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Old 05-11-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
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what will happen


What will happen if I have a 20 amp outlet on a 15 amp breakervi know its not allowed but just I want to know the dangers

Last edited by jmans8666; 05-11-2011 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
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If you plug in something that uses more then 15 amps it will trip the breaker. It should be changed to standard 15 amp receptacle because it shouldn't be on a 15 amp circuit. Do you know if the wiring is 14 ga or 12 ga?
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:59 AM   #3
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It's 12 gauge wire. But I believe that some 14, somewhere else in the circuit
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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Why wouldn't a 20A receptacle be allowed on a 15A breaker? My understand is that the point would be that the weakest point in the system should be the breaker, and that is the case here.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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What will happen if I have a 20 amp outlet on a 15 amp breakervi know its not allowed but just I want to know the dangers
nothing wil happen. What would be a concern is if you have a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp breaker. What is your concern regarding this condition?
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:16 PM   #6
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nothing wil happen. What would be a concern is if you have a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp breaker. What is your concern regarding this condition?
A 15 amp duplex receptacle is perfectly fine on a 20 amp branch circuit and is code compliant.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:46 PM   #7
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Why wouldn't a 20A receptacle be allowed on a 15A breaker? My understand is that the point would be that the weakest point in the system should be the breaker, and that is the case here.
I may be wrong, but I'm thinking that it's wrong because someone could see the 20a receptacle, and change the breaker to 20a with the wiring being 14 guage.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:55 PM   #8
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nothing wil happen. What would be a concern is if you have a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp breaker. What is your concern regarding this condition?
Another concern is that someone will plug a 20Amp appliance into it and just blow the circuit - over and over and over again.

There is NO reason to do put a 20Amp rec on a 15 Amp circuit. And lots of reasons why not to do it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #9
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I may be wrong, but I'm thinking that it's wrong because someone could see the 20a receptacle, and change the breaker to 20a with the wiring being 14 guage.
An inexperienced person might do that. The breaker ampacity must match the conductor size and not the outlet. I would hope an electrician would see the conductor at the breaker and make the decision as to what size it should be. If the wire is #12 cu then you can swap the 15 to a 20 amp breaker. However, if in the circuit someone installed #14 cu then there may not be a way to see this if it is inside the wall.
As Leah said, you could plug a 20 amp load into the plug and trip the breaker. I would hope that would only happen once and a check of the circuit would lead to the problem.

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Old 05-11-2011, 04:45 PM   #10
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As Leah said, you could plug a 20 amp load into the plug and trip the breaker. I would hope that would only happen once and a check of the circuit would lead to the problem.
yeah... you'd think that.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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A 15 amp duplex receptacle is perfectly fine on a 20 amp branch circuit and is code compliant.
this is correct... noting that it is a DUPLEX, you may not have a single 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit, however, it does not happen the other way around, you may not have any number of 20 amp receptacles on a 15 amp circuit...
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:36 PM   #12
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all it will do is trip the breaker, but just remember, breakers have failed before so why take the chance.. if the breaker trips over and over again it could get weak and fail to trip when you need it to, overheating the wire and causing a fire

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Old 05-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #13
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Well I just replaced it. Now I feel safer
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:37 PM   #14
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Well I just replaced it. Now I feel safer
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:44 PM   #15
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The worse thing that will happen is someone will plug a 20 amp device into it and it will trip the breaker.

A 20 amp breaker with 14awg wiring is more serious though. Adding a 20 amp load will put stress on the wires that it was not designed for, and the breaker wont trip to protect the wiring.

If you have the old faulty FPE breakers, then it really does not matter what size the breakers are, it's still going to catch on fire.
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