timer switch and GFCI


Old 08-25-06, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3
timer switch and GFCI

I want to install a timer switch in an outdoor circuit protected by a 20-amp GFCI circuit breaker. The timer switch I want to use is an Intermatic SS8C which is rated at 15-amp. My nominal load on this circuit is low, but I am concerned as to what might happen if someone plugs a high current demand power tool into the circuit. What happens if more than a 15-amp load were to go through this device? Do I have to use a 20-amp rated timer switch?
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Old 08-25-06, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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If this was a lighting circuit with fixed, pre-determined load I would say go ahead with the 15A timer. However, because you have general purpose receptacles on this 20A circuit, I think you should get a 20A rated timer.

If you exceed the rating of the timer, it may blow an internal fuse or damage the switching mechanism. I highly doubt that running 20A through this thing would cause catastrphic failure like melting or fire, but it would probably ruin the device.
Old 08-25-06, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Assuming you are in the US, use a 15 amp duplex receptacle on the circuit.

Now you only need to worry about someone using two high draw appliances.

If you want to address the two appliances issue, then switch one of the 15 amp receptacles in the duplex, and make the other always on.

Now all you have to worry about is someone using a plug strip.

Bottom line, you can't address everything that might happen.

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