Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles
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Joseph
Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles

Is there a problem with using H.Duty 15amp duplex receptacles(Running 7 outlets in series) and 20A breakers. I am using 12/2 wire. The reason I,m doing this is that I will be installing a couple of 220 lines on seperate circuits and just wanted to keep all breakers at same rating. Thanks

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles

I take it you mean you are running a series of 7 receptacles in parallel. If you are using 12-2 and 20 amp breaker why not use 20 amp receptacles?
Jack

Vern Smith
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles

You can't use 15A receptacles with a 20A breaker because the breaker rating is higher than the rating of the receptacles, OK to use 20A recepts on a 15A circuit, but not vice versa. 20A recepts don't cost much, so if you're using #12 wire, just put in 20A receptacles.

Fencepost
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles

I beg to differ with Vern. Unless there's been a recent change to the code, it is permissible to use 15A receptacles on a 20A circuit in a dwelling unit. Commercial might be a different case. They are rated 15A only for the face outlets but they are rated 20A feed-through.

I don't know the specific code reference that allows this, but it is acceptable. My own kitchen, wired by professional electricians and signed off by a state electrical inspector in 2003, is wired just this way.

There's certainly no problem using 20A receptacles on a 20A circuit, though you'll probably never have a 20A plug to put in them. 15A plugs work in them just fine.

I'm guessing the justification is that no appliance with that style of plug draws over 15 amps, and anything requiring more has a 20A plug which won't fit in a 15A outlet. That's why fire marshals will write you up for using one of those outlet splitters unless it has a built-in breaker.

(Let's not argue the series/parallel thing. It means something very specific to an electrical engineer, but to everyone else it means different things.)

NEC
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles

Fencepost is correct.

See 2008NEC article 210.21 and table 210.21(B)(3).

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles

Not arguing the series/parallel thing, just a polite clarification.

I would still go with 20 amp receptacles, there seems to be more and more items that have 20 amp plugs these days.
Jack

NEC
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

I would still go with 20 amp receptacles, there seems to be more and more items that have 20 amp plugs these days.
Jack

Really? can you give an example? The electrical industry standard is to install 15 amp receptacles on 20amp rated 120v circuits.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles

I know what the industry standard is but so far I wave seen 20 amp plugs on microwaves, portable heaters, floor sanders, air conditioners, and some of the equipment I use. It just seems they keep making things bigger and more powerful. The inital cost difference isn't that much, the wiring is coded at 20 amp, the breaker is 20 amp so why not have 20 amp recepticles.
Jack

NEC
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

I know what the industry standard is but so far I wave seen 20 amp plugs on microwaves, portable heaters, floor sanders, air conditioners, and some of the equipment I use. It just seems they keep making things bigger and more powerful. The inital cost difference isn't that much, the wiring is coded at 20 amp, the breaker is 20 amp so why not have 20 amp recepticles.
Jack

Fair enough but I will stand on saying that 99% of the cords and appliances plugged in, in a home will have 15amp cord caps and draw far less draw than 15 amps. If you are using an appliance that draws 20amps on a circuit it should be on a dedicated circuit.

The whole idea of allowing 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit is that the combined load on a circuit, if two or more items are turned on at the same time, will not overload the circuit......... Uncle Harry might be blending foo foo drinks for the cousins while aunt Sally is opening cans to make her gas blast seven bean salad.

This type of situation is very common in say, any kitchen not in the third world.

I, therefore, disagree with your pemise, Jack.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles
NEC wrote:

Fair enough but I will stand on saying that 99% of the cords and appliances plugged in, in a home will have 15amp cord caps and draw far less draw than 15 amps. If you are using an appliance that draws 20amps on a circuit it should be on a dedicated circuit.

The whole idea of allowing 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit is that the combined load on a circuit, if two or more items are turned on at the same time, will not overload the circuit......... Uncle Harry might be blending foo foo drinks for the cousins while aunt Sally is opening cans to make her gas blast seven bean salad.

This type of situation is very common in say, any kitchen not in the third world.

I, therefore, disagree with your pemise, Jack.

Actually it's not a premise, it's an opinion, a significant differance.
Jack

NEC
Re: Circuit Breakers/Duplex Outles
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Actually it's not a premise, it's an opinion, a significant differance.
Jack

Difference?

Sorry, I only speak and write the English language.

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