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Old 12-20-2008, 04:37 PM   #1
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?

I have an outlet in my garage that is rated for 20A but it is on a 15A circuit. It is a single recepticle and it's for my sprinkler system.

A side note: I plugged my 15A air compressor into it once and it tripped the breaker and there was a little bit of carbon residue on the face of the outlet, but I think it's because I was overloading the circuit.

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Old 12-20-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


You can indeed use a 20 amp single receptacle on a 15 amp circuit. Not a duplex, only a single. It's completely code compliant, though it uses sort of a 'loophole' in the code.

Rob

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Old 12-20-2008, 06:45 PM   #3
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


It might not be in the future necs, but its no problem.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:06 PM   #4
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by farmerde View Post
Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?

I have an outlet in my garage that is rated for 20A but it is on a 15A circuit. It is a single recepticle and it's for my sprinkler system.

A side note: I plugged my 15A air compressor into it once and it tripped the breaker and there was a little bit of carbon residue on the face of the outlet, but I think it's because I was overloading the circuit.
Was there something wrong with the compressor that caused it to trip the breaker, or was it just rated for a higher current that 15A?
The carbon around the receptacle slots is from the arc that was caused when you plugged it in. There could be some damage to the contacts in the receptacle. I would replace it.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:07 PM   #5
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


I find that thing about the 20A single receptacle on a 15A branch to be kind of silly. Obviously, if you try to use an appliance that requires the 20A plug, and draws more than 15A, it will trip the breaker. So what use is the capability to connect a 20A device to such a circuit?
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:10 PM   #6
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
I find that thing about the 20A single receptacle on a 15A branch to be kind of silly. Obviously, if you try to use an appliance that requires the 20A plug, and draws more than 15A, it will trip the breaker. So what use is the capability to connect a 20A device to such a circuit?

I just dont get it, Why do people get concerned with a 20amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit, but have NO problems with a 50 amp recepacle on a 40 amp circuit?
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:16 PM   #7
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
I just dont get it, Why do people get concerned with a 20amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit, but have NO problems with a 50 amp recepacle on a 40 amp circuit?

Same here, its perfectly normal.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:43 PM   #8
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
I just dont get it, Why do people get concerned with a 20amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit, but have NO problems with a 50 amp recepacle on a 40 amp circuit?
Chris, you're funny. My question wasn't about a 50 amp receptacle on a 40 amp circuit; and thank you for categorizing me with said "people". I appreciate you taking the time to offer constructive advice to people who are legitimately trying to educate themselves, so that they do not burn down their home and kill their families. Oh, and you misspelled "recepacle".

Last edited by farmerde; 12-20-2008 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:47 PM   #9
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
I just dont get it, Why do people get concerned with a 20amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit, but have NO problems with a 50 amp recepacle on a 40 amp circuit?
My reasoning is that I would think a 20 amp device is something more likely to be connected by someone who knows nothing about electricity, ampacity, and circuit breakers, while the 40 and 50 amp receptacles are normally used for ranges, ovens, etc which are normally installed by a qualified electrician, and never get moved, so nothing else ever gets plugged into the receptacle.

Perhaps this is way off. Maybe I should ask NFPA, since they wrote the code, right?
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:02 PM   #10
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by farmerde View Post
Oh, and you misspelled "recepacle".
I don't think he did...
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:08 PM   #11
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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I don't think he did...
Well, he did, in that one spot. But not because of ignorance I'm sure.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:14 PM   #12
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Well, he did, in that one spot. But not because of ignorance I'm sure.

Oh, I didn't notice the part at the end.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:25 PM   #13
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerde View Post
Chris, you're funny. My question wasn't about a 50 amp receptacle on a 40 amp circuit; and thank you for categorizing me with said "people". I appreciate you taking the time to offer constructive advice to people who are legitimately trying to educate themselves, so that they do not burn down their home and kill their families. Oh, and you misspelled "recepacle".

My post was in no way directed at you, but at KE2KB, hence the quote before I responded, but feel anyway you want. Next time before you react to something, take a second to realize what is being said and to who. It will do us both a favor, I give my free time and knowledge for free so you can save a buck, so dont rant on me about nothing.

Last edited by chris75; 12-20-2008 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:32 PM   #14
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by micromind View Post
You can indeed use a 20 amp single receptacle on a 15 amp circuit. Not a duplex, only a single. It's completely code compliant, though it uses sort of a 'loophole' in the code.

Rob
MM, what is the "loophole". I don;t see any loophole around 210.21(B)(3)

210.23 supports that by stating that in no case shall a load exceed the branch circuit ampere rating.

Obviously, installing a 20 amp recep on a 15 amp circuit would allow such an action.

210.24 continues to support this with the statement under a listing of a 15 a circuit.

receptacel rating 15 max A.


would you care to enlighten me?


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chris75Quote:




I just dont get it, Why do people get concerned with a 20amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit, but have NO problems with a 50 amp recepacle on a 40 amp circuit?
maybe becuase a 50 amp recep on a 40 amp circuit is code compliant?
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:54 PM   #15
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Can you use a 20A recepticle on 15A circuit?


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Originally Posted by nap View Post


maybe because a 50 amp recep on a 40 amp circuit is code compliant?
And so is a 20 amp on a 15, whats your point? All I'm saying is that no one ever realizes what the code ACTUALLY says until you point out a 20amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit, then its a problem.

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