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Old 06-14-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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clarification help


i have been all over the forums and didn't want to hijack another thread but i have a few questions that i wanted help with since i want to make sure my wiring/panel is up to code.

1. i have read on here that you can have 15 amp outlets on a 20 amp breaker in the united states (as long as there are at least two). i have an 15 amp outlet in my kitchen that goes to a junction box in the basement and then to a 20 amp breaker. all wire is 12/2 with ground. do i need to change the breaker to 15 amp since that is the only outlet on this circuit or does the junction box act like another outlet so that is ok?

2. i have two outlets in one bedroom that i am 99.9 percent sure are each on their own circuit (14 and 29). would it be smarter to change these to 15 amp breakers or should i put them on 20 amp outlets. what if i put them on 20 amp outlets and something else in the house shares with them?

3. the microwave has a 15 amp outlet in the cabinet above the microwave (wall mounted) and runs straight to a tandem 20 amp breaker. am i correct that i need to change the breaker or outlet?

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by housemi View Post
i have been all over the forums and didn't want to hijack another thread but i have a few questions that i wanted help with since i want to make sure my wiring/panel is up to code.

1. i have read on here that you can have 15 amp outlets on a 20 amp breaker in the united states (as long as there are at least two). i have an 15 amp outlet in my kitchen that goes to a junction box in the basement and then to a 20 amp breaker. all wire is 12/2 with ground. do i need to change the breaker to 15 amp since that is the only outlet on this circuit or does the junction box act like another outlet so that is ok?
Is this a standard duplex recepatacle? If so you are fine

Quote:
2. i have two outlets in one bedroom that i am 99.9 percent sure are each on their own circuit (14 and 29). would it be smarter to change these to 15 amp breakers or should i put them on 20 amp outlets. what if i put them on 20 amp outlets and something else in the house shares with them?
What size wire is in the whole circuit? If unsure stay with 15A breakers and receptacles.

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3. the microwave has a 15 amp outlet in the cabinet above the microwave (wall mounted) and runs straight to a tandem 20 amp breaker. am i correct that i need to change the breaker or outlet?
Again what size wire feeds the circuit and is this a duplex receptacle?


Last edited by Code05; 06-14-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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As long as the wire is 12 gauge, you can use 20 amp breakers and 15 amp convenience receptacles. When someone says "single receptacle" they mean this.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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Expanding on what John said, as long as the receptacles you are referring to are duplex (two receptacles on one strap, which is the most common configuration) you are OK.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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Not trying to hijack....but....

Since the standard 15A duplex or single outlet will only accept a male plug rated up to 15A, does it really matter if there is only a single outlet on a 20A ckt?

We can put 100 15A duplex outlets on a single 20A line if we want....so why not just one?

On a side note....I use single outlets all the time...especially when I don't want anything else plugged into that outlet....usually it's a UPS on a dedicated ckt....which has it's own breaker....typically a 20A breaker feeding a 15A single outlet.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Not trying to hijack....but....

Since the standard 15A duplex or single outlet will only accept a male plug rated up to 15A, does it really matter if there is only a single outlet on a 20A ckt?

We can put 100 15A duplex outlets on a single 20A line if we want....so why not just one?

On a side note....I use single outlets all the time...especially when I don't want anything else plugged into that outlet....usually it's a UPS on a dedicated ckt....which has it's own breaker....typically a 20A breaker feeding a 15A single outlet.
210.21(B) Receptacles.
(1) Single Receptacle on an Individual Branch Circuit.
A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit
shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch
circuit.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:06 AM   #7
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210.21(B) Receptacles.
(1) Single Receptacle on an Individual Branch Circuit.
A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit
shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch
circuit.

Hmmmm.......looks like I will need to make some changes to how I design control panels.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:10 AM   #8
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Hmmmm.......looks like I will need to make some changes to how I design control panels.
Sorry.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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see below

Last edited by housemi; 06-14-2012 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
Expanding on what John said, as long as the receptacles you are referring to are duplex (two receptacles on one strap, which is the most common configuration) you are OK.


these are the type i am referring to. 12/2 with ground runs straight from this receptacle to the 20 amp breaker.

is that ok then?
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by housemi View Post


these are the type i am referring to. 12/2 with ground runs straight from this receptacle to the 20 amp breaker.

is that ok then?
Yes, that is a 15 amp duplex receptacle, it is allowed on a 20 amp circuit.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:44 PM   #12
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Yes, that is a 15 amp duplex receptacle, it is allowed on a 20 amp circuit.

if i understand you correctly i am up to code with only one 15 amp duplex going to straight to a 20 amp breaker?
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
.typically a 20A breaker feeding a 15A single outlet.
As a side note, you can do the opposite, a dedicated 15amp circuit on a single 20 amp receptacle.

Last edited by stickboy1375; 06-14-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
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if i understand you correctly i am up to code with only one 15 amp duplex going to straight to a 20 amp breaker?
Yes... if it were a SINGLE receptacle, it would be a violation, but a duplex receptacle is allowed.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:46 PM   #15
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Yes correct.

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