What is difference between 15 vs 20 amp receptacle?

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Old 09-30-08, 07:13 PM
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What is difference between 15 vs 20 amp receptacle?

I am running a 20 amp circuit on 12/2 cable in my basement to several receptacles, but I don't have the need for the T slot configuration of the 20 amp receptacle. Will I get the full benefit of a 20 amp circuit if I use a 15 amp receptacle? Is the T slot configuration the only difference between a 15 and 20 amp receptacle.
 
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Old 09-30-08, 07:35 PM
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Short answer, Yes. Your circuit will handle a max of 20 amps. Your good with the 15's. If you want to spend a little more get the commercial quality 15 amp duplex.

The only time you need a 20 amp receptacle (with the t slot) is when you have a piece of equipment that needs it. That equipment will come with a cord cap that will only fit the 20 amp receptacle (utilizing the t-slot) Regular 15 amp duplex receptacles can handle 15 amps on each receptacle. (which will, of course, trip the breaker) The only time you are required to put a 20 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit is when you only have one Single receptacle on that circuit.
 

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Old 09-30-08, 07:41 PM
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Thanks! So when I wire my bathroom with a 20 amp circuit (3 lights, 1 fan, 1 GFCI) do I use a 20 amp GFCI receptacle instead of a 15 amp GFCI?
 
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Old 09-30-08, 08:08 PM
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The answer depends on your location. To ensure correct advice, please enter your city in the location field of your profile.
 
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Old 09-30-08, 08:36 PM
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I live in St. Charles, IL.
 
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Old 10-01-08, 07:41 AM
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On a 20A circuit in the USA, either the 15A or the 20A receptacle is okay. In Canada, the receptacle must match the circuit.

From a practical point of view, the only difference between 15A and 20A receptacles of the same class is the faceplate. The guts are exactly the same manufactured on the same line, just a different face affixed. That does not mean that the bulk bin $0.49 15A receptacle is the same as the $3.00 spec-grade 20A. The $3 receptacles (15A or 20A) are of much higher quality than the bulk price ones.
 
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Old 10-01-08, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
On a 20A circuit in the USA, either the 15A or the 20A receptacle is okay. In Canada, the receptacle must match the circuit.
On a 15 amp circuit in the USA, only 15 amp rated receptacles can be installed.
 
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Old 10-01-08, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by thinman View Post
On a 15 amp circuit in the USA, only 15 amp rated receptacles can be installed.
Your statement and the one you quoted from ibpooks are both correct. 2005 NEC, Table 210.21(B)(3). (Unless the circuit is supplying only a single receptacle if so, then the receptacle must match the circuit.)

At first, I thought you were disagreeing with the quote, then I read it slower...

willis
 
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Old 10-01-08, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by thinman View Post
On a 15 amp circuit in the USA, only 15 amp rated receptacles can be installed.
I was going to mention this but thought it was too obvious. However, I guess it never hurts to point it out anyway.
 
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