently they're ok on multi-outlet 20A/
12-ga circuits. But for general purpose around-the-house replacements,
(And I'd consult with the other residents. If some of the outlets
around my house showed up bright red, I think I'd get complaints.)
When I worked at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, I learned in
commercial settings these are solely used to indicate emergency
electrical power (usually a generator) in the event of a power outage.
Ours at JHSPH were not only 110-15, but many higher voltage and
amperage configurations, for the deep freezers in which decades' worth
of study samples were kept. Imagine if BGE had one of its frequent
power glitches and your freezer with blood samples and the like from
the earliest days of studying AIDS suddenly couldn't maintain -135
In a residential setting I don't think it would matter if you used
these outlets. The only issue I would see is someone coming in later -
say if you sold the house - and getting confused.
And on a personal note, from the spouse of a Habitat Development
Director, thanks for supporting a ReStore!
No problem, it is my favorite store!. On another note, the State Fire
Marshal inspector was in my shop today doing his inspection, so I asked him
about the red outlets. He did say that they are usually for emergency power,
but there is no problem using them for regular outlets in a home. So in that
case, guess I will have a Scarlet and gray OSU motif in my workshop! Red
Outlets with Gray covers!
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