Quick lower level question


Old 05-16-18, 05:44 PM
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Quick lower level question

What does the 12 Volt 180 Watt on my cigarette lighter receptacle mean exactly?

Last edited by Theafroamerican; 05-16-18 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Grammatical error
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Old 05-16-18, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Hi, that is the capacity of that outlet, any device you plug into it should not be rated more than 180 Watts.
Old 05-16-18, 07:09 PM
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It can deliver 15 amps max. That's quite a bit for a 12V device. Small converters for phones and such will draw a small fraction of that. Larger things like tire inflators will easily draw 10+ amps when starting and would blow the fuse in older cars that only had 8 amp (96 watt) rated lighter sockets..
Old 05-17-18, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
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That receptacle should be used to power devices that draw no more than 15 amps. A heavier current draw if permitted by a higher amp rated fuse or breaker for the circuit will shorten the life of the receptacle noticeably and could produce a fire hazard due to overheated contacts.

Installing this receptacle on a lower amperage circuit e.g. 8 amps is workable but limits flexibility and versatility. The fuse will limit what equipment can be plugged in and used.

I am not sure whether, in automotive circuits, it is permissible to install multiple receptacles on a single circuit with combined amperage sufficient to max out all of the receptacles e.g. two 15 amp (180 watt) receptacles on one circuit with a 30 amp fuse. That is generally not permitted in household circuits.

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