15 or 20 amp recptacles


Old 12-31-05, 11:20 AM
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15 or 20 amp recptacles

In a residential application what is reccomended 15 or 20 amp receptacles? I take it if you use 20 it has to be on a 20 amp breaker 12 gauge wire...correct? confused!! Thanks
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Old 12-31-05, 11:27 AM
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15 or 20 amp receptacles

The code is basing your wiring from the 20 amp breaker via 12 gauge wire to receptacles. If only one receptacle is used, then you use a 20 amp receptacle. If you have a pass thru situation where multiple receptaclces are on the same circuit, then you use 15 amp receptacles. The theory being you won't be loading down one receptacle in a room full of receptacles to full ampacity, as you might a dedicated single receptacle.

Old 12-31-05, 11:54 AM
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You can use a single 15 amp duplex receptacle on a 20 amp/12 gauge circuit.
It doesn't have to have any other receptacles beyond it.
Old 12-31-05, 01:51 PM
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In the US most of the receptacles in residences are 15 amp receptacles. The NEC allows 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits unless there is a single simplex receptacle installed on the 20 amp circuit, in which case the receptacle must be a 20 amp one.

If you have 20 amp circuits (meaning a 20 amp beaker and 12 gage wire) you are free to install 20 amp receptacles if you wish, or you can use the 15 amp variety as long as you have more than one receptacle.
Old 12-31-05, 03:15 PM
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I'd recommend 15-amp duplex receptacles, simply because they cost less and can be used on either 15-amp or 20-amp circuits. But don't buy the cheapest ones in the store. Spend a bit more and get a higher-quality receptacle. You can save some money by buying them in packages of 10.

All of the advice you got here was for the U.S. If you live in Canada, or some place else, now would be a good time to mention that. I recommend you fill in your location in your profile if you want advice specific to where you live.
Old 12-31-05, 05:12 PM
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In Canada you must match the receptacle to the circuit. No 15amp receptacles allowed on 20amp circuits.
Old 01-03-06, 06:33 AM
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15A only recepts on 20A circuits ... does this apply to the required 20A circuits in a kitchen as well or do they require 20A receptacles?

Or are there any other situations where this might not be acceptable?
Old 01-03-06, 06:41 AM
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If you are in the U.S., then a 15-amp duplex receptacle may be used on any 20-amp circuit. Of course, if you have a real 20-amp appliance (very rare), you'll need a 20-amp receptacle or the plug won't fit.

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