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Old 01-09-2013, 11:37 PM   #1
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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?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


It's fine that way.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:56 PM   #3
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:17 AM   #4
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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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.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:09 AM   #5
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


.................
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Last edited by Jim Port; 01-10-2013 at 09:31 AM. Reason: mis-read title, not needed
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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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.

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Old 01-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #9
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #10
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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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."
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:18 AM   #11
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Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?


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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