Can 15 A Light Switch Be Used On A 20 A Circuit? - Electrical - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Why? Do you have 20 amp receptacles?
I doubt that you would ever plug anything in that pulled 15 amps.
I only have one and it's not switched, but if I was to add a switch to it I would find a 20 amp. Though, do they even make 20 amp standard switches? Chances are I would not be drawing more then 15, but it's the principal that matters. It could. If the switch is not rated and could burn up inside, rather not take the chance.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
For a light, it is probably safe given the load will never really change, but personally I would not do it. If that switch controls a receptacle, then no way.

Easiest is just change the breaker to 15 amps.
I agree Red my answer was based on the unknown and I cautioned on the safe side because I am not here to actually see what's on the circuit.
A lot of people said many different things which was already a given.
What I know is people leave out a lot of information , not by choice but just by not knowing. I don't know what's on the Op circuit can't see it from here. I will retract my statement for myself only I would use a 15 amp switch at my place, why? because I know what's here. OK let em rip Scuba and the like I am ready to read and hang my head. When in doubt follow manufacturer's instructions.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:45 AM   #18
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But it doesn't matter what's on the rest of the circuit...only what's being controlled by that switch.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:50 AM   #19
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But it doesn't matter what's on the rest of the circuit...only what's being controlled by that switch.
What if an 20 amp outlet was on the switch leg and a air conditioner was a 20 amp plug and drew over 15 amps ?
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:06 AM   #20
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But it doesn't matter what's on the rest of the circuit...only what's being controlled by that switch.
Oh yeah if there's just a light controlled by that switch then you'd be safe enough. I meant if there is a receptacle controlled by it too, then you can never predict what could be plugged in there in the future.
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:31 AM   #21
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Right - the OP said only a single light will be controlled by this switch.

The only potential issue I see is a short from black to white may pull more than 15 amps for a brief moment. That being said, I'd use the 15A switch.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLDIRON View Post
What if an 20 amp outlet was on the switch leg and a air conditioner was a 20 amp plug and drew over 15 amps ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I only have one and it's not switched, but if I was to add a switch to it I would find a 20 amp. Though, do they even make 20 amp standard switches? Chances are I would not be drawing more then 15, but it's the principal that matters. It could. If the switch is not rated and could burn up inside, rather not take the chance.
I've never seen anyone plug an AC into a outlet & turn it off & on by a switch
But I'm sure its possible
We aren't dealing with What if's
We are dealing with a single light
Possible someone could add for a total of 1800w+ of lights in the future
Also possible someone could add a switched outlet to the switch

This is not much different then a 15a/20a pass thru receptacle
Its more likely & possible to put a surge suppressor plugged into a single 15a receptacle & draw more then 15a then it is to overload a single light
And drawing more then 15a thru a single 15a receptacle probably happens more often

So are you recommending everyone replace their 15a receptacles with 20a to avoid any possible problems ?



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Old 07-22-2010, 08:34 AM   #23
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Even the 15 amp receptacles are rated for 20 amp feed through.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:51 AM   #24
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What if an 20 amp outlet was on the switch leg and a air conditioner was a 20 amp plug and drew over 15 amps ?
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #25
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that's cool speedy.
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:29 PM   #26
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What if an 20 amp outlet was on the switch leg and a air conditioner was a 20 amp plug and drew over 15 amps ?
He would have a cooler house.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:42 PM   #27
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The a/c couldnt be a 20-amp plug unless you had a 20-amp outlet...which is not allowed on a 15A circuit.
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