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Thread: Electrical outlet question

  1. #1

    Default Electrical outlet question

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    I have installed my 2 - 20 amp appliance circuits, and I am ready to install my recepticles. The only 20 amp recepticles that I have been able to find have one of the blade slots at 90 degrees to the other. What is confusing me is my other house which is only 9 years old has the appliance recepticles that have both blade slots parallel to each other? Are these 15 amp recepticles on a 20 amp circuit.
    Thanks in advance for your replys

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    When looking at the receptacle with the ground plug on the top:

    A 120 Volt - 20 Amp receptacle has a vertical slot on the left and a "sideways tee" slot on the right. That receptacle will accept either a 20 Amp plug or a 15 Amp plug.

    It is permissable to use the more common 15 Amp receptacle (both slots vertical) on a 20 Amp circuit.

    A 240 Volt - 20 Amp receptacle has a vertical slot on the RIGHT and a horizontal slot on the LEFT. Some (example in link below) may have a tee slot on the right to accept a 15 Amp plug.

    http://www.frentzandsons.com/Hardwar...o.htm#20%20Amp.

  3. #3
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    When looking at the receptacle with the ground plug on the top
    What are everyone's thoughts about whether you should install receptacles with the ground above or below the current-carrying holes?

  4. #4
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    I like to put them on the bottom.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the reply. I did not know it was allowable to use 15 amp recepticles on a 20 amp appliance circuit.
    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    When looking at the receptacle with the ground plug on the top:

    A 120 Volt - 20 Amp receptacle has a vertical slot on the left and a "sideways tee" slot on the right. That receptacle will accept either a 20 Amp plug or a 15 Amp plug.

    It is permissable to use the more common 15 Amp receptacle (both slots vertical) on a 20 Amp circuit.

    A 240 Volt - 20 Amp receptacle has a vertical slot on the RIGHT and a horizontal slot on the LEFT. Some (example in link below) may have a tee slot on the right to accept a 15 Amp plug.

    http://www.frentzandsons.com/Hardwar...o.htm#20%20Amp.
    Is this so, and is there a citation for this? I was warned off of the idea of supplying 15A receptacles with more than a 15A breaker (although it was several years ago, so codes may have changed)

  7. #7
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    Is this so, and is there a citation for this? I was warned off of the idea of supplying 15A receptacles with more than a 15A breaker (although it was several years ago, so codes may have changed)

    Still the same words that they were in the 1975 code cycle


  8. #8

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    If a 20 amp circuit has only one outlet--that outlet must be a 20 amp rating. Even if it is a GFCI.

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ked View Post
    If a 20 amp circuit has only one outlet--that outlet must be a 20 amp rating. Even if it is a GFCI.
    True

    210.20(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.

    Remember that a duplex means two therefore a duplex receptacle is two receptacles. One duplex recreptacle can be installed on a 20 amp circuit.


  10. #10
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    What are everyone's thoughts about whether you should install receptacles with the ground above or below the current-carrying holes?
    I think it's now recommended, not yet code to put the ground hole up, the reasoning being that if you have a metal face plate and it should become loose, that the first pin that it will hit is the safety ground. I think someone is spending way too much time thinking this stuff up.

    I use plastic face plates in my home and have memorized that the ground pin goes down.

    Rancher

  11. #11
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarifying that for me. I think I was probably looking for a 30A circuit with 15A receptacles, and was properly told it wouldn't be code. And come to think of it, could one even count on being able to use #10 wire on a standard duplex receptacle. I recall a frustrating hour spent trying to fit a 12/3 SJO cord to a mfr-supplied plug that was obviously intended for nothing larger than 14/3

  12. #12
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rancher View Post
    I think it's now recommended, not yet code to put the ground hole up, the reasoning being that if you have a metal face plate and it should become loose, that the first pin that it will hit is the safety ground.
    I had heard the intent was to allow any metal object (e.g., silverware in kitchens, bobby pins in bathrooms) to contact or bounce off the ground pin, rather than the hot pin if the plug and worked its way loose enough to expose the pin(s). Makes more sense than some Code items, and there are a few extension cords and appliance cords with molded plugs on them obviously designed to plug in "upside down".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rancher View Post
    I think someone is spending way too much time thinking this stuff up.
    You got that right.

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    While I'm not in love with the European electrical systems, I know in Germany, the plugs are designed so that they don't contact the sockets in the receptacle until they are protected (in a recess) so it is much safer inserting and removing a power plug. Instead of the sockets being just behind the faceplate, they are recessed into a depression around 1/2" deep or so.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    True

    210.20(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.
    I must be missing something - but doesn't this seem backwards? Doesn't it imply that the single receptacle could actually be rated higher than the branch circuit it is on?

  15. #15
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
    I must be missing something - but doesn't this seem backwards? Doesn't it imply that the single receptacle could actually be rated higher than the branch circuit it is on?

    Sure does, and what would the problem be?
    Last edited by Chris75; 01-08-2008 at 07:45 PM.

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