15A receptacle tolerate 20A passthrough?

Old 12-15-05, 01:58 AM
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15A receptacle tolerate 20A passthrough?

Previous discussion suggests 15A receptacles are allowed on 20A breakered circuits provided 12# is used. However, if a 15A receptacle is middle of the run, can the metal tab/bus on the receptacle handle current approaching 20A down the run without overheating?
Old 12-15-05, 04:25 AM
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In the US the NEC allows 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits. (In Canada the codes do not allow this.)

Yes, the 15 amp receptacles can be middle of the run and safely pass more than 15 amps through. If you look at the receptacles closely, you will see that they are identical except for the neutral connection for the plug.
Old 12-15-05, 05:57 AM
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I never pull power through the outlet, unless I have to (GFCI).
I always pigtail to outlets.
Old 12-15-05, 06:16 AM
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15 amp receptacles are rated for 20 amp pass through. I avoid pigtails if at all possible. If I have a situation where I have more than two cables to connect, I use a "backwire" receptacle that can accomodate up to 4 cables (although I cannot remember ever configuring a layout that takes more than three in the same box - and even that is rare).
Old 12-15-05, 12:29 PM
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Smile Thanks for the comments

Thanks for the replies, been a nagging question I couldn't find the answer to.
Old 12-15-05, 01:37 PM
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If you look closely at the packaging or at the stamping in the receptacle plastic, it will specifically say 20A pass-through rating on 15A receptacles. I suppose it is possible there are 15A receptacles not rated for 20A pass-through, but I have never seen one.

As racraft said, the guts of 15A and 20A receptacles are identical as the result of mass-production efficiency. The only difference is that 20A receptacles have an additional slit to accomodate the 20A plug.

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