What he said. Sometimes you need a single just for maintenance / cleaning purposes.
I have a 1-gang GFCI as well as a two gang GFCI-Duplex and GFCI-Decora combo. What other combinations of GFCI/Outlets are common? (I will handle the GFCI/switch combo later)
The possible permutations are crazy so I am trying to limit things slightly for certain outlet types, I think this makes the most sense. Just trying to rein in the madness.
For instance I have never seen multiple GFCI outlets ganged up in a single box, only ever one with another switch or regular duplex/decora receptacles.
Also what type of weather proof outlet would you prefer I include as the default? I’m looking at Leviton’s offerings and also at Taymac, too bad I can’t seem to find readily made models for any of these. Oh well, I would probably have to remodel them anyways because the poly count would probably be obnoxious.
After digging through Leviton’s website straight for the last 3-4 days I now know more about switches and receptacles than I care to really, but it certainly is an education. I’m still amazed at all of the possible combinations of switches and outlets that are possible and how the manufacturers do their best to provide as complete coverage as possible, there are literally hundreds of face plates (configurations).
You will notice that in my models I am providing the part number (without the letter suffix) for the Leviton faceplates and the Carlon boxes
The most up-to-date covers (NEC 2014) seems to be the Taymac MM420C and the MM2420C:
I think you’re overthinking this.
Generally, with the exception of outlets placed for a specific appliance (Refrigerator, Range, Cooktop, Oven, Dryer, Hot Water Heater, etc), you can find places where almost every combination of single gang devices you can imagine have been used. Rather than think about them in advance and trying to have components ready for every possible combination, just think about letting each gang be set individually. For our faceplate lookup at work, we have a shorthand for each possible common opening:
- 1 – Toggle Switch
- D – Decorator Device
- V – very small hole to pass a wire - usually used for coaxial CATV
- 8 – Duplex receptacle
- N – Blank (N means No)
- O – Single straight blade (NEMA 5-15, 5-20, 6-15, 6-20)
- T – NEMA Twistlok Device - covers the most common configurations of 15 and 20A NEMA configurations beginning with “L” - and are in fact circular (as opposed to “O” which isn’t exactly circular) Larger ones need special plates for a 2 gang box - and are usually not ganged with other devices.
There is one single gang device type our shorthand doesn’t cover: NEMA 6-30. (It might also fit a NEMA 14-30, but I’m not at work and can’t check) It’s larger than an O, not the same size opening as a T, and our customers HATE having to use them because it usually means they have to cram 30A wiring into a single gang box. We probably sell 30 2 gang plates for these outlets for every single gang one we sell.
So for each gang, you have a certain shape of hole. Then, for each shape of hole, you can have multiple devices that use that hole.
Again, this is far simpler for Decorator as everything uses the same hole.
As an example, in a small bathroom, you might have two switches (light and fan) and a GFI outlet. You’d see this as a 11D plate when toggle switches are used in the space or DDD where decorator switches are used in a space. I’ve also seen 118 where the GFI protection is provided somewhere else (yes, most GFI outlets can protect “downstream” loads).
It looks like I will need to add in one additional option, Weather Proof GFCI. It seems that this combination is fairly popular:
My weatherproof cover is based on the Taymac MM420C, probably a little more detail than it needs but I wanted it to look somewhat recognizable.
I also have the Decora option and the standard duplex option.
Has anyone ever called out duplex receptacles with the integrated USB chargers?
I’m assuming the callout would just be a standard duplex symbol with the annotation “USB” added.
Looks like I should add these in. What is more popular, this type or the newer version with the Type C connector?
I haven’t seen a call out on plans - yet. But I’ve sold quite a few.
Combo Duplex/USB outlets DO have a parasitic load. i.e. they consume a very small amount of power even with nothing plugged in.
And so some power strips, other chargers, TV’s, and a whole host of other things. So much so that most modern homes - at least in the US - can save significantly if they get these loads under control by physically disconnecting the parasitic load when not in use.
And you can’t do that with wired in USB outlets!
I think the actual USB outlets are small enough that you should’t worry about differentiating them (A vs C). And perhaps not even representing them as distinct from outlets without USB - except on the call out.
If one of your users wants to be realistic at that level of detail, they can find the right image - or model it themselves. I’d be surprised if you get ANY complaints if you don’t include the detail - especially if you document why you didn’t include it.
I agree that these type of outlets have a small parasitic load (50 mW), but I think many people are willing to accept that loss for the convenience. My worry would be that the device fails down the road and then I need to replace it. Its one thing tossing an old adapter in the bin, its entirely different when I need to pull out the tool bag and start re-terminating receptacles, or worrying that one of these things is really going to go bad and possibly create a fire risk.
It’s not a big deal to provide a USB model of your standard USB Decora duplex receptacle, I’ll just base it on the T5632 (Leviton) and if people want something different they can replace the default model in the library that I provide.
As I was eating outing this evening with the wife I noticed along the bar a line of outlets (and even a couple switches) that were mounted horizontally rather than vertical, due to the clearance available. I will need to add in the first of the advanced options which allows the user to toggle between a vertical or horizontal mount, obviously vertical will be the default.
Added the advanced option which will allow for a horizontal mount of any receptacle:
First look at the the following: GFCI, USB, Simplex, Horizontally mounted Duplex
I will also extend this same functionality to the switch module so that they can be mounted in any orientation.
Option for weatherproof GFCI added:
I haven’t gotten every combination but I think I now have about 85% of the most commonly used configurations added in for outlets. I will now return to the switch module and work that over for a while until it is also about 85-90% coverage.
I also still need to add in a completely new style: 240V
This will comprise single gang outlets for clothes dryers, welders, and ranges.
Have you included context menus for much of these options?
The all of these options can be set in the draw and edit (HTML) menus. I guess I’m not fully understanding your question. Do you mean tooltips or help menus?
I’ve added in the option for 240V receptacles:
These are limited to single gang configurations as shown (2 gang electrical box). They can be mounted either vertical or horizontal. The annotation allows one to specify either a dryer (D) or range ( R ) outlet.
By default the color of the outlets is a dark brown (thermoplastic) but can be modified by the user as well as the wall plate material.
I was going to add in an option for a welder outlet but I’m not sure which outlet type is the most common for this application, it appear that the NEMA 6-50 is commonly used for welders but until I get more information or a direct request for this particular NEMA receptacle I will leave this one for now.
Dimensions for these outlets types are per Leviton’s product lineup, as is the wall plate. For now I’ve employed the standard 2-gang Carlon PVC box but for a heavier circuit like these I personally would probably go with a metal box and the appropriate mud ring and cable clamps.
A few more options for the switches module:
One of my favorite switches, the Trimatron.
Okay, I think I have my bases mostly covered for switches and outlets other than some specific combinations which will require a different icon/tool but I will get to that in the near future. Am I missing anything important here?
I currently have 47 pre-configured switch/outlets and combinations, see the model here:
Besides switches and outlets there are all of the low voltage type components like:
Coax, Cat5/6/7, Phone, Speakers etc…
Then there are your service panels (breaker boxes)
The other elephant in the room is lighting fixtures.
I think for now I will start off with the switches and outlets and see what the response is. If the user base demands all of these other elements then I will take it one step at a time.
I guess what I was imagining was more graphical help functions - if you want to rotate a socket 90 deg., a right click, modifier key or just hover might give you a graphical rotation image to select and rotate the socket (or other components too)?
(just like this text input should have shown me a graphical image of a degree sign to select when I typed deg.)
I will have to give this some more thought. I do like the ability to right click on an assembly and be presented with a number of “quick actions” in addition to the more standard edit (HTML) menu. A rotation action would be particularly handy I think .