Question about Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

15 AMP versus 20 AMP outlet plug

I have a 120 V run of wire that is protected by a 15 amp breaker in breaker box. The wire goes out and feeds 3 dual plug outlets.
Is it a code violation to use outlets rated at 20 amps instead of outlets rated at 15 amps. I would think that a 20 amp outlet would be "beefier" and have more contact material than a 15 amp outlet, so it would not matter if there was a short circuit outside of the outlet.

But the code sometime surprises me

Posted by on

1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points

    All-Star:

    An expert that got 10 achievements.

    MVP:

    An expert that got 5 achievements.

    President:

    An expert whose answer got voted for 500 times.

  • Master
  • 1,714 Answers

The circuit is protected by the 15 amp breaker. That's what matters, the wire size and the breaker feeding it. It's OK to have a 20 amp recepticle fed by a 15 amp breaker.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009

Testimonial: "Concise answer"

1 Suggested Answer

6ya6ya
  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi,
a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.
goodluck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%

my-video-file.mp4

Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add

×

Loading...
Loading...

Related Questions:

1 Answer

Dedicated 20 amp outlet


Ideally you should run the line straight from the circuit breaker out to your hot tub, but if the line running from your circuit breaker to the box you're using now is 20amp. you can absolutely connected to that. to be up to code it cannot be an open box it needs to be closed After you wire in your 70ft connection. (that's assuming the box that you're using is dedicated already to your hot tub) then the only difference would be is your using extra line and costing you tenths of a penny extra and electricity per hour.

Jul 27, 2013 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

Can I install on a 20 amp circuit with a 15 amp GFCI plug? The unit says 120 v 6 amp max


Jan 2013
1) Yes. With 6 amps.
It is not purely code, but generally not dangerous.
Most household outlets and switches sold at home center are actually rated 15 amp, and should be on a 15 amp breaker. just don't overload.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html#heat

2) However if you are running close-to or higher amps than 15 amps, such as space heater (volts x amps = watts), then I would suggest installing 20 amp arc-fault breaker, and protect whole circuit.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-GFCI.html#arc-fault

3) Add comment and say what you do.

Jan 22, 2013 | Malibu ML600TW - Low Voltage Power Pack -...

1 Answer

Can I use 12 and 14 gauge wire with a 20 amp outlet no. 16352


Use 12 gauge wire with 20 amp breaker, otherwise the wire could overheat. The wire size and breaker size must match.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire2.html

Your outlet will have amp rating on the device.
For example if device is rated for 15 amp, you can still use on 12 gauge wire if outlet is used for 1 TV or a lamp, but getting 20 amp outlet is best, especially in a shop or if a motor plugs into outlet.

You can connect as many wires as needed to the outlet.
Use the quick connects on back of device. Or the screws.
Black hot wire(s) go to side of outlet with narrow blade and brass screws.
White neutral wire(s) go to side of outlet with wide blade and silver screws.
Maximum 12 boxes per circuit breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-switches.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/See-inside-main-breaker-box.html

Sep 19, 2012 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

What to do if 30 amp fuse keeps blowing in main breaker box


A 30 amp circuit breaker or fuse is NOT a typical size used for the protection of convenience outlets & general lighting circuits, especially in a residential setting. In fact the National Electrical Code (NEC) prohibits anything larger than a 20 amp breaker to protect a #12 copper wire and and a 15 amp breaker to protect a #14 copper wire. These are the size wires used to supply nearly all outlet and lighting loads in a residence.

It's not clear to me from your question if this 30 amp breaker is a double pole type that is providing power to a second, smaller circuit breaker panel and these outlets are fed from it. This would be in line with what the NEC would allow and what I suspect is the situation. I'm only going to get into this a minimal amount as more information is needed for me to be able talk intelligently about it.

I would shut off the loads that are connected to the 30 amp breaker. If that is a panel, I would shut off all the circuit breakers in it, then turn onn the 30 amp breaker. If it trips, then there is a problem between the 30 amp breaker and the panel. You may have connected line cables to ground or neutral - and vice-versa.

Can you please explain in as much detail as possible what is connected to the 30 amp breaker? Is it a single pole (120 volts) or double pole (240 volts) circuit? What size wires are connect to the breaker terminal(s) What type of cable is connected to it? How many wires are in the cable assembly or pipes? What is the size of wires? If they feeds a second, smaller breaker panel, where do the wires terminate - into lugs on the top or bottom of the panel or terminals of a circuit breaker? What happened or changed to cause this circuit breaker to start tripping? Is this part of a new installation - and if so, was the wiring done by an electrician? Was the work inspected?

Please try to answer as many questions as possible. The more information you can provide will help me get you the best answer.

Jan 19, 2012 | Electric Hammering

2 Answers

How many outlets will this carry?


While there is a practical limit for the number of outlets on a 15 or 20 amp general purpose lighting circuit in a _residence_, the National Electric Code (NEC) does not impose a # of outlets per circuit limit (residential ONLY).
However, some electrician's design general purpose lighting circuits in a residence using a point system. An outlet is 2 points and a light is 1 point. So, for a twenty amp circuit, (10 outlets x 2 points) = 20. Or, (5 outlets x 2 points) + (10 lights x 1 point) = 10 + 10 = 20. Or (8 outlets x 2 points) + (4 lights x 1 point) = 16 + 4 = 20. However you want to mix it up.

Now, if this is for a Commercial building, the the NEC allows no more than 180 VA (Volt Amps) per outlet. 180 VA / 120 Volts = 1.5 Amps.
20 amps / 1.5 Amps = 13.3 outlets. Drop the .3 and one determines that 13 outlets are allowed on a Commercial 20 amp circuit.

Also, if the 20 amp circuit is considered a continuous circuit (ON for more than 3 hours a day), then it can only be loaded to 80%. 80% of 20 amps = 16 amps.

Aug 07, 2010 | General Electric 20 Amp, 1 Pole Thick Type...

1 Answer

Husky compressor blows house breaker when turned on, unit is 5 years old. doesn't matter what outlet I plug into


Is your unloader dumping properly? This is the device that allows the head pressure to bleed off after stopping to make the restart easier. Is this device rated at 15 amps or 20? Have you tried a 20 amp circuit?

Do not - repeat - Do not change the breakers to oversome this difficulty. The breakers are in place to protect the wire in your home. Normally, a 15 amp circuit will have #14 wire. #14 wire cannot (and will not, for very long), carry 20 amps without melting or burning. 20 amp breaker protects #12 wire; 30 amps protects #10 wire.

If you continue to have this problem, you may want to have your compressor looked at by a professional electrician.

thank you for your interest in FixYa.com

Please vote

thanks

Dec 04, 2009 | Air Tools & Compressors

1 Answer

Need to know breaker and wire size to run from panel


Compressor 12/3 with 20 amp dual pole breaker. 220 VAC

Freezer 12/3 with 20 amp single pole breaker 120 VAC

May 24, 2009 | Nor-Lake Freezer Walk In Freezer 6ft x...

2 Answers

Lights & outlets in addition, how many on 20 amp breaker?


I would say something a little different than SmithBrother. You said you are putting on an addition and you asked how many outlets can you put on a 20 amp breaker. Because of the date on your comment, it is probably a little late to be replying but whaat the heck ... here goes.

I think there is a rule of thumb that you can put about 12 "holes" in a 15 or 20 amp circuit. A "hole" is a hole in the wall where a box would be put for a outlet or a light or a switch. I presume you know to use #12 wire on a 20 amp circuit and while you may use #14 on a 15 amp circuit, I prefer to shy away from #14 wire even though I MAY protect a given circuit with a 15 amp breaker. You can over protect but not under protect. 30 amp is #10 and so forth.

There are lots of other considerations ... too many to do justice in this short comment. However, I will hit a few hi lites. As SmithBrother says, a micro wave should have its own circuit as should a AC or a frig - I think that may go without sayng. I think you are speaking more general use. I believe the electric code says every wall must have a plug in it and you can go no more than 6 feet to get to a plug. So, if you have a 12 foot wall, one outlet in the middle will meet the requirement. There is nothting preventing you from puttine two outlets in that same wall. From my perspective, I want to have lots of outlets and I want them to be convenient for me to use. (There are more than 200 outlets in my home) Another thing, you cant put a outlete over a electric baseboard heater. You can put one at each end of such a heater but not where a lamp cord would lay in top of the hot heater surface.

Regarding the 12 hole rule ... if you have two switches that control the same light, you only count those two switches as one hole even though, obviously, there are two holes in the wall for the two switches. Count a second hole for the light. Conversely, if there is a light and a fan, you should count that one hole in the ceiling as two.

Mar 11, 2009 | Electrical Supplies

3 Answers

240v circuit wiring to run my new Dayton Heater (3Vu34A)


On the 40 amp breaker, you should be using 8-3 w/ground. 10-3 w/ground will work on the 30 amp breaker. 12-3 w/ground is used for 20 amp circuits. Your new heater should have the electrical requirements listed in the user/installation information.



Jan 29, 2009 | Dayton 3VU34 Heater

1 Answer

Upsizing breakers


In short - NO. 15 amp circuits are intended for lighting and outlets and usually have 14 gauge wiring. A 20 amp circuit is usually wired with heavier 12 gauge wire which can carry the increased amps. If you plug in a 20 amp breaker into a 15 amp circuit you run the risk of overheating the smaller gauge wire and starting a fire.

Dec 04, 2008 | Square BREAKER CIRC HMLN 15A SP

Not finding what you are looking for?
Electrical Supplies Logo

Related Topics:

811 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Electrical Supplies Experts

Steve

Level 3 Expert

3287 Answers

Gene Haynes

Level 3 Expert

5089 Answers

Brad Brown

Level 3 Expert

15451 Answers

Are you an Electrical Supply Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides

Loading...