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Old 05-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
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Replacing older outlets


Moved into a 40 year old home and some of the outlets are broke, so I decided to go ahead and replace them all.

Looking at the breaker box, some of the outlets under a 20 amp breaker only are 15 amp, I believe, from looking at them (I don't see the cross line in the plug-in area). Should I make sure that all outlets that I replace under the 20 amp breaker are 20 amp outlets?

When you have a light switch that turns on one of the two outlets on a double outlet, is this a special outlet (like the 3-way light switches), or are they all the same outlets, but wired differently?

The old homeowner never put GFI outlets in bathrooms or kitchen. From what I read online, I should put a GFI outlet at every outlet within 6 feet of faucet? Within the 6 feet there are 3 outlets: one at 2 feet, one at 5 feet, and one for the fridge. I thought I read somewhere that a GFI is not required for the fridge? There's nothing special to do with the light switch that is 2 feet away from the faucet that is next to the outlet I will be making a GFI?

Thanks!


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Old 05-11-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Replacing older outlets


You can use 15 amp duplex receptacles on a 20 amp circuit. The only limitation would be a single receptacle on a 20 amp circuit would have to be a 20 amp receptacle. Do yourself a favor and don't buy the cheapest receptacles you can find. Go up 1 level. You will appreciate them. Tamper proof may be required if you have it inspected. The switched recp would have a tab that has to be broken off between the top and bottom outlet. Put the switched wire on the bottom outlet so the lamp cord hangs down and doesn't cover the hot outlet.

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Old 05-11-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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Replacing older outlets


Regular 15A recepticals are fine on a 20A circut.... they are rated to pass thru 20A.

Your split receptical is a standard receptical wired differently. Look between the hot screws and you will see a copper jumper bar (flat piece of copper). Take you needle nose and twist/wiggle it off. Now you have two separate outlets (split receptical) that you wire approriately (one on a switch, one hot.

GFI's near water and grounded pipeing are good. Refer's don't require one.
Your light switch is fine.

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Old 05-11-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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Replacing older outlets


It is perfectly acceptable and common practice to have 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits, providing they are supplied with 12 AWG wiring. You only need to install the 20 amp t-slot receptacles if you intend to use 20 amp equipment, which is very unlikely in a residential case.

For the switch- controlled outlets, having half of the outlet switched is achieved by breaking a small metal tab in between the two hot (brass) screws. One wire (constant hot) will go to one brass screw, and the hot from the switch will go to the other. Leave the tab on the neutral (silver, white) screws intact.

Installing GFCIs is a good idea, but if you have older small electrical boxes, it may be a pain getting all those wires plus the GFCI into the box.

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Old 05-11-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
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Replacing older outlets


As far as the GFCI's. Put them in to protect yourself and family. You don't need all receptacles to be GFCI's. just the first one on the circuit or a GFCI breaker, more money but the whole circuit is protected.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #6
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Replacing older outlets


Thank you everyone for the quick replies.

I was not planning on using the cheapest ones, but the ones with the metal bracket. Will look into the tamper-proof.

When you say that 20 amp equipment wouldn't probably be used in residential, that includes kitchen appiances? That would've been the one place I would have thought the 20 amp outlets would be needed. Isn't it a cumulative effect with appliances, so a 20 amp outlet would be better above the kitchen counters?
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:32 AM   #7
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Replacing older outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by kah5683
Thank you everyone for the quick replies.

I was not planning on using the cheapest ones, but the ones with the metal bracket. Will look into the tamper-proof.

When you say that 20 amp equipment wouldn't probably be used in residential, that includes kitchen appiances? That would've been the one place I would have thought the 20 amp outlets would be needed. Isn't it a cumulative effect with appliances, so a 20 amp outlet would be better above the kitchen counters?
You could if you wanted to, but there is really no reason to. "20 amp equipment" would be appliances that come with a 20 amp plug, which would only fit In a 20 amp t-slot outlet. No kitchen appliance that i can think of requires a 20 amp outlet.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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Replacing older outlets


As MNT Remodel says, they are rated 20 amp feed thru. And a 20 amp recp has a very low WAF, wife acceptance factor. Just go with the 15's.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deverson
As MNT Remodel says, they are rated 20 amp feed thru. And a 20 amp recp has a very low WAF, wife acceptance factor. Just go with the 15's.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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Dever.... WAF.... I like it.... it's probably the ultimate code consideration for us... the NEC needs to pay more attention to it...
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #11
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Replacing older outlets


Is this the same with GFI outlets? Should I use a 20 amp on a 20 amp breaker line, or just use the 15 amp (kitchen)?
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:45 AM   #12
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Replacing older outlets


15amp GFCI' s just fine anywhere in a house or garage or basement.

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