20amp Outlets

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  #1  
Old 11-06-07, 09:21 AM
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20amp Outlets

We just tiled our Kitchen back splash and wanted to change the existing outlets to a decorative kind.
The wiring is 12guage and the circuits are 20amps but I noticed the existing outlets are marked for 15amps. Should I switch them to all 20amp outlets?

Thanks,
Chris
 
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Old 11-06-07, 09:30 AM
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You can if you want, but it's not necessary and it's not required by code (in the U.S.). 99% of all receptacles on 20-amp circuits in the U.S. are 15-amp receptacles. It's fine.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 11:07 AM
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They do need to be GFCI however since they are in the kitchen.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 04:54 PM
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If you go for high end decorative outlets you'll likely pay a premium for 20 amp outlets, expecially 20 amp GFIs. Opt for the 15 amp as suggested.

A lesson I learned the hard way.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 07:27 PM
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I'm not sure who said it, but it was one of the moderators on this board, said the 15 amp receptacles have exactly the same internal design as the 20A ones. With the exception of the slotted neutral.

Is this true? If so, there would be no reason to use 20A receptacles unless you had a device which required one.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 08:14 PM
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In Ontario 20 amp kitchen receptacles need to be GFI protected if close to a water source. They are used in place of a split 15 amp receptacle. The wire awg is by code allowed to be larger than the rating of the receptacle and overcurrent device. The overcurrent device should dictate the rating of the receptacle. If there is a 15 amp breaker or fuse feeding the circuit the receptacle should be a 15 amp receptacle. If it's a 20 amp breaker or fuse it should be a 20 amp receptacle.

It may or may not be true that a 15 amp and 20 amp receptacle are exactly the same inside, i don't know, but ultimately it becomes a liability issue. If the manufacturer deems a receptacle rated for 15 amps and you put it behind a 20 amp breaker and there is a fire originating from this device, the manufacturer of the receptacle is going to be absolved of any liability because you installed a 15amp device on a 20amp circuit. You will be held liable in the eyes of the courts. This is an unlikely situation but it could occur. Hope this helps
 
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Old 11-06-07, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by michaellana View Post
ultimately it becomes a liability issue. If the manufacturer deems a receptacle rated for 15 amps and you put it behind a 20 amp breaker and there is a fire originating from this device, the manufacturer of the receptacle is going to be absolved of any liability because you installed a 15amp device on a 20amp circuit. You will be held liable in the eyes of the courts. This is an unlikely situation but it could occur.
You just made all this up. It sounds good, but it's not true.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 09:37 PM
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Wink

Section 26-710 (b) of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code 23rd Edition pertaining to Receptacles in Residential Occupancies states "All receptacles shall be CSA configuration 5-15R except that receptacles having a CSA Configuration 5-20RA shall be permitted provided that the ampere rating of the branch circuit wiring supplying such receptacles is not less than 20 A" Here's another.......
2-034 "No one shall use any electrical equipment other than approved electrical equipment of a kind or type and rating approved for the specific purpose for which it is to be employed." and finally........
2-036 "No contractor shall perform any work on an electrical installation in any manner contrary to the requirements of this code" .
 
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Old 11-06-07, 09:42 PM
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Not having the authority having jurisdiction on your side in court is pretty damning. I know i wouldn't want to be in that position.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 10:01 PM
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Michellana,
The OP is located in Florida.
As such, he is bound by NFPA 70 - The 2005 National Electrical Code.
Article 210.21(B)(3) specifically allows the use of a 15 amp duplex receptacle on a 20 amp circuit.
A single receptacle on a 20 amp circuit must be a 20 amp configuration or it could be a 20 amp duplex.
I believe that if you reread the regulation that you have quoted, you will see that you also must have a 20 amp circuit for a twenty amp receptacle, the same as we do.
Perhaps they do not address the issue that is being discussed
If your codes in Canada are different then follow them and you won't have to worry about the AHJ.
Capttiki, you are fine with the 15 amp receptacles as long as they are duplex.
 
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Old 11-07-07, 07:30 AM
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Don't mean to hijack this thread, but what is the purpose of the slotted neutral on a 20A receptacle? What type of plug would use it?
 
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Old 11-07-07, 07:38 AM
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The purpose of the slotted neutral on the receptacle is to accept the neutral on the plug. A 20 amp plug has the neutral horizontal instead of vertical. A device that needs more than 15 amps but not more than 20 amps will have one.
Never seen a 20 amp plug before? Very few appliances have one. When I first bought a microwave oven (in 1986) I almost bought one that had a 20 amp plug.
 
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Old 11-08-07, 11:47 AM
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Thanks for the explanation. And no, I've never seen such a plug.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 07:23 AM
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I have a few of the 20 amp receptacles in my garage. It is an old building. Can I swap them out for regular 15amp receptacles?
 
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Old 11-11-07, 02:39 PM
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If you live in the U.S. and if the property is residential, and if you have no 20-amp appliances, and if there are no local codes to the contrary, then yes, you probably can. But I don't know why you'd want to.
 
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Old 04-07-09, 05:27 PM
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any garage equipment need 20amp plug?

I don't know if still able to post on this thread. I am wiring my addition and using 12 AWG and was going to use 15 amp receptacles everywhere, but was considering 20 amp in my garage. I thought that maybe some tools might have 20 amp plugs. Does anybody know if any tools need them? I don't have any yet that need it, and I have air compressor, table saw, compound miter saw. the receptacles (whether 15 or 20amp) have to be ordered because big box only has residential grade TR receptacles and I want to get better ones. and if I go the 20amp route, a TR GFCI 20amp will have to be ordered also. They have commercial grade TR GFCI on shelf, but I think they are all 15amp.
 
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Old 04-07-09, 10:55 PM
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In a workshop, I'd favor the spec grade recepticals anyhow. The T-slot 20A recepticals cost marginally more than their 15A counterparts. The margin on a 20A T-slot GFCI is a bit larger.
 
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