Strange Electrical Outlet

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  #1  
Old 09-14-11, 09:58 PM
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Question Strange Electrical Outlet

I have a strange electrical outlet and have no idea what it was meant for or why such a strange outlet was installed and with no weather protection
The outlet is dead and there is no switch for it. PO has no idea what it was for.
I was thinking of using it to power a heat strip because the gutter downspout, next to it, will freeze solid in winter. This may have been the purpose, but why such an odd outlet
In the first photo, the outlet can barely be seen, next to the downspout, and in the second row of brick below the soldier-course.



 
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Old 09-14-11, 10:03 PM
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Roof edge heaters to prevent ice dams?
 
  #3  
Old 09-14-11, 10:10 PM
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I wouldn't think so, as this home is in NW Alabama. I have never had ice dams but with the weather changes we are having, this might be the first!
Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Roof edge heaters to prevent ice dams?
 
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Old 09-14-11, 10:16 PM
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Bellow is something I found on the internet:
---------------------------------------------

AC power plugs and sockets - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

T-slot duplex outlet.

The parallel and tandem outlet accepts normal parallel NEMA 115 plugs and also tandem NEMA 215 plugs. Both pair of receptacles are fed internally by the same supply.

A more recent and fairly common version of this type is the T-slot outlet, in which the locations of the tandem and the parallel slots were combined to create T-shaped slots. This version also accepts normal parallel NEMA 115 plugs and also tandem NEMA 215 plugs. Incidentally, a NEMA 520 (125 V, 20 A), a NEMA 6-15 (250 V, 15 A) or 620 (250 V, 20 A) plug with a missing ground pin would fit this outlet. This type is no longer available in retail shops since the 1960s.
 
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Old 09-14-11, 10:28 PM
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I just finished doing a search and this outlet is still available??? May not be at the local store
Do a search for Leviton Ivory T-Slot Receptacle Duplex Outlet 15 Amp 5000-I
I am sure there is a reason for an "ungrounded" plug, but I know of none
Originally Posted by belgarid View Post
Bellow is something I found on the internet:
---------------------------------------------

AC power plugs and sockets - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

T-slot duplex outlet.

The parallel and tandem outlet accepts normal parallel NEMA 115 plugs and also tandem NEMA 215 plugs. Both pair of receptacles are fed internally by the same supply.

A more recent and fairly common version of this type is the T-slot outlet, in which the locations of the tandem and the parallel slots were combined to create T-shaped slots. This version also accepts normal parallel NEMA 115 plugs and also tandem NEMA 215 plugs. Incidentally, a NEMA 520 (125 V, 20 A), a NEMA 6-15 (250 V, 15 A) or 620 (250 V, 20 A) plug with a missing ground pin would fit this outlet. This type is no longer available in retail shops since the 1960s.
 
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Old 09-14-11, 10:55 PM
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Depending on the location side of the house it was installed, I have seen this type of thing done for Xmas lighting. I have seen new home buyers add these kinds of special requests into their construction agreements. In this case perhaps only polarized recepticles would be all that was required back when the house was built, or the outlets added. Just another opinion and guess, and despite the age of the house, this is always still a possibility.
 
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Old 09-14-11, 11:09 PM
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I don't think it was for Christmas lights since it is on the back of the home facing dense woods.
Originally Posted by equinox View Post
Depending on the location side of the house it was installed, I have seen this type of thing done for Xmas lighting. I have seen new home buyers add these kinds of special requests into their construction agreements. In this case perhaps only polarized recepticles would be all that was required back when the house was built, or the outlets added. Just another opinion and guess, and despite the age of the house, this is always still a possibility.
 
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Old 09-15-11, 07:05 AM
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How old is the house? Have you found the breaker or traced the wiring back to the load center? I'd be interested in whether it's 240V or 120V.

Is it possible that an old receptacle broke and somebody just grabbed this one and stuck it in there? The faceplate could not be original, unless this is a house the predates weather-resistant requirements.

Check your property and mortgage records to find the original owner.

Your new outlet should include a bubble cover.

I used to work at an MDU where back in the Ma Bell days, a guy had a phone jack put on his ceiling, just because he could.
 
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Old 09-15-11, 10:35 AM
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That is an odd location! Any chance there used to be a deck there? The brick under the side-by-side windows looks a little different like a slider door was there at one point? Perhaps a plug for festoon lighting?
 
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Old 09-15-11, 10:48 AM
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I am familiar with older wiring with two prong design, both polarized and non polarized. I have never seen an outlet with both terminals "T" Slot.
That is why I referred to it as "strange" and the fact that it was even installed with modern electrical wiring.
Strange also that it is still available!
 
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Old 09-15-11, 05:29 PM
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The reason there are t-slots on both slots is because before NEMA configurations, they couldn't decide on the paralell or tandem blades. The paralell later won, and the tandem got used for the 2-15 and 6-15.
 
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Old 09-16-11, 03:29 PM
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I have seen that type of receptacle only in older homes (early 1900's)
 
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Old 09-16-11, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
I have seen that type of receptacle only in older homes (early 1900's)
I have seen them as late as the 60's.
 
  #14  
Old 02-12-12, 11:40 PM
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My 1910 house has a few of these on the original knob & tube circuits, especially one directly above the kitchen sink. Later, some outlets were added and/or replaced with quintuplex two-prong non-polarized outlets. I think the T-slot socket is rated 10A 125V. You should confirm that the outlet is dead and replace the cover with a waterproof cover. Nobody should be installing these T-slots even if they are available for replacements, unless you have some special 19th century electrical equipment. I assume the outlet cover is painted stainless steel since the screw is shiny.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 11:20 AM
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Strange outlet is (A) 1900's 110V 10A or (B) 1960's 120V 20A

Came across this thread a year after it started,
I have the same "double T" plug, and thought this may help-
Unfortunately, this outlet could be meant for one of three incompatible plugs.

1900's 10A 125V
1960's 20A 125V
2010's 15A 250V

home.netcom.com/~wa2ise/power/8plug.jpg

An early 1900s 10 amp "T" plug to run Edison & Hubbel plugs has the same form as the later 1960's 20 amp "T" plug used for air conditioners.

Modern electric plugs are "parallel" two blades arranged wide to wide.
The first 10 amp electrical plugs by Hubbel (inventor of the pull chain) were tandem, two blades arranged narrow to narrow.
Early 1900s' outlets were T shaped so they could accommodate
the older (- -) plugs as well as the newer (||) plugs

But, that house is too new for that to be a 1900s era installation,
(but of course somebody could have re-used an antique outlet.)

I've got one of those double "T" outlets - on a single circuit, hooked up to a 20 amp breaker - which suggests 1960's air conditioner.
(I assume that as my the panel was updated over the decades the electricians put 20 amp breakers on circuits which had 20 amp fuses)

My best guess - that outlet is a 1960's modification to power a 20 amp window air conditioner for the top left window of the bay window.
An educated guess is that the owner purchased the biggest A/C unit available in the 1960s, then found that the cord didn't match, or the A/C kept blowing the fuses.
The solution was to run a 20 amp 125 volt line to the attic, knock out a brick and plug the A/C outside, to avoid tearing up the interior sheetrock.

Let me guess - that bay window is for the master bedroom? When you bought the house, there was a huge antique A/C unit somewhere?

Hal
 
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