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Old 06-10-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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Another 15A on 20A bathroom circuit question


I know this has been beaten to death, I know in Canada all 20A circuits must have 20A recepts. In the USA however you can put 15A recepts on a 20A circuit as I hear all 15A recepts are actually 20A recepts but missing the extra horizontal slot. Is that true?

This is my configuration. I have a 20A breaker, 12-2 wire going into a 20A GFCI in the bathroom. I'm adding another outlet in the bathroom downstream of the GFCI (w/12-2) and don't have a 20A recept, have about fifty 15A ones though I was going to hook one into the load side of the GFCI. However, the 20A GFCI is on the right side, and my family is all left handed so the "downstream" 15A outlet on the left side would be the main one used. Just want to be sure if I use a 15A recept it is safe.

Thanks

Last edited by Piedmont; 06-10-2010 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:39 PM   #2
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I can't read the CT code for too long at a time because It seems it consists mostly of russian and hieroglyphs sometimes so I get a headache if I read it too long, but what I did get out of it is that the whole 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit thing seems to only be allowed if it is not the only receptacle on the circuit.

Not sure that helps or not.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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The "15A" recepticle is rated to pass through 20A, but only allow you to plug in 15A. That way if you hook it to a 15A circuit you can't overload it. So yes, the 15A is ok, and provided you wire it correctly you'll be protected. As a double check, once you wire it, plug in a tester to the 15A and hit the button on the tester to trip the GFCI, should trip fine.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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Where are you located? US or Canada?

If US, then the answer is yes, that's fine. They could both be 15A. Like CoconutPete said, you cannot have a SINGLE 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit. By single, that means only ONE thing can be plugged into it. You can feed one (or more) DUPLEX (normal 2-outlet) 15A receptacles on a 20A circuit in the US. One of those can be downstream of your 20A gfci. That 20A gfci could also be a 15A.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #5
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Sorry for the confusion, I live in USA.

I know I can have 15A recepts on a 20A circuit as long as it's not a single recept... but let's say I plug in a 16A heater into the 15A receptacle and run it continously for 6 months. Am I fine? If indeed a 15A recept is a 20A with a different face I would be totally fine. If a 15A has cheaper internal components I would not (and what I would like to know). Thanks
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:41 PM   #6
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1) How are you going to plug something that draws 16A into a 15A receptacle?
2) You'd be fine -- in all likelihood, don't sue me, all disclaimers apply, it would be against code, etc.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #7
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A bath outlet is very unlikely to pull over 15 amps...even most power tools don't draw that much. Maybe a vaccuum and a hairdryer at the same time? Would that ever happen?
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:14 PM   #8
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Most devices are rated to pull less then 15a -1800w
That way they can be plugged into almost any circuit
Most heaters, hair dryers etc pull between 1400-1650 watts
Our vacuum pulls 12a

Perfectly fine to have a 15a (20a pass thru) outlet on a 20a circuit
I prefer to buy the heavier duty 15a outlets
I actually bought a bunchof the 20a outlets & use those where I expect things to be plugged/unplugged on a reg basis



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