15A outlets with 20A circuit?


Old 07-17-08, 11:58 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Question 15A outlets with 20A circuit?

I know that there is such a thing as a *dedicated* 20A outlet: 20A breaker, 12 AWG wire, single 20A receptacle (with the "T" slot on one plug). But I'd like to wire up *shared* 20A outlets: 20A breaker, 12 AWG wire, multiple receptacles. I don't need for any one receptacle to provide more than 15A, but I'd like for the circuit to be able to distribute up to 20A across 2 or more receptacles. Sounds simple, but I'm finding that the "bulk" standard outlets say they are only rated at 15A. I think that while they can't supply more than 15A to anything plugged into it, but they can still pass up to 20A on down the "daisy-chained" circuit of receptacles. Can anyone confirm this? Apologies in advance if this specifically has been asked and answered before (I searched and didn't find it), and/or if this is a stupid question!
Sponsored Links
Old 07-17-08, 12:06 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
The non-Canadian answer is you may use 15a receptacles on a 20a circuit if there is more then one place to plug in.. A duplex receptacle supplies that requirement.
Old 07-17-08, 12:25 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 42 Votes on 40 Posts
Originally Posted by purduenortel View Post
but they can still pass up to 20A on down the "daisy-chained" circuit of receptacles. Can anyone confirm this?
Yes, 15A receptacles are rated for 20A pass-through. However if you actually intend to use receptacles at or near their rated ampacities or for frequent plug-unplug, I recommend that you avoid the bulk receptacles and get the more expensive commercial duty or "spec grade" receptacles. There is a huge difference in quality between the $0.49 and $2.49 receptacles.

Last edited by ibpooks; 07-17-08 at 12:54 PM.
Old 07-17-08, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This is one of the most commonly asked questions on this forum. The answers you've already been given are the standard. Almost all homes in the U.S. have one or more 20-amp receptacle circuits, and almost none of those homes have any 20-amp receptacles. You can likely verify this by looking in your own kitchen and bathrooms.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: