Electrical Receptacle Testing
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Dec 2, 2020 12:00:51 AM
Q: What is the regulation for testing the retention force on electrical outlets?
A: According to section 188.8.131.52.4 of the NFPA 99-2012, the retention force of the grounding blade of each receptacle shall be not less than 115 g (4-oz). Other annual testing requirements that must be included are:
- The physical integrity must be confirmed by a visual inspection;
- Verification must be made of the continuity of the grounding circuit;
- The correct polarity of the hot and neutral connections of each receptacle must be confirmed.
However, the above annual testing requirements only applies to receptacles not listed as hospital grade that are located at patient beds locations and in locations where deep sedation or general anesthesia is administered. If you have hospital-grade receptacles at those locations, you would have to do an initial test after the receptacle is installed, and then additional testing at intervals defined by documented performance data.
This means the hospital-grade receptacles located in bed locations and in deep sedation or general anesthesia areas must be tested at intervals defined by historical information. So, if after a few years of testing these receptacles annually reveals no deficiencies, then this data may be considered sufficient reason to extend the tests to once every two or once every three years. Retain this data to show surveyors your decision process.