15amp GFCI on 20amp circ.

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  #1  
Old 01-12-07, 07:38 PM
gsr
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15amp GFCI on 20amp circ.

I have a 20 amp circuit with the correct wiring and breaker. The outlets are the 15amp style which I know is ok in the US but is it ok to have a 15amp GFCI to protect that circuit or should I change it out for a 20amp GFCI? Are there any draw backs than not being able to use the 20amp plug style by having a 15amp GFCI?

Thanks for any input.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 08:18 PM
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Read the documentation that came with the GFCI. It will say that it is good for 20 amp feed-through protection.

The only drawback of having only 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit is that you cannot plug in a device with a 20 amp plug on it. Having said that, I will now ask you how many devices you have that have a 20 amp plug on them.
 
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Old 01-13-07, 01:18 AM
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Does a 20 amp plug look different than a 15 amp plug?
 
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Old 01-13-07, 01:44 AM
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yes it does.

a 15 amp recep has 2 vertical slots while a 20 amp recep has a horizontal slot on the left (with the ground terminal down) and a vertical slot on the right.

The 20 amp plug has the same configuration. That is why if you notice it, on a 20 amp recep, there is a sideways "T" on the left. This will allow either a 15 or 20 amp plug to be inserted.
 
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Old 01-13-07, 05:53 AM
gsr
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Thanks

Thanks the 15amp GFCI was installed before I moved in so I didn't have any info on it. It's in the garage where I use the power tools and didn't want to keep tripping it if it was limiting the amps but since it just prevents me from plugging in a 20 amp plug (of which I have none) I'll leave it for now and use the $10 to buy lunch instead.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-13-07, 05:59 AM
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One more point. A GFCI receptacle only detects ground faults. It does not detect over current in anyway. In your setup, if you pulled 18 amps through the face of the GFCI (such as into a receptacle strip which feeds two 9 amp heaters, for example), the GFCI would have no way to detect this, nor would it care.
 
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