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-   -   Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/twist-15a-recep-20a-circuit-168742/)

diystephen 01-09-2013 11:37 PM

Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?
 
This one is a bit of a twist on this common question and had me curious. My neighbor is replacing a kitchen GFCI (on the side of an island) to install a tamper resistant version (safety for their toddler.) He noticed his circuit is 20A, but that the old receptacle was 15A. He thought that was a problem, and stopped by tonight. I told him that a 15A receptacle was fine as long as the circuit contained more than one receptacle. In his case the only thing on the circuit is the island, but it is a duplex receptacle.

His mind then leapt to his master bath which has the same scenario (20A circuit with 15A receptacles.) He asked whether it's a problem that his wife uses a hair dryer and curling iron in the same 15A duplex receptacle at the same time (possibly more than 15A draw.) I seem to recall hearing that the internals on 15A or 20A receptacles are the same, and told him as much; I then looked online to get confirmation, but couldn't find too much on the subject. I'm also not clear if there are any internal differences between 15/20A GFCI outlets. What say you guys?

joecaption 01-09-2013 11:42 PM

It's fine that way.

mpoulton 01-09-2013 11:56 PM

A duplex receptacle is two receptacles. They are each 15A receptacles. So a cumulative draw of 20A between them does not exceed the device rating.

Speedy Petey 01-10-2013 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpoulton (Post 1090164)
A duplex receptacle is two receptacles. They are each 15A receptacles. So a cumulative draw of 20A between them does not exceed the device rating.

THIS!

It is a very common misconception that a 15A duplex is a 15A receptacle. It is TWO 15A rated receptacles.

md2lgyk 01-10-2013 07:09 AM

The only time a 20A receptacle would be required is if it was a single receptacle and the only one in the circuit. You rarely see that.

Jim Port 01-10-2013 07:12 AM

.................

Troy32 01-10-2013 07:24 AM

Just for my own understanding why is it OK to put 2 15 amp recepticals on a 20 amp circuit but not just one. I am sure there is a logical reason and would like to understand it. Thanks

md2lgyk 01-10-2013 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 1090251)
Have your friend skip the twistlock. Just install a tamper resistant GFI or duplex as needed. The twistlock will require an adapter cord to allow the usage of a regular corded appliance. The extra cord is easier to grab.

You misconstrued the OP just like I did at first. He is not installing a twistlock receptacle. The thread title is misleading.

AllanJ 01-10-2013 10:59 AM

Duplex receptacles, whether 15 or 20 amp, will pass through 20 amps for daisy chaining purposes.

The rating has to do with the contact blades inside the slots, also a "20 amp" plug is shaped differently from a "15 amp" plug.
You should not find a 20 amp appliance with a 15 amp plug on it but a general purpose light or appliance under normal or slightly abnormal use has to be safe on a 20 amp circuit in order to pass typical rating standards such as from Underwiters' Laboratories.

diystephen 01-10-2013 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2lgyk (Post 1090339)
You misconstrued the OP just like I did at first. He is not installing a twistlock receptacle. The thread title is misleading.

Yep, I didn't word it well. Prob should have read "A different take on the standard 15A receptacle on 20A circuit question."

md2lgyk 01-11-2013 07:18 AM

No matter. You got your answer.

When we were gearing up to build our log house (did it by ourselves) I sent the wife to Home Depot for a few things, including a couple of 100-ft extension cords. What she bought had twist-lock connectors - I'm sure she'd never heard of them and didn't check what she was getting. I now have four 50-ft cords.


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