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Old 06-30-2008, 07:59 PM   #1
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12 gauge (20A) wiring do I need 20A recetpicles or is a 15A duplex ok?


I have 12 gauge wire (20A circuits) in my dining room and living room. Do I need 20A recepticles or is a 15A duplex ok? If it gets load over 15A will the duplex fail first vs. the breaker? Thanks.

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Old 06-30-2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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12 gauge (20A) wiring do I need 20A recetpicles or is a 15A duplex ok?


As long as you have more than one receptacle, and a duplex counts as two, then you may use the 15A receptacles.

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Old 06-30-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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12 gauge (20A) wiring do I need 20A recetpicles or is a 15A duplex ok?


Unless of course you are in Canada.


And NO, the 15A duplex will NOT "fail".
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:53 PM   #4
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12 gauge (20A) wiring do I need 20A recetpicles or is a 15A duplex ok?


It's completely to connect 15 amp receptacles to a 20 amp circuit, it's also a very common practice.

I'd bet your kitchen and laundry receptacles are 15 amp, and they're almost certainly on 20 amp breakers.

The only time you can't have a 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit is if it's a single (not a duplex) receptacle. One or more duplexes are fine.

The 15 amp rating has to do mainly with pin configuration, and not current carrying ability. If you removed the face of a 15 and a 20 amp receptacle from the same manufacturer, you'd find the base (where the actual electrical contacts are) would be identical.

You can't burn up a 15 amp receptacle just by putting it on a 20 amp circuit.

Rob
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:37 AM   #5
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12 gauge (20A) wiring do I need 20A recetpicles or is a 15A duplex ok?


Thanks guys. I just wanted to make sure. I have all of my new wires roughed in and am at the point of installing new recepticles. I appreciate all of the help. When would you use a 20A duplex?
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:01 PM   #6
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12 gauge (20A) wiring do I need 20A recetpicles or is a 15A duplex ok?


20 amp receptacles are very common in commercial and industrial applications. In 18 years of doing mostly comm'l/industrial, I've seen maybe 2 or 3 20 amp 125 volt cord plugs, and all these were on equipment that required a dedicated circuit, and used a single receptacle.

Rob

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