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Thread: 15 amp outlets and 20 AMp breaker

  1. #1

    Default 15 amp outlets and 20 AMp breaker

    Is this allowable. I am finishing my basement. I have a few packages of standard home 15 amp outlets, I am wondering if a 15 amp outlets are allowable to hook to a 20 amp circuit braker in the service panel. I plan on doing nothing more than plugging in veryday equipt to these. TV stereo etc. No shop tools, pumps, motors...etc. just plain ol outlets. I have a book that states that the outlets should be apropriate for the amperage of the circuit but doesn't specify what that means. The wiring is a 12/2 gauge. My upstairs was done by professional contractors and they hooked 15 amp outlets to 20 amp breakers but I still need to know. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    welland ontario
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Yes it is permissable to use 15 amp outlets on a 20 amp circuit.

  3. #3

    Default

    Only time you can't do that is if a single receptacle is on the circuit.

    You're fine if you're using duplex receptacles.
    Scott Sabin

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ssabin
    Only time you can't do that is if a single receptacle is on the circuit.
    Does this mean that if a single receptacle is anywhere on the circuit, the rest of the receptacles must have a matching amp rating?

  5. #5

    Default

    I suspect you may have misunderstood what ssabin meant to say. A dedicated branch circuit with a single hole receptacle must be rated equal to the amp rating of that dedicated branch circuit.

    If you have a branch circuit with multiple single hole receptacles in that branch circuit then you have a branch circuit where you could install 15 or 20 amp single receptacles in that 20 amp rated multioutlet branch circuit.

    SSabin was referring to a dedicated circuit with a single outlet serving a dedicated load, not a multioutlet branch circuit. At least this is what I think he meant to say.

    Also it is a Code violation to install 20 amp receptacle or receptacles whether single or duplex on a 15 amp 14 awg branch circuit.



    Hope this helps

    Wg

  6. #6

    Default

    Should have thought of "single" and "singleplex" meaning different things.

    Let's see if I have this right .

    If the circuit is dedicated (has only one outlet), the amps must match, period.

    On a 20 amp circuit with multiple receptacles, I can mix and match 15 and 20 amp outlets, either singleplex or duplex, to my heart's content.

    On a 15 amp circuit with multiple receptacles, I can use any combination of singleplex and duplex receptacles as long as they're designed for a 15 amp circuit.

    How am I doing?

  7. #7

    Default

    NEC 2002

    210.21.B
    (B) Receptacles.
    (1) Single Receptacle on an Individual Branch Circuit. A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch circuit.

    (3) Receptacle Ratings. Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, receptacle ratings shall conform to the values listed in Table 210.21(B)(3),


    The table say not to exceed 15 amp receptacles on a multioutlet branch circuit rated for 15 amps maximum wire or breaker size.

    15 or 20 amp receptacles allowed on a multioutlet branch circuit rated for 20 amp maximum wire or breaker size.

    The NEC does not care if single plug receptacle or duplex receptacle. The NEC only cares that a dedicated circuit with only one load or outlet must be a receptacle rated in amps equal to teh amp rating of that dedicated branch circuit serving only one utilization equipment.

    Hope this helps

    Wg

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