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Old 07-06-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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15 or 20 amp outlets


Hi,

In other posts I have mentioned that I am re-wiring my garage. I thought I knew exaclty what I was going to do and then someone at Home Depot confused me.

First of all, all of the wire I am using is 12/2. Also, I live in New York State and the garage is detached from my house in case that matters for anything.

Basically, I was told that if I am using 12/2, and the circuit has a 20 amp breaker, I can't use 15 amp outlets. Does that sound legit?

If the 15 amp outlets are ok, I have another question. Can I use a mixture of 20 amp and 15 amp outlets on the same circuit?

Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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15 or 20 amp outlets


You can use 15 amp receptacles and you can mix 15 and 20's. I think the only time you can't use a 15 is when there is only one single receptacle for a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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15 or 20 amp outlets


while you can use 15 amp receptacles and mix them, I always like to use 20A receptacles on a 20A circuit. Reason is that you can tell by looking at the plug what the circuit is rated at. Kind of useful if/when you sell your home for prospects to easily tell that there's 20Amp service in the garage.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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15 or 20 amp outlets


You can use 15A receptacles and put the circuit on a 15A breaker.

Just a little note: A few years back it was legal to run a 12/3 and have one of the breakers a 15A and one a 20A. This might still be legal, but there might be some issues with MWBC's having to be on a 2P breaker (or handle tied).
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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15 or 20 amp outlets


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Originally Posted by kwilcox View Post
while you can use 15 amp receptacles and mix them, I always like to use 20A receptacles on a 20A circuit. Reason is that you can tell by looking at the plug what the circuit is rated at. Kind of useful if/when you sell your home for prospects to easily tell that there's 20Amp service in the garage.
That's a good point. I just looked at my kitchen receptacles which I know are on a 20 amp circuit and I was surprised to see that I used 15 amp receptacles.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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15 or 20 amp outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by dw1256 View Post
I thought I knew exaclty what I was going to do and then someone at Home Depot confused me.
This was your first mistake.

DO NOT ever listen to the aisle monkeys at HD or Lowes. Sure, you'll get a knowledgeable one from time to time, but odds are it's not worth it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #7
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15 or 20 amp outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by zappa View Post
That's a good point. I just looked at my kitchen receptacles which I know are on a 20 amp circuit and I was surprised to see that I used 15 amp receptacles.
Why would you be surprised? How many appliances do you own that actually have a 20 amp cord on them? And just a side note, the ONLY difference between a 15 and 20 amp receptacle is the face, the guts contain the exact same parts, so don't think a 20 amp receptacle is better grade.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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15 or 20 amp outlets


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Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Why would you be surprised?
Severe analness affliction

Quote:
How many appliances do you own that actually have a 20 amp cord on them?
None

Quote:
And just a side note, the ONLY difference between a 15 and 20 amp receptacle is the face, the guts contain the exact same parts, so don't think a 20 amp receptacle is better grade.
I know this and I was commenting on circuit identification. I bought the supplies for the entire house in one shot which is probably why I didn't think of it. If I was only doing the counter tops or a workshop I would have bought 20 amp receptacles.


Last edited by zappa; 07-06-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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