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Old 05-06-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


A little worried about posting this after my last question...

Anyway, I was mapping all the breakers in my home this past weekend since I just had an addition added on. I assume all is correct since it had permits and was passed by the electrical inspector but had a question about having GFCIs on 15A breakers...

I have 2 circuits in question.
The first is a dedicated 15A breaker with a 20A GFCI on it. It is for an instant hot water at my kitchen sink. Is this normal? Shouldn't it be on a 20A breaker? I believe the wire running into it is 14-2.

The second one is almost the same thing, a 15A breaker that supplies all my outdoor lighting but there is also a 20A GFCI on it that is outside my home.

I assume this is ok since it was passed by the inspector several months ago, just wanted to know why for myself...

thanks!

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


If you have 14 gauge wire, you can NOT use a 20A circuit.

I don't see a problem with a 20A outlet on a 15A circuit. That 20A rating is the max the outlet can handle, not a requirement. The fact that they are GFCI outlets doesn't matter.

As to whether the circuits SHOULD be 20A? that would depend on how much draw your water heater has. But if you want to upgrade to 20A circuits, you must first upgrade the wiring to 12 Gauge.

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


You can have a 15A duplex receptacle on a 20A circuit. EDIT: ooops, read the part related to this answer wrong...but you're still ok either way.

You can NOT have a 20A breaker serving 14g conductors.

You're fine with what you have...

No need to post the question twice tho
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:49 AM   #4
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jproffer View Post
You can have a 15A duplex receptacle on a 20A circuit. EDIT: ooops, read the part related to this answer wrong...but you're still ok either way.

I did the same thing at first!
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


Yea I guess I've seen it so often, I just assumed, lol.

#1 question seems to be "is it ok to have ONE (what they call, 'normal'...not single) 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit?".....and of course, it is.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jproffer View Post
You can have a 15A duplex receptacle on a 20A circuit. EDIT: ooops, read the part related to this answer wrong...but you're still ok either way.

You can NOT have a 20A breaker serving 14g conductors.

You're fine with what you have...

No need to post the question twice tho

Sorry if I wasn;t clear. It actually is 2 questions.
2 different breakers in the panel are both 15A. One is dedicted to the hot water heater and the other is for outside. Both have the GFCI 20A outlets on them.

So I can have 20A GFCIs on 14 gauge 15A breakers? I guess it just can't be vice versa...

Now if it was a t-slot GFCI that wouldn;t be permissable then correct?

Last edited by zephed666; 05-06-2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


You can have 20A devices on 15A circuits. You can have 15A devices on 20A circuits as long as it's a duplex receptacle and not a single.

IMO, you're fine with both circuits the way they are.

The conductor gauge is determined by the breaker, not by the device that's on it.

14g = 15A max

12g = 20A max

10g = 30A max
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


What does the plug on the heater look like?
If it makes you feel better, change out the receptacles to 15 amp.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:00 PM   #9
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


If the circuit has more than one place to insert a plug, a 15 amp circuit cannot have the 20 amp T-slot devices.

A standard duplex receptacle counts as two.

Reference NEC Table 210.21(B)(3).
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


thanks!
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
If the circuit has more than one place to insert a plug, a 15 amp circuit cannot have the 20 amp T-slot devices.

A standard duplex receptacle counts as two.

Reference NEC Table 210.21(B)(3).
I wonder how many times I've left that out (because it's news to me too) of the info I've given over the years. Hopefully nothing horrible has come of it.

So if it's a single receptacle, a T-slotted device can be on a 15A circuit...is that right?

Also, aren't all 20A receptacles T-slotted? And if so (and if singles aren't allowed as I asked above), does that mean that 15A circuits can ONLY have 15A devices?

Just trying to correct my thinking.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:01 PM   #12
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


A simplex, or single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have a rating of not less than the branch circuit. For example a 15 amp circuit could have a 15 or 20 amp device. However, a 20 amp circuit cannot have a 15 amp slot device. NEC 210.21(1). There is one exception for a motor load.

A 15 amp circuit with a standard duplex on a general purpose circuit can only have a 15 amp slot device. A 20 amp circuit could have either a 15 or 20 amp device. Table NEC 210.21(B)(3).
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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15A breaker with GFCI outlets...


Ok, I think (hope) I got it. (We'll soon find out, lol )

For simplex (single gang) receptacles on a dedicated circuit: device rating can be higher than, but not lower than, the breaker rating.

For multiple devices, it's the opposite: device rating can be lower than, but not higher than, the breaker rating.

Am I close??

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