20amp GFCI and 15amp breaker in breaker box

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Old 08-28-16, 08:20 PM
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20amp GFCI and 15amp breaker in breaker box

I changed out the GFCI outlet in our master bathroom along with all of the outlets that it controlled in the garage. The previous GFCI was 20amps so I replaced it with a 20amp. It had 14 gauge wires which I think is kind of weird. (Almost all of the wires in the house are 14 gauge except the outlet for the washing machine.) The old GFCI was tripping quite a lot. It did not start until a transformer station literally blew up and some people in our area were without power for a day. Ours only flickered and caused the GFCI to start tripping for whatever reason. Anyways after I changed out the GFCI and all the garage outlets the new GFCI also tripped. So next step is to check the breaker. In the breaker box the breaker controlling the 20amp GFCI is a 15amp breaker. Is that a no no? Should I have put a 15amp gfci outlet in the bathroom? Also with the gfci and outlets changed out what could possibly be tripping the gfci now? This plug controls the gfci in the hall bath, the garage outlet that the deep freezer is on and the garage door opener. So it really is a problem that it is being unreliable. Try to answer in layman's terms if you can as I this is my first time doing electrical, though I learn very fast.
 
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Old 08-28-16, 08:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The size of the wiring determines the breaker size. #14 requires a 15A breaker.
So you're good there.

Putting a 20A GFI receptacle on a 15A circuit is not acceptable.

You seem to have a lot on that circuit. In the past.... there were only minimum requirements for GFI protection. Bathroom and wet areas like basement and garage. It was very common to see one GFI receptacle protecting multiple areas. Now... the bathroom is required to be on its own circuit.

You will need to determine what is causing your receptacle to trip. The first thing to try is unplugging everything on that circuit. If that doesn't locate the problem you'll need to turn the circuit off and pull the receptacles out of the box (leave them wired) and check the circuit again.

A white/neutral wire touching the box or ground will cause the receptacle to trip without tripping the 15A breaker.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 08-29-16 at 12:59 PM. Reason: corrected incorrect reply
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Old 08-29-16, 06:40 AM
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Having a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit would be technically be a code violation. It would allow somebody to plug in equipment with a 20 amp configured cord which would overload the circuit as equipment with that configuration will draw more then 15 amps.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 06:47 AM
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Garage and the bathroom should have been on there own seperate 12-2, 20 amp. GFI protected circuits.
If it was mine I'd start by unplugging that freezer and see if the GFI holds.
If the outlets where back stabbed, not under the screws, change them so there under the screws.
Very common cause for a loose connection.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 07:09 AM
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Putting a 20A GFI receptacle on a 15A circuit is perfectly acceptable. A little overkill but ok.
Nope. See NEC 210.21(B)(3)
 
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Old 08-29-16, 08:31 AM
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Nothing in there is backstabbed anymore. The old outlets were ALL backstabbed even the gfci, but as I said I had replaced them before posting. I moved the deep freezer to the outlet that the washing machine is on. I've always had the freezer and an old side by side refrigerator on the outlet that was protected by the gfci in the bathroom without any issues. I'm not sure why all of a sudden it would be a problem.
I was thinking that perhaps the breaker outside is corroded or getting weak or something. I know that generally wires do not go bad only connections. I do plan on changing out all the outlets in the house also.

It has not tripped since moving the freezer but I cannot be 100% that the freezer is what was causing it to trip without further experimentation.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 08:54 AM
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Side note. The washing machine and dryer have a 20amp breaker, but the outlet that was on there was a 15amp. Should I put a 20amp outlet instead of a 15amp. I like things to be professional and correct.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 10:37 AM
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A 15 amp duplex receptacle is allowed on a 20 amp circuit.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 03:26 PM
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A 15 amp duplex receptacle is allowed on a 20 amp circuit.
To expand a little: A 15 amp duplex receptacle is allowed on a 20 amp circuit as long as there is more then one outlet. A duplex receptacle satisfies this requirement.
 
 

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