20 amp circuit with 15 amp outlets?

Old 03-22-02, 09:28 PM
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20 amp circuit with 15 amp outlets?

I'm finishing out my basement and need to install outlets per code (12/6). I only have 4 available circuits( 3-15 amp and 1-20 amp) I'm thinking of changing the breakers to all 20 amp to allow me to install more outlets (It's a big basement). Our jusisdiction only allows 8 outlets on a 15 amp circuit. If I go to a 20 amp this will allow me 10 on a circuit. Can I install 15 amp outlets on a 20 amp circuit, or do I have to get the 20 amp outlets for this?
Old 03-22-02, 09:40 PM
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The code allows to use 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp breaker providing the wire is large enough the wires to the present outlets must all be #12 Awg wire and no #14 wire in the circuit.
Old 03-24-02, 07:19 PM
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Gaud is correct unless your electrical inspector is having a bad day then you'll have to change them. Ask him first. BTW if you show him the code and prove him wrong he'll spend the next 4 hours showing you what authority having jursidiction means.
Old 03-25-02, 07:12 AM
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It is funny (not) how the local rules change from place to place. We are not allowed to even use 14 awg anywhere. No smaller then 12 awg allowed. We can only put 8 - 15amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit breaker. We are supposed to calculate 2.5 amps load per outlet. So what Mike says might be a good idea (just in case!). One town next to where I live makes you put the ground prong up. WHATEVER. Hope I didn't just add to the confusion. Point is, I would gather info on what is normal and how the national code handles it, then I would bounce my ideas off of the local inspector.
Old 03-25-02, 07:30 PM
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jn, always interesting to learn local requirements. Wonder what area you are from. Ground prong up looks upside-down to most folks but makes sense if you think a cord sagging exposes the hot prong up if wired the "usual" way with ground down, but if ground prong is wired at top any metal object falling on it, as wierd happenstance will dictate, hits the protective ground and won't cause sparks & fire.

Also, not allowed to use #14? I and others agree that #12 should be min. Key word "Min." For circuits protected by a 15 amp breaker or fuse, #14 is acceptable according to NEC. But if you ever increase load and wire route is in closed up walls you will need to rip them out and install 20 amp wire (#12). In many cases. Avg. homeowner doesn't know Code and doesn't upgrade wire. Increases load and breaker or fuse size and overloads 15-amp rated #14 wire causing fire and killing fimily and self. Always exceed minimum requirement. #14 is min. in NEC for 110 circuits in dwelling. NEC is MINIMUM requirement, not best possible design guide. I only use #14 when I am sure from careful consideration of every possible use by me or next owner that this ckt. will only be basic lighting. Will never use #14 for any ckt. that will have receptacles or any other use. Hope that helps.

Old 03-25-02, 07:41 PM
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But OTOH, most "wall wart" transformers are designed for outlets that are installed ground prong down, and tend to fall out easier when plugged into ground prong up outlets.

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