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Old 11-02-2008, 07:09 PM   #1
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


If I use a 20A breaker for my circuits, do I need to use 20A receptacles even if I don't plan to have 20A of draw from each receptacle? Do I need to use the 20A receptacles if I am running the wire downstream to another receptacle (GFCI outlet)?

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Old 11-02-2008, 07:30 PM   #2
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


If you are in the US, the only time you HAVE to use a 20A receptacle is when you have a single receptacle on a 20A circuit.

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Old 11-02-2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


You usually use the 20amp receptacles in garage usage where you will more than likely be using higher draw power tools. You can use 15amp receptacles on a 20amp cirucuit. Can use a 20amp circuit for lighting also. Allows you to run more off of the 1 circuit. Or as was stated when you need a dedicated 20amp circuit. Example: air conditioner, whirlpool, etc.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


In Canada you must match the receptacle to the circuit. 20 amp circuit requires 20 amp T slot receptacles.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:15 PM   #5
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


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Originally Posted by joey b View Post
If I use a 20A breaker for my circuits, do I need to use 20A receptacles even if I don't plan to have 20A of draw from each receptacle? Do I need to use the 20A receptacles if I am running the wire downstream to another receptacle (GFCI outlet)?
No in both cases- there is rarely a use of 20a receptacles in the normal US home. An air conditioner or large motor item might need it but otherwise, normal use in the home is not necessary. Look at all your uses and see if the plugs are T-type- likely not.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:31 PM   #6
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


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Originally Posted by handyman78 View Post
No in both cases- there is rarely a use of 20a receptacles in the normal US home. An air conditioner or large motor item might need it but otherwise, normal use in the home is not necessary. Look at all your uses and see if the plugs are T-type- likely not.
I agree, I've been doing this for a long time, and the only time I actually needed a 20 amp receptacle was for a single round receptacle, or a treadmill. But thats about it.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:34 PM   #7
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


Yeah I am installing a whirlpool and it has to be on it's own dedicated 20amp GFCI circuit. Like you said, not very common unless a special purpose.
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


Whirlpool? Glad you mentioned that. This appliance needs special attention. Are you aware of the requirements? If not, your original post should have read " How do I connect a Whirlpool Bath".
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:43 PM   #9
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
I agree, I've been doing this for a long time, and the only time I actually needed a 20 amp receptacle was for a single round receptacle, or a treadmill. But thats about it.
I don't understand the reference to a treadmill. Why would you need a 20A receptacle, or a 20A breaker for that matter for a treadmill?
Most of the units I have seen, and the one I have don't draw more than 5-7 Amps.

That said, I have been using the 20A receptacles everywhere, regardless of whether they are on dedicated 20A lines or not. I like the fact that they're a little "beefier" in the housing. I was told that the contacts are the same as 15A ones, but housing is stronger.
They may take more "abuse", and don't really cost that much more, since I'm only doing one here and there at a time.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:44 PM   #10
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When are 20AMP receptacles necessary?


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I don't understand the reference to a treadmill. Why would you need a 20A receptacle, or a 20A breaker for that matter for a treadmill?
Most of the units I have seen, and the one I have don't draw more than 5-7 Amps.
Try buying an expensive treadmill... not something from sears.

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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
That said, I have been using the 20A receptacles everywhere, regardless of whether they are on dedicated 20A lines or not. I like the fact that they're a little "beefier" in the housing. I was told that the contacts are the same as 15A ones, but housing is stronger.
They may take more "abuse", and don't really cost that much more, since I'm only doing one here and there at a time.
They are not beefier, the manufactures use the exact housing for a 15 or 20 amp, only the face is different.


And you do know you can only use a 20 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit correct?

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