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20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?

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Posted on November 25, 2016 at 08:12:52
lancelot
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I realize that 20 amp receptacles would work fine on a 15 amp dedicated line ( with 15 amp components) but I can't see how this meets code. Obviously someone ( not knowing better ) could plug in a 20 amp cord and overload the line.

I bring this up because while looking for a new Furutech receptacle I noticed that only 20 amp versions are often offered for sale. It's obviously easier to only produce and stock on version but it raises the problem listed above.

I'm not concerned for myself but am sensitive to code violations. Am I missing something here/

 

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RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on November 25, 2016 at 10:21:44
ahendler
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The line should be protected by a 15A circuit breaker so a 20A load would trip the breaker. Don't know what kind of load would draw 20amps. That is a lot of current
Alan

 

RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on November 25, 2016 at 10:41:49
Awe-d-o-file
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Like the gent below said.......just watch out for the outlet police, they are everywhere these days!




ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

A few things...., posted on November 25, 2016 at 12:49:14
alan m. kafton
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1) Hubbell outlets, Oyaide outlets, and likely Furutech outlets are capacity-tested to the same voltage & current maximums whether they are 15-amp rated or 20-amp rated.

2) All these outlets have the same thickness of contacts....no difference whether they be 15-amp or 20-amp rated units. The contacts are all safety-rated identically.

3) The primary difference between the outlets is their "face", which for the 20-amp unit adds the horizontal slot needed for a 20-amp wall plug, which no one uses....that, and the extra set of contacts for the horizontal prong on a 20-amp wall plug, which again no one uses.

4) If you notice, all premium power cables use a 15-amp rated wall plug, even if the power cable has a 20-amp style IEC plug....hmmmm.

 

RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on November 25, 2016 at 16:13:11
jea48
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The line should be protected by a 15A circuit breaker so a 20A load would trip the breaker.

Not really. Check out the link below.

 

RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on November 25, 2016 at 16:23:08
jea48
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Hell, the majority of audio grade outlets don't meet NEC (National Electrical Code) requirements for use in a residential dwelling occupancy.

They are not tamper resistant.

 

So why on earth do the sellers/manufacturers of audio grade outlets make 20A outlets?, posted on November 25, 2016 at 16:44:11
jea48
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??

EDIT:

3) The primary difference between the outlets is their "face", which for the 20-amp unit adds the horizontal slot needed for a 20-amp wall plug, which no one uses....that, and the extra set of contacts for the horizontal prong on a 20-amp wall plug, which again no one uses.

4) If you notice, all premium power cables use a 15-amp rated wall plug, even if the power cable has a 20-amp style IEC plug....hmmmm.

My response:
So why on earth do the sellers/manufacturers of audio grade outlets make 20A outlets?

 

They don't have to...., posted on November 26, 2016 at 06:58:49
Uncle Mike
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"The 2014 National Electrical Code®(NEC®) will require new and renovated dwellings to have tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles."
The first line of the link you posted.

 

RE: So why on earth do the sellers/manufacturers of audio grade outlets make 20A outlets?, posted on November 26, 2016 at 07:04:33
Uncle Mike
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Because the code reads that after a 15 amp breaker the wire needs to be 14awg ROMEX or THHN/THHW with a 15 amp receptacle. You can certainly upgrade your wire and/or receptacles if you feel the need.
When I did the electric in my house I used all 12awg ROMEX throughout. Most wall outlets and all the lighting circuits were put on 15 amp breakers.

 

RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on November 26, 2016 at 07:05:13
mitch2
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Isn't the most important thing to have the breaker (or fuse) sized appropriately for the wiring in the circuit that the breaker protects, so the wiring is not able to overheat from too much current?
I don't see where the outlet has much to do with it, with the exception of code requirements.

 

RE: They don't have to...., posted on November 26, 2016 at 09:20:36
jea48
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Actually TR, (Tamper-Resistant), receptacles have been required for new installs since the 2008 NEC Code Edition.

NEC 2011 NEC and NEC 2014 have expanded the wording and requirements.

2008 NEC 406.11


Section 406.11 in the 2008 NEC reads, "406.11 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles in Dwelling Units. In areas specified in 210.52, all 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles." Based on the new text, tamper-resistant, 15- and 20-ampere, 125-volt receptacles must be installed for all specified areas in 210.52, covering such receptacles in kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, sunrooms, bedrooms, recreation rooms, or similar rooms or areas of dwelling unit. The receptacles required for those areas specified in Section 210.52 must be tamper-resistant, and in addition, other receptacles not specifically listed in 210.52 now are required to be tamper-resistant.

 

RE: They don't have to...., posted on November 26, 2016 at 10:29:22
Uncle Mike
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OOOOkkk....for new installation as of 2008. My house was built in 2007, I can put in whatever I damm well please.

 

RE: So why on earth do the sellers/manufacturers of audio grade outlets make 20A outlets?, posted on November 26, 2016 at 10:42:27
jea48
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Mike,

I edited my previous post. I can see I should have qualified my response to alan m. kafton to his specific comments. I think my edit now does that.

//


Because the code reads that after a 15 amp breaker the wire needs to be 14awg ROMEX or THHN/THHW with a 15 amp receptacle.


Actually the code says for a 15 amp branch circuit #14awg is the minimum branch circuit wire size that can be used. NEC also says only a NEMA rated 15 amp receptacle can be installed on a 15 amp branch circuit.

Those guys manufacturing or rebranding existing manufacturer's receptacles know by now what the NEC code says. But still they may only sell NEMA 5-20R 120V 20 amp audio grade receptacles instead of offering both 15 and 20 amp receptacles to the not knowing any difference general public. When was the last time you seen a NEMA 5-20P 120V 20 amp plug on the cord of a piece of consumer audio equipment? Do you know why you don't see them?


When I did the electric in my house I used all 12awg ROMEX throughout. Most wall outlets and all the lighting circuits were put on 15 amp breakers.

That meets NEC Code. Just so know the branch circuit rating is 15 amp. The breaker determines the ampere rating of the circuit.

Because the branch circuit rating is 15 amp a 20 amp receptacle cannot be connected to the circuit. Of course in your case because you installed #12awg branch circuit wiring you could change out the 15 amp breaker to a 20 amp and then be code compliant installing a 20 amp receptacle.

NEC code say you can only install a NEMA rated 20 amp receptacle on a 20 amp branch circuit.

NEC code says you can install two or more 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp branch circuit. A duplex receptacle is two. You can have both 15 amp and 20 amp receptacles on the same 20 amp branch circuit as well.
Jim

 

whatever.....nt, posted on November 26, 2016 at 14:02:05
Uncle Mike
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nt

 

I am an officially sworn in "Outlet Sheriff". I will soon be calling on you all to confiscate those outlets, posted on November 26, 2016 at 17:29:21
I will start with the most expensive first.
Naturally all equipment connected to them will also be snatched as evidence.

To save us all plenty of time. Just send me all your equipment now.

 

RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on November 28, 2016 at 09:57:36
Crazy Dave
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if you have a house fire, do you really want the insurance inspectors to see anything that is not code. After research, I decided the only way to go on a dedicated line was 20 amp, from the breaker to the outlet. I had it done by an electrician (two lines). I am sure it will never see anything near 20 amps, but why not. I was putting in the lines regardless. I am sure there are good 15 amp outlets. If you must have the best, then go all the way.

Dave

 

RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on November 28, 2016 at 13:11:45
jea48
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Dave said:
I am sure there are good 15 amp outlets.

Dave,

I don't know why after market audio grade receptacle marketers/manufactures are using a NEMA 20 amp face plate on their outlets. I can't believe it is due to purely ignorance on their part.

IF their outlets are UL approved, or equal, they must meet NEMA, (National Electrical Manufactures Association), standards as well as NEC, (National Electrical Code), Safety standards. If they are not Listed by UL, or equal, they are not NEC Code compliant.

All NEMA 15 amp rated receptacle outlets have a minimum pass through contact rating of 20 amps. In most cases spec grade receptacles made in, at least, the last 20 years use the same exact contacts in both the NEMA 15 and 20 amp rated outlets. The only difference between the two is the NEMA face plate. If you use a flash light and look inside of the neutral slot contact of a 15 amp receptacle you more than likely will see the "T" contact for the 20 amp rated receptacle. The only difference between the 15 and 20 amp receptacle is the face plate. (In the trade they are called being idiot proof.)

If a manufacture of a piece of equipment or appliance uses a cord and plug he must meet certain electrical safety standards. That is if he is a reputable manufacture and his equipment is safety Listed by a recognized third party testing laboratory like UL.

If the manufacture wants to use a 15 amp male plug, to feed his equipment, the FLA (Full Load Amps) cannot exceed 12 amps. If the equipment FLA is over 12 amps, but not more than 16 amps, the manufacture must use a 20 amp plug.

How many NEMA 5-20P 120V 20 amp plugs have you seen on a piece of equipment or appliance used in a residential dwelling unit? The majority of duplex receptacles found in a home are 15 amp duplex receptacle outlets. One reason home consumer vacuum cleaners only have a powerful 12 amp motor.... How many would be sold if the motor was bigger and required a 20 amp plug?

Like I said in an earlier post 2 or more 15 amp receptacles can be installed on a 20 amp branch circuit. (A duplex receptacle is 2) You can mix 20 amp and 15 receptacles on the same 20 amp branch circuit.

A 20 amp receptacle can only be installed on a 20 amp branch circuit. At least per NEC code.

As for NEC.... NEC is not affiliated in any way with the government. It is a privately owned copyrighted entity. Who writes the code? Insurance companies, Electrical Engineers, Electrical Contractors, electricians, Safety Testing Laboratories like UL, NEMA, and others.

States, counties, cities, towns, adopt all or part of the NEC Code. States pass Laws and counties and cities pass ordinances that give NEC legal enforcement within the state.

 

RE: I am an officially sworn in "Outlet Sheriff". I will soon be calling on you all to confiscate those outlets, posted on November 29, 2016 at 05:46:43
Awe-d-o-file
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No please no. I promise I won't do it again.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: But only if you promise to hook them up and stick forks in them. Nt, posted on December 1, 2016 at 12:40:40
Jeff Starr
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Zap!

 

Mod required, posted on December 2, 2016 at 11:17:52
Awe-d-o-file
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The two inner tynes need to be bent back in order to allow the outer two to properly engage the outlet for max current flow.
ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Brilliant - So yeah do that. nt, posted on December 3, 2016 at 15:55:26
Jeff Starr
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Bigger zap!

 

RE: 20 amp receptacles on 15 amp line?, posted on December 5, 2016 at 09:59:12
Crazy Dave
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I agree with everything you say. It is the insurance companies that concern me, particularly my insurance company. That is why I have 2 20 amp dedicated lines from 20 amp breakers to 20 amp receptacles. i also agree that you can put 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp branch. Nothing could go wrong with this setup. I doubt that anything would go wrong with a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp branch, even if you put a 20 amp devise on it. The breaker would just break if it drew too much, but I prefer to keep things code for insurance purposes.

I think they are using 20 amp faceplates because the audiophile market perception is that it is better.

Dave

 

I watched, as a teen an idiot stick two screwdriersin, and cross them with a third. POW!!! lights out. nt, posted on December 7, 2016 at 21:34:28
.

 

Here's one for you., posted on December 8, 2016 at 10:08:02
jea48
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About 20 years ago an electrician showed me some pictures of an electrical explosion that injured him and totally melted the guts in a Square D 120/240V load center.

He had went out on a service call to look at an outage of an outside sign that was mounted on a pole a ways from the building. The maintenance man should him the panel and the tripped single pole 20 amp breaker, that fed the sign. (Sign was 120V)

The first thing the electrician did was to try and reset the breaker. Good thing he stood to the side of the panel looking away from it.

When he pushed the breaker handle to the on position the breaker exploded outward burning his fingers, hand and arm. He was temporarily blinded by the white flash of the explosion. Though he couldn't see the panel immediately after the explosion he could hear the sound of loud arcing inside the panel enclosure.

After he returned from going to the ER, at a local hospital, he went back to asses the damage. He took pictures of what was left of the interior guts of the panel. At the bottom of the panel was a cold dry puddle of copper. The puddle was the remains of the 2 HOT copper bus of the panel.

Further investigation found that who ever installed the main lug only Square D panel (125 amp bus rating) fed it directly from the main 120/240V 3 phase 4 wire 1600 amp panel board. (Against NEC code by the way.)

The 1600 amp main never tripped open. The Square D load center just arced and burned until the 2 Hot legs burned themselves free.

//

Note: The electrician, as soon as he could after the electrical explosion, called the shop and told them what had just happened. The shop immediately sent another service driver to the business, to safely secure the electrical service.

Just one example of the power of electricity.

 

RE: Brilliant - So yeah do that. nt, posted on December 8, 2016 at 12:09:50
Awe-d-o-file
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And solid silver no SS flatware or plated. Lower melting temp.



ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Here's one for you. One more, posted on December 15, 2016 at 15:21:19
Jeff Starr
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I managed a car wash and was good with plumbing, hydraulics, and electricity.
I took off on a Saturday, as I was the best man at my friend's wedding.

We hade a large panel with double doors for all the 440 volt 3-phase. Each circuit, mostly for motor control, had a set of 3 fuses. I kept spare fuses, a continuity tester, and a tube puller in the bottom of the cabinet. You test the fuses by pulling them, or with a voltage tester rated for high voltages. You did that with the power on, but only the maintenance man and I would do it that way, if we didn' want to shut everything off.

Well something failed and the relief manager went to check it out. The cabinet had a lever that would shut the main breaker off when opened. Well he got in there and apparently thought the main switch was still on, so he flipped it, then took the fuse puller and tried pulling the fuses, do able, but not real safe. He either touched the fuse to something or it was just the way he pulled it. It blew up, burning his hand badly, and burning his eyebrows off, with a few more injuries. He also burned up some of the wiring putting us completely down.
He had no business being in there, as he didn't know what he was doing. The crazy thing is that they blamed me. I had given plenty of notice and it wasn't like I was just a guest. My fault for not being there. That was the kind of people I worked for.

 

RE: Here's one for you. One more, posted on December 19, 2016 at 13:11:55
jea48
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That guy screwed up by not checking with a meter to make sure it was dead.

He's lucky copper and maybe steel splatters from the arcing did not reach his eyes blinding him for life. Or worse yet lost his life.


Did you watch the video from the Link I provided in my last post?
Fast forward/go to frame #839. The guy racking-in the breaker wasn't so lucky. His mistake cost him his life.

 

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