15 amp outlet on 20 amp breaker

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  #1  
Old 03-20-06, 06:02 PM
jhowman
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15 amp outlet on 20 amp breaker

I have in my house a few outlets that are 15 amp rated but the service panel has 20 amp breakers for those circuits. Is this a problem? Do I need to install 20 amp outlets or switch the breaker to 15 amp service? Or should I be more concerned with the gauge of the wiring going to these outlets? I have not checked the gauge yet, but what would the smallest wire gauge that I could use for a 20 amp circuit?

Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 03-20-06, 06:45 PM
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12 gauge wire for 20 amp circuit. The 15 amp outlets are fine as long as there are more than one on the same cable.
 
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Old 03-20-06, 10:35 PM
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A DUPLEX receptical counts as "more than one". So YES a 15 amp receptical on a 20 amp ckt is ok.
 
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Old 03-21-06, 06:57 AM
K
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Just for my own education, why would you need more than one receptacle?
 
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Old 03-21-06, 07:05 AM
R
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Originally Posted by KenC
Just for my own education, why would you need more than one receptacle?
The short answer is because that's what required by the code.

The long answer is because it's assumed that a single receptacle on a circuit means that the circuit is in place for one load, and one load only, and that the size of the circuit is dictated by the load.
 
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Old 03-21-06, 11:58 AM
I
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Originally Posted by jhowman
I have in my house a few outlets that are 15 amp rated but the service panel has 20 amp breakers for those circuits. Is this a problem?
This is allowed in the U.S. If you are in Canada, then 20A receptacles on 20A circuits are required.
 
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Old 03-21-06, 12:03 PM
M
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There are also local codes that prohibit using 15 amp devices on a 20 amp circuit. Depends on where you live.
 
 

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