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-   -   Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/why-do-you-see-20a-breaker-12-wire-15a-receptacal-15507/)

twilightcall 01-12-2008 06:02 AM

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?
 
Can someone explain this to me? In a room in my house there is a 20A circuit breaker. The room is wired with #12 wire but the receptacals are 15A. Shouldn't they be 20A receptacals? Any info would be appreciated.

Speedy Petey 01-12-2008 06:12 AM

This is an often discussed subject.

In the US the code allows the use of 15A receptacles on 20 amp circuits as long as there is more than one receptacle on that circuit.
For clarity, a duplex receptacles is considered two receptacles.

Canada has a different code on this.

handyman78 01-12-2008 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 87750)
This is an often discussed subject.

Very often- And conversely- if a SINGLE outlet is used in a dedicated situation, it must be rated for 20a as long as it is the only outlet on that 20a circuit.

Another thought- it is also what size breaker that matters too- you can have 12g wire being powered by a 15a breaker which I believe would be acceptable.

Lastly, it is highly unlikely that you would have a 20a load on a residential outlet- refrigerators and window air conditioners (relatively large items) don't usually have that amount of draw.

twilightcall 01-12-2008 09:45 AM

Ok sorry for the repost. Thanks for answering it. I appreciate it. Would the receptecal go out first if it were to have a 19A load on it?

Speedy Petey 01-12-2008 09:56 AM

No. A 15A duplex is rated for 15a EACH...theoretically.
The internals ARE rated for 20 amps.

Like I said in another thread. Receptacles generally don't "go out" unless there are seriously wrong factors involved.

J. V. 01-12-2008 12:18 PM

Very few contractors including myself will go to the expense of installing 20 amp recepts in a residential setting. Most will use the inexpensive 15 amp on the 20 amp circuits with the exception of dedicated circuits as mentioned above. Check the price of both and you will see why.

Speedy Petey 01-12-2008 12:50 PM

Not only that, but if a tool or appliance actually has a 20A plug on it, which would require a 20A receptacle, it would almost certainly require a dedicated circuit.
These are extremely rare in a residence. If something has/is that big of a load it would likely be 240v.

Why Canada requires 20A devices is beyond me.

elkangorito 01-12-2008 01:02 PM

Just to add to the confusion, Australian power cabling (for domestic purposes) is 2.5mm squared (don't ask me about this nonmetric "gauge" thing). This size covers up to 20 Amps (at 240 volts) so therefore the circuit breaker protecting this cable can be no larger than 20 Amps. In other words, the circuit breaker only protects the cable. The switchgear is generally underrated & is therefore also covered by the quick action of a circuit breaker.

I do believe that this is the case in North America. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

Andy in ATL 01-12-2008 04:31 PM

My Thai and Aussie friend, You are for the most part correct. Are people overseas craving Honker's pic?

woodman51jfk 01-13-2008 09:51 AM

............Andy............everybody in the known universe is craving the Lady Honker's photo:eek:........all the while knowing it simply won't do her justice:no:............ya lucky :censored:dawg, ya.............:thumbup:

Andy in ATL 01-13-2008 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodman51jfk (Post 88009)
............Andy............everybody in the known universe is craving the Lady Honker's photo:eek:........all the while knowing it simply won't do her justice:no:............ya lucky :censored:dawg, ya.............:thumbup:

Hey my gorilla like brother,

Thanks for the respone to the "Shepard of the hills". Very cool.

I bet if you sent HB a PM and were sweet she might consider sending her likeness to you. It is breathtaking for sure. You have to be respectful, though. HB is my sweetheart.

Andy in the big ATL


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