DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Twist on 15A recep on 20A circuit ?

1506 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  md2lgyk
This one is a bit of a twist on this common question and had me curious. My neighbor is replacing a kitchen GFCI (on the side of an island) to install a tamper resistant version (safety for their toddler.) He noticed his circuit is 20A, but that the old receptacle was 15A. He thought that was a problem, and stopped by tonight. I told him that a 15A receptacle was fine as long as the circuit contained more than one receptacle. In his case the only thing on the circuit is the island, but it is a duplex receptacle.

His mind then leapt to his master bath which has the same scenario (20A circuit with 15A receptacles.) He asked whether it's a problem that his wife uses a hair dryer and curling iron in the same 15A duplex receptacle at the same time (possibly more than 15A draw.) I seem to recall hearing that the internals on 15A or 20A receptacles are the same, and told him as much; I then looked online to get confirmation, but couldn't find too much on the subject. I'm also not clear if there are any internal differences between 15/20A GFCI outlets. What say you guys?
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
It's fine that way.
A duplex receptacle is two receptacles. They are each 15A receptacles. So a cumulative draw of 20A between them does not exceed the device rating.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
A duplex receptacle is two receptacles. They are each 15A receptacles. So a cumulative draw of 20A between them does not exceed the device rating.
THIS!

It is a very common misconception that a 15A duplex is a 15A receptacle. It is TWO 15A rated receptacles.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
The only time a 20A receptacle would be required is if it was a single receptacle and the only one in the circuit. You rarely see that.
.................
Just for my own understanding why is it OK to put 2 15 amp recepticals on a 20 amp circuit but not just one. I am sure there is a logical reason and would like to understand it. Thanks
Have your friend skip the twistlock. Just install a tamper resistant GFI or duplex as needed. The twistlock will require an adapter cord to allow the usage of a regular corded appliance. The extra cord is easier to grab.
You misconstrued the OP just like I did at first. He is not installing a twistlock receptacle. The thread title is misleading.
Duplex receptacles, whether 15 or 20 amp, will pass through 20 amps for daisy chaining purposes.

The rating has to do with the contact blades inside the slots, also a "20 amp" plug is shaped differently from a "15 amp" plug.
You should not find a 20 amp appliance with a 15 amp plug on it but a general purpose light or appliance under normal or slightly abnormal use has to be safe on a 20 amp circuit in order to pass typical rating standards such as from Underwiters' Laboratories.
You misconstrued the OP just like I did at first. He is not installing a twistlock receptacle. The thread title is misleading.
Yep, I didn't word it well. Prob should have read "A different take on the standard 15A receptacle on 20A circuit question."
No matter. You got your answer.

When we were gearing up to build our log house (did it by ourselves) I sent the wife to Home Depot for a few things, including a couple of 100-ft extension cords. What she bought had twist-lock connectors - I'm sure she'd never heard of them and didn't check what she was getting. I now have four 50-ft cords.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top