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Old 05-11-2011, 09:44 AM   #1
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


I am considering buying a commercial grade treadmill that has the following power requirements: 120 Volt/20 Amp Dedicated (NEMA 5-20 Receptacle)

Is there anyway to quickly check to see if I have any 20 amp dedicated circuits. If I need installation I will call a professional--I just want to know what I have before I bring someone in.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Old 05-11-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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Originally Posted by sitkasassy View Post
I am considering buying a commercial grade treadmill that has the following power requirements: 120 Volt/20 Amp Dedicated (NEMA 5-20 Receptacle)

Is there anyway to quickly check to see if I have any 20 amp dedicated circuits. If I need installation I will call a professional--I just want to know what I have before I bring someone in.

Thanks for the feedback!
Unless there was some special requirement from the past, I doubt if you have a dedicated 20 amp receptacle and in most cases you won't even have 20 amp receptacles. A 120 v 20 amp receptacle will have one slot that looks like a sideways T. If it is a dedicated circuit it would be a single receptacle instead of a duplex.

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Old 05-11-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


to the most basic portion of your question of how do you know if you have a 20 amp circuit:

you look at the breakers in your breaker panel. If there is a "20" on the handle, it's a 20 amp circuit.

as to one being dedicated; almost guaranteed you do not have a dedicated 20 amp circuit. A dedicated circuit of any amperage rating would typically only be installed if needed. Unless the previous owner of the house just happened to need a dedicated 20 amp circuit in the same area you need one, there is not going to be one available for your use.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


You probably don't have a dedicated circuit.
I make an electrcal map of every house I buy.
I get a friend with a tester in every plug, and flip breakers till it goes off.
If I blow a fuse, I look at my labels, or blueprint, and I instantly toggle the correct one.

Doing this exercise will let you know if any circuit is dedicated.
Other than refrigerator or specialty appliances like a welder, big tablesaw, treadmill, or window a/c, you don't have a dedicated circuit.

The cheap way to get a dedicated circuit is to find a 20amp circuit with nothing but a couple outlets on it and simply don't use the other outlets when you use the treadmill.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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If it is a dedicated circuit it would be a single receptacle instead of a duplex.
Unless a handyman did the wiring, in which case it could be a duplex
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:15 PM   #6
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Unless a handyman did the wiring, in which case it could be a duplex
Then technically it wouldn't be a dedicated circuit.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Unless there was some special requirement from the past, I doubt if you have a dedicated 20 amp receptacle and in most cases you won't even have 20 amp receptacles. A 120 v 20 amp receptacle will have one slot that looks like a sideways T. If it is a dedicated circuit it would be a single receptacle instead of a duplex.
Sorry, we install dedicated circuits all the time with duplex receptacles. For instance, refrigerators.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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Sorry, we install dedicated circuits all the time with duplex receptacles. For instance, refrigerators.
Then, unless the Duplex was split, this wouldn't count as a dedicated circuit, as defined by NEC 100:

Quote:
Branch Circuit, Individual.
A branch circuit that supplies only one utilization equipment.

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Old 05-12-2011, 05:32 AM   #9
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Then, unless the Duplex was split, this wouldn't count as a dedicated circuit, as defined by NEC 100:


How is a duplex receptacle, behind a refrigerator, suppling more than one utilization device?
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:34 AM   #10
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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Is there anyway to quickly check to see if I have any 20 amp dedicated circuits.
I don't think you understand what a "dedicated circuit" is. All it means is that you have a breaker in your panel that ONLY controls one thing, in this case an outlet that your treadmill will plug into. Since the previous owner did not likely have a high-powered electrical device that required a 20A dedicated circuit, the chances of you having one that is available for use is very low.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:07 AM   #11
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


A NEMA 5-20r has one slot that is sideways. If you don't have any receptacles like that then you don't have the circuit you need.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:35 PM   #12
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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How is a duplex receptacle, behind a refrigerator, suppling more than one utilization device?
You must know that the possibility exists for the duplex to be used to plug in a microwave, or anything else that the unlearned may desire.

A dedicated circuit, to me, is one which has a single receptacle.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #13
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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You must know that the possibility exists for the duplex to be used to plug in a microwave, or anything else that the unlearned may desire.

A dedicated circuit, to me, is one which has a single receptacle.
I believe your interpretation is wrong, but I understand your thinking.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:31 PM   #14
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


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Unless a handyman did the wiring, in which case it could be a duplex
This isn't true, we install duplex recepticals on dedicated circuits all the time. Just because it's a duplex or a quad even doesn't mean it isn't a dedicated circuit.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #15
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How to Know if you have a 20 amp circuit


does anybody have the NEC on their computer?

If so, please look for anything referring to a "dedicated circuit"


To my interpretation of the term and lacking any direction from the code otherwise, a dedicated circuit is one that is established for a specific use. I often suggest people provide a dedicated circuit to certain areas of a home such as where they will place an entertainment center. I suggest a double duplex or even 2 double duplexes be installed on that dedicated circuit. I know that every time I have installed a dedicated circuit for a fire alarm panel or the phone companies equipment, not only did they not care if there was more than a simplex recep, in the case of the phone company, they require either a duplex or even a double duplex.

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