20a GFCI???

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Old 03-06-09, 10:24 AM
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20a GFCI???

Two questions...

1) I have seen a few GFCI outlets at the store that say they're rated for 20a, but they do not have the t-shaped neutral slot. What is the purpose of this?

2) I have some left over 20a GFCI outlets that do have the t-shaped slot. Can I use these on a 15a/14ga circuit? I'm guessing the answer is NO!!!, but this is in my own house and I know I will never plug a 20a device in to them.

Thanks,
Rich
 
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Old 03-06-09, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bajafx4 View Post
Two questions...

1) I have seen a few GFCI outlets at the store that say they're rated for 20a, but they do not have the t-shaped neutral slot. What is the purpose of this?

2) I have some left over 20a GFCI outlets that do have the t-shaped slot. Can I use these on a 15a/14ga circuit? I'm guessing the answer is NO!!!, but this is in my own house and I know I will never plug a 20a device in to them.

Thanks,
Rich
1) Generally all duplex GFCIs are rated 20A feed-thru, which means you can use one as the first device on a circuit requiring GFCI protection. Although each recep is rated for 15A, you can connect a T-blade recep to the 20A feed-thru.

2. You are correct. "Can I use" is ambiguous. You may mean "Does code permit use of". All codes assume that you will either die or sell the place without any documentation of stuff you would never do.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bajafx4 View Post
I have seen a few GFCI outlets at the store that say they're rated for 20a, but they do not have the t-shaped neutral slot. What is the purpose of this?
They are rated for 20A feed-through which means they can provide downstream protection for a 20A circuit. These are also duplex receptacles means you could pull 10A on each outlet of the receptacle for a total of 20A, but not exceeding 15A on either.

I have some left over 20a GFCI outlets that do have the t-shaped slot. Can I use these on a 15a/14ga circuit?
No, that violates code. You can use 15A recepts on a 20A circuit, but not 20A recepts on a 15A circuit.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 12:08 PM
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Ok, I figured I couldn't... or shouldn't use the 20a GFCI's on the 15a circuit. No problem there, I'll just get some new ones.

I'm still a little confused about the 20a GFCI outlets without the t-shaped neutral though. Do I understand that these can can provide 20a to downstream protected outlets, but the outlets on the actual GFCI are only good for 15a? If that's the case, why would you ever buy or install one of these instead of a true 20a GFCI w/ a t-shaped neutral?
 
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Old 03-06-09, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bajafx4 View Post
Ok, I figured I couldn't... or shouldn't use the 20a GFCI's on the 15a circuit. No problem there, I'll just get some new ones.
You can't use the t-slot 20A recepts on a 15A circuit, but you can use 20A feed-through recepts on a 15A circuit as long as the recept does not have the t-slot.

I'm still a little confused about the 20a GFCI outlets without the t-shaped neutral though. Do I understand that these can can provide 20a to downstream protected outlets, but the outlets on the actual GFCI are only good for 15a?
Correct.

If that's the case, why would you ever buy or install one of these instead of a true 20a GFCI w/ a t-shaped neutral?
The true 20A recepts are about $1.00 more expensive. Believe it or not some people are also incredibly picky about unimportant things and will complain about the t-slot looking different than the other recepts.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks
You can't use the t-slot 20A recepts on a 15A circuit, but you can use 20A feed-through recepts on a 15A circuit as long as the recept does not have the t-slot.
I will just buy the 15a GFCI outlets. I don't see any advantage to have the ability to pass through 20a when this circuit is on a on a 15a breaker w/ 14ga wire. Correct?

Originally Posted by ibpooks
The true 20A recepts are about $1.00 more expensive. Believe it or not some people are also incredibly picky about unimportant things and will complain about the t-slot looking different than the other recepts.
Hah... I thought the t-slot was a status symbol!
 
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Old 03-07-09, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bajafx4 View Post
I will just buy the 15a GFCI outlets. I don't see any advantage to have the ability to pass through 20a when this circuit is on a on a 15a breaker w/ 14ga wire. Correct?
That would be correct. As long as there is more than 1 place to plug into the 15 amp receptacles can be used on a 20 amp circuit with #12 wire. This is why the ability to pass through is important.
 
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Old 03-07-09, 07:48 PM
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I'm not even sure they make GFCIs without a 20-amp pass-through. I think they all have this. In fact, I would venture to guess that all outlets of any kind (GFCI or not) sold today have at least 20 amp pass through.
 
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Old 03-07-09, 08:29 PM
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I believe you are correct John.
 
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