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Old 03-05-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
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15a vs 20a outlets??


So I plan on adding some outlets to an exisitng 20 amp circuit in my garage. Since 15 amp duplex outlets have a rating of 20 amp pass through, should I use those, or should I use 20 amp outlets?

Also what happens if a 15 amp duplex outlet is installed on a 20 amp circuit and the outlet is overloaded? Say I plug a 120v welder that pulls 18 amps into it?

Sorry for the repeated stupid questions.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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15a vs 20a outlets??


A 120 volt appliance rated at 18 amps would have a 20 amp attachment cap on it. I would use all 20 amp gfi"s in the garage.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:12 PM   #3
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15a vs 20a outlets??


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A 120 volt appliance rated at 18 amps would have a 20 amp attachment cap on it. I would use all 20 amp gfi"s in the garage.
I'm sorry, but what is an attachment cap?
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:24 PM   #4
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15a vs 20a outlets??


Any device that MUST be plugged into a 20a circuit/outlet will have a special plug on it

It would require an outlet that matches that plug -

This outlet takes both the normal plug, then a 20a - the one with the blade orientated sideways

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Old 03-05-2010, 01:25 PM   #5
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15a vs 20a outlets??


Can you safely put a normal single-pole 15A switch on a 20A circuit with 12AWG wire?
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:39 PM   #6
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15a vs 20a outlets??


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Can you safely put a normal single-pole 15A switch on a 20A circuit with 12AWG wire?
Yes, as long as the switch Load is under 15a
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:16 PM   #7
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15a vs 20a outlets??


Attachment cap is the male plug on a cord.Receptacles are sometimes called "wallplugs".
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:21 PM   #8
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15a vs 20a outlets??


Since I haven't even seen a tool that I may need to use in the future with a '20a specific' plug, I should be okay with using 15a outlets instead of 20a outlets.

Is there any other reason I should install 20a outlets instead of the cheaper 15 outlets?

Sorry if I'm being redundant. It just seems like the logical thing to do would be to install 20a outelts since the circuit is rated for 20 amps. But, by the sounds of it, there is no reason for me to use 20a outlets.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:21 PM   #9
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15a vs 20a outlets??


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Attachment cap is the male plug on a cord.Receptacles are sometimes called "wallplugs".
Ahhhh- I see.. Thank you for the explanation!
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:26 PM   #10
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15a vs 20a outlets??


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Ahhhh- I see.. Thank you for the explanation!
Good. Don't forget about the gfci's.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:52 PM   #11
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15a vs 20a outlets??


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Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
Is there any other reason I should install 20a outlets instead of the cheaper 15 outlets?
I have a few 20a GFCI's I will install in my garage, just in case
Also a few true 20a outlets
But most will be 15a - but not the cheaper ones...the next step up


I think even under 2005 GFCI was required in the garage
But there was an exception for an outlet that would be behind a fridge/freezer
So your outlet may have been allowed on that basis
That exception was eliminated in 2008
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:17 PM   #12
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15a vs 20a outlets??


15 amp receptacles can be installed on 20 amp circuits, with one exception. If the circuit is 20 amp, and there's only one single receptacle, it must be 20 amp.

If there's one or more duplex, they can be 15 or 20 amp.

Here's an example, the receptacles in your kitchen and laundry room are almost certainly supplied by 20 amp circuits. But they're almost certainly 15 amp receptacles. And the electrical passed inspection.

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Old 03-06-2010, 08:25 PM   #13
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15a vs 20a outlets??


Thanks for the help guys. I'll go ahead and just install the 15a receps since I know I'll never use a tool that will require a 20amp outlet. I will also install a 15 amp gfci as the first recep in the chain. Thanks again.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:38 PM   #14
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15a vs 20a outlets??


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Thanks for the help guys. I'll go ahead and just install the 15a receps since I know I'll never use a tool that will require a 20amp outlet. I will also install a 15 amp gfci as the first recep in the chain. Thanks again.
Sounds like a good plan to me.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:20 AM   #15
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15a vs 20a outlets??


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Originally Posted by Rudeboy View Post
Dude, what kind of receptacle is that? Is it a receptacle with plate combo? What's up with the screws? Maybe you found this image on google?
I would assume he did.

That is a mobile home "boxless" device.
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