Forums | Home Repair | Home Improvement | Painting | Interior Decorating | Remodeling | Landscaping


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-12-2008, 06:02 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 179
Share |
Default

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.
twilightcall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 06:12 AM   #2
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,684
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


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.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 09:02 AM   #3
Res Ipsa Loquitur
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 363
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
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.

Last edited by handyman78; 01-12-2008 at 09:14 AM.
handyman78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 179
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


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?
twilightcall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,684
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


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.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,502
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


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.
J. V. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,684
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


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.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 01:02 PM   #8
Once fried, twice shy.
 
elkangorito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Thailand
Posts: 251
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


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.
__________________
Switchboard design engineer & Licensed Electrician (Australia).
elkangorito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 04:31 PM   #9
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


My Thai and Aussie friend, You are for the most part correct. Are people overseas craving Honker's pic?
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 09:51 AM   #10
Neanderthal Woodworker
 
woodman51jfk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 62
Cool

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


............Andy............everybody in the known universe is craving the Lady Honker's photo........all the while knowing it simply won't do her justice............ya lucky dawg, ya.............
woodman51jfk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 12:36 PM   #11
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Why do you see 20A Breaker, #12 wire and 15A receptacal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodman51jfk View Post
............Andy............everybody in the known universe is craving the Lady Honker's photo........all the while knowing it simply won't do her justice............ya lucky dawg, ya.............
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
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.