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Old 07-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


Hello,I don't know a whole lot on this subject at this time. But I would like to install a nema 6-20 receptical in my place. Let me know if I am off track here. Here is what I know right now.


Looking at the breakers I see that they all have a 20 on the switches. This leads me to believe they are all 20 amp breakers with the exception of four of them that say 40 on them. I believe that wiring should also be 12 gauge for 20 amps.

Now, if I confirm that I have 12 gauge wire connected to the 5-15r that is run to a 20 amp breaker would I be able to simply wire a 6-20r in it's place? Is this more or less how this works or is there a lot more to that process?Thank you.

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Old 07-22-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


That is, unfortunately, not exactly how it works with what you want to do. What you have currently, NEMA 5-15, is a 120V receptacle. What you want, NEMA 6-20, is a 240V receptacle. Is the current 5-15 receptacle the ONLY thing on this circuit?

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Old 07-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


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Is the current 5-15 receptacle the ONLY thing on this circuit?
There are two outlets on this receptacle I believe. I was considering it in a couple different places. Would this need to be the only thing on the receptacle? Or the only thing on use on a receptacle?
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


To put it simply, you can't just put a 240V receptacle in place of a 120V one because the circuit currently supplying that receptacle is only delivering 120V (i.e. it won't power the 6-20 receptacle). To do what you want, you'll have to verify that the 5-15 is the only device on the circuit that controls it, and change the circuit to supply 240V instead of the current 120V.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


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you can't just put a 240V receptacle in place of a 120V one because the circuit currently supplying that receptacle is only delivering 120V (i.e. it won't power the 6-20 receptacle). To do what you want, you'll have to verify that the 5-15 is the only device on the circuit that controls it, and change the circuit to supply 240V instead of the current 120V.
Okay, this is good to know. So if the breaker switch is 20 amp, it doesn't mean 240v can be delivered from just an outlet swap, correct?
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


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Okay, this is good to know. So if the breaker switch is 20 amp, it doesn't mean 240v can be delivered from just an outlet swap, correct?
Correct. Currently, you have a single pole breaker. For 240V, you would need to change the breaker out for a two pole and change the wiring a bit.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


Not to mention, as I said, you'd have to verify that there were no other devices on the current 120V circuit if you were to change it over to a 240V line.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:04 PM   #8
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


Are 5-15 or 5-20 ever installed via 2 pole?
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


Also, in my case. Would I be able to swap a 5-15r for a 5-20r?
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


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Are 5-15 or 5-20 ever installed via 2 pole?
The only situation I can think of when a 5-15 or 5-20 would be on a circuit controlled by a two pole breaker would be if they were part of what's called a Multi-Wire Branch Circuit. But in that case, they're still supplied with 120V, they just have a two pole breaker because the two circuits share a common neutral and thus you want both to trip if one does. If I'm incorrect, I'm sure I'll be quickly corrected by one of the pros here.

Just to make it clear, though: In no case that I can think of would a 5-15 or 5-20, even if the circuit is on a two pole breaker, be supplied with 240V. These are 120V only devices and should only be supplied with 120V.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


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Also, in my case. Would I be able to swap a 5-15r for a 5-20r?
Yes, assuming the the breaker is a 20A and the wiring is all 12 gauge, there shouldn't be a problem swapping a 20A duplex for the 15A.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #12
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


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Yes, assuming the the breaker is a 20A and the wiring is all 12 gauge, there shouldn't be a problem swapping a 20A duplex for the 15A.
A 5-15 and a 5-20 can be on the same circuit as well, correct?
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:23 PM   #13
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Changing a nema 5-15r into a nema 6-20r


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A 5-15 and a 5-20 can be on the same circuit as well, correct?
Oui it is and with 15 amp duplex they are approved to run on 20 amp 120 volt circuit but if you have singleplex then you have to use 20 amp verison and you will have to verify the conductor size at the receptale to make sure you are using #12 awg if not #12 then you can not use them and have to stay on 15 amp breaker.

Note: there are some case you may run into larger conductors than you will expected to see like #10 awg which it is common to use on long runs to comperised the voltage drop ( useally more than 80-125 feet long or more )

Merci,
Marc

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