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Jack of All Trades
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, question is: Can I use a 15A simplex outlet for my garage opener on a 12/2 line on a 20A breaker? The 12/2 line will have several branches, this particular outlet will be the only outlet on it's branch but there are other outlets on other branches.

I'm really asking because I'm cheap and lazy, don't want to get a 20A simplex since I have a nice shiny new 15A one (that I bought by accident last night :whistling2:)
 

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Super Moderator
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9,178 Posts
As long as this is not the only receptacle on that 20 amp circuit, then you are fine.
What code cycle are you on?
GDO receptacles now require gfci protection.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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12,475 Posts
Since you are in the US, yes you can install a 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit (as long as there other receptacles on the circuit). That receptacle should be GFCI protected from the load side of a GFCI receptacle or the circuit having a GFCI circuit breaker.
 

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Green Hat
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167 Posts
Ahh, been there before.

I have been in countless homes.......to include my own that have 15A outlets on 20A circuits. I have been swapping them as I catch them just to be safe........

Based on other responses, I am guessing that you will be fine. I only am swapping mine because I am OCD..........
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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12,475 Posts
The book answer is no. However, I have been in countless homes.......to include my own that have 15A outlets on 20A circuits. I have been swapping them as I catch them just to be safe........

In a nutshell, always remember that the amp capacity of an outlet needs to be equal to or larger than the circuit breaker capacity.
Totally wrong, 15 amp receptacles are most certainly allowed on 20 amp circuits. Save your money and stop replacing perfectly good and code compliant receptacles.

BTW the second part of you statement is equally wrong

" outlet needs to be equal to or larger than the circuit breaker capacity"

It is wrong to put a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit.
 

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Super Moderator
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14,220 Posts
Ahh, been there before.

I have been in countless homes.......to include my own that have 15A outlets on 20A circuits. I have been swapping them as I catch them just to be safe........

Based on other responses, I am guessing that you will be fine. I only am swapping mine because I am OCD..........
A waste of time and money. The internals are the same except for the slot configuration. Even the 15 amp receptacle is rated for 20 amp feed-thru. As others have said, as long as there is more than one place to plug into a 15 amp receptacle is fine and code compliant.
 
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Green Hat
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167 Posts
Totally wrong, 15 amp receptacles are most certainly allowed on 20 amp circuits. Save your money and stop replacing perfectly good and code compliant receptacles.

BTW the second part of you statement is equally wrong

" outlet needs to be equal to or larger than the circuit breaker capacity"

It is wrong to put a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit.
Thats why I edited it. Caught myself having a retard moment early in the morning. However I wasn't aware of the second part! Thanks for the heads up!
 

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Registered
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1,504 Posts
Is a 15A simplex receptacle allowed on 20A circuit for use for a GDO was the question... I am a layman so I might not know the lingo, but simplex means single plug - i.e. not duplex. So that is allowed if there is any other outlets on the circuit, that's what's being said?

Beyond that, it has already been noted that if the 2008 NEC applies then GFCI is required... I'll also point out that, again - if 2008 NEC applies, TR receptacles are required as well.
 

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Master Electrician
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4,639 Posts
Is a 15A simplex receptacle allowed on 20A circuit for use for a GDO was the question... I am a layman so I might not know the lingo, but simplex means single plug - i.e. not duplex. So that is allowed if there is any other outlets on the circuit, that's what's being said?

Beyond that, it has already been noted that if the 2008 NEC applies then GFCI is required... I'll also point out that, again - if 2008 NEC applies, TR receptacles are required as well.
Tamper resistant receptacles are NOT required for garage door openers unless they are less than 5.5' above the floor.
 

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Jack of All Trades
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Wow! Got way more responses than I thought. Thanks for the info guys. I may end up just grabbing a 20A if I have to make another run to the Depot before wiring it up, but if I don't it's nice to know I can toss the 15A in there no problem. One circuit is already protected with a GFCI breaker and the other will have it's first outlet be my new outside GFCI outlet so both lines will be protected.

BTW, why the heck are 20A outlets so expensive? I spent $60 just on outlets at Home Depot, and I got the cheapest ones they had! Lowes screwed me over good on wire too, $60+ for 50' of 12/3 when 12/2 was only $35! (needed some of both), double the price for only one more conductor? Bleh!
 

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Master Electrician
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1,453 Posts
Is a 15A simplex receptacle allowed on 20A circuit for use for a GDO was the question... I am a layman so I might not know the lingo, but simplex means single plug - i.e. not duplex. So that is allowed if there is any other outlets on the circuit, that's what's being said?
Yes, a simplex is a single receptacle, not a duplex. A duplex is 2 receptacles. A simplex receptacle must match the circuit rating if it's the only receptacle attached to that circuit. A 15A simplex can be hooked on a 20A circuit if it's not the only receptale on that circuit. That can be accomplished by simply adding another 15A simplex to the circuit.

Same basis is used when a typical laundry circuit is run. Run 12/2 to the washer location and install a 15A duplex. Now it's a multi-receptacle circuit.
 

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Registered
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Tamper resistant receptacles are NOT required for garage door openers unless they are less than 5.5' above the floor.
As anyone that's followed my discussions about my inspector would understand I've taken the approach of erring on the side of caution, so when I read this from Mike Holt's forums:

http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php/135065-Tamper-resistant-receptacles

I took it as stating that the 2008 NEC could be interpretted as requiring TR receptacles for GDO, even in a detatched garage, and that there is nothing to debate if the garage was attached.
 

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Jack of All Trades
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Hey Guys, got another question here. I've started rewiring my garage and I know you need to ground j-boxes, but I was wondering if I need to ground my outlet and switch boxes too? I assumed that they would be grounded via the yoke on the outlet/switch but I saw some things online saying that may not be so? Some of the outlets I'm using are the self-grounding type, but I'm not sure all of them are (had to mix & match as store didn't have enough of any one kind). Not sure if I need to back track and ground my first few boxes?
 

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Master Electrician
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4,639 Posts
As anyone that's followed my discussions about my inspector would understand I've taken the approach of erring on the side of caution, so when I read this from Mike Holt's forums:

http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php/135065-Tamper-resistant-receptacles

I took it as stating that the 2008 NEC could be interpretted as requiring TR receptacles for GDO, even in a detatched garage, and that there is nothing to debate if the garage was attached.
Please read the code. Sorry, you are correct for 2008 NEC.. Requirement changed in 2011. We are exempt from them in Indiana.
 

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Master Electrician
Joined
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4,639 Posts
Hey Guys, got another question here. I've started rewiring my garage and I know you need to ground j-boxes, but I was wondering if I need to ground my outlet and switch boxes too? I assumed that they would be grounded via the yoke on the outlet/switch but I saw some things online saying that may not be so? Some of the outlets I'm using are the self-grounding type, but I'm not sure all of them are (had to mix & match as store didn't have enough of any one kind). Not sure if I need to back track and ground my first few boxes?
Ground all metallic boxes.
 
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