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RCGA 03-26-2013 11:12 AM

Need all new switches and plugs - what to buy?
I need to upgrade all my switches and plus in my house (they don't have grounds on them).

I've noticed I have two options - 15amp and 20amp plugs. I've also need 15amp switches, but not 20amp switches. Does a 20amp plug need a 20amp switch?

SquishyBall 03-26-2013 11:17 AM

Most likely you're going to put in standard outlets. They are 15A outlets that can handle 20A circuits and 12ga wire. An actual 20A outlet has one of the prongs in the T formation, so it can take a 20A plug which has one prong sideways. There are very few things that actually use this plug, and if you had one such thing, it would most likely be best on a dedicated circuit anyways.

So... the 15A plugs (two parallel prongs and ground) that can handle 20A circuits are the standard plug and what I'd use...

Switches... If you're on a 20A circuit and switching the outlets on/off, then Leviton makes a 20A switch. It's like $3, not expensive.


J. V. 03-26-2013 11:18 AM

You need a ground wire (EGC) at every receptacle box to use three (3) wire devices.
How many wires do you have in each receptacle box?

RCGA 03-26-2013 11:21 AM

Not sure. But I know the house is grounded at the panel. I have an electrician friend who will be switching the plugs, but he wanted me to buy them first.

RCGA 03-26-2013 11:23 AM

My parents have a bunch of plugs with the notch on the side (20amp) in the kitchen specially.

fetzer85 03-26-2013 12:41 PM

I don't know anyone would go through the trouble of rewiring receptacles to include a ground and then not replace the old 2 prongs with 3 prongs.

Translation - go ahead and check to see if you have 3 wires coming in, but I'm nearly certain you'll only have 2.

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