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Old 06-10-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


Hi all, first time poster here. I am trying to replace all my receptacles and switches in the house and have a small question. I know that it's ok to use 15a receptacles on 20a circuit.

Is it ok to do the opposite? 20a receptacles on 15a circuit? - I asked because there's a sale on the 20a receptacles.

Likewise, there's also a sale on 20a switches (single pole on/off and single pole 3-way). I don't know whether the switches in my house are 15a or 20a and wants to know if using a 20a switch is ok or not.

One last question, I really like the Leviton Acenti lines of products but they are expensive, is there a place that I can get them at a better price point?

Thanks,

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Old 06-10-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by syzygylock View Post
Hi all, first time poster here. I am trying to replace all my receptacles and switches in the house and have a small question. I know that it's ok to use 15a receptacles on 20a circuit?

Is it ok to do the opposite? 20a receptacles on 15a circuit? - I asked because there's a sale on the 20a receptacles.

Likewise, there's also a sale on 20a switches (single pole on/off and single pole 3-way). I don't know whether the switches in my house are 15a or 20a and wants to know if using a 20a switch is ok or not.
15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits are fine. (Reason is you cannot plug a 20 amp plug into a 15 amp recp.)

20 amp recp. on 15 amp circuit is a no. (Reason you could plug a 20 amp plug into a 15 amp circuit)

20 amp switches are fine for 15 or 20 amp circuits. (Reason you don't plug anything into a switch)

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Old 06-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #3
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


posted before i could,Good Reply
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:46 PM   #4
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


Ah great, thank you very much
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


Can't hurt to go with 20A switches when buying in bulk.. if only so that you don't have to worry about whether each circuit is rated @ 15 or 20A when you install them.

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Originally Posted by rjniles
(Reason you don't plug anything into a switch)
Aye, but you may plug something into a receptacle that's controlled by a switch..
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:01 PM   #6
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


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Aye, but you may plug something into a receptacle that's controlled by a switch..
Which brings you right back to the outlet being either 15a or 20a rated per the circuit rating

I think they make 20a rated outlets that do not have the T slot tho?
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:09 PM   #7
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


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Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
Aye, but you may plug something into a receptacle that's controlled by a switch..
I was thinking along the lines of that's why you shouldn't put a 15A switch on a 20A circuit even if the lighting load is "only" 100W or some such..

I was just not following why rjniles said that.. he was, of course, correct in his reasoning.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


There is a difference between a 20 amp receptacle and a 20 amp rated pass through. A 20 amp receptacle has a different pin configuration(one pin is sideways). A 20 amp rated pass through has terminal connection rated for 20 amps so they won't burn up when used on a 20 amp circuit.

The current rating of a switch is always a maximum rating of the maximum current it can switch without burning up the contacts.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


Is it a code violation to put a 20A receptacle (T-slot) on a 15A circuit? If it is, I can't find it. If you plugged in a 20A device (I can't say I have ever even seen a device with a T-slot plug) the worst that would happen is the breaker would trip. It doesn't make any sense to do this, but if it's a violation, I can't find it in the NEC. If it is, someone please post the citation. Thanks.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:25 PM   #10
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


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If it is, someone please post the citation.
It is a violation for a circuit with more than one receptacle (even one duplex).
See NEC Table 210.21(B)(3) & T210.24


A single receptacle on an individual branch circuit must have a rating of not less than that of the circuit rating. So a single 20A receptacle is OK on a 15A circuit. This is why you mainly see simplex receptacles in the 15/20A dual configuration as opposed to true 15 or 20 amp.
See NEC 210.21(B)(1)
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:34 AM   #11
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


Actually you can put a 50 amp outlet on a 15 amp circuit. I don't know why you would. The rating of the circuit is measured against the lowest rated component not the highest. If you have a 15 amp breaker and you connect a 50 amp load in it would just trip the breaker. So yes you can install 20 amp receptacles in a 15 amp circuit.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:39 AM   #12
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20a switch in a 15a circuit?


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Originally Posted by hayewe farm View Post
So yes you can install 20 amp receptacles in a 15 amp circuit.
Not if there is more than one receptacle on the circuit.
See my last reply and code reference.

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