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Thread: GFCI Outlet Questions

  1. #16
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Also, note that the receptacle must be rated to pass 20A on the terminals if used for feed-through. It would seem Canada's code is a lot more strict in this sense, maybe expecting lots of loads simulaneously. While not a bad thing, maybe a bit overly conservative...it certainly would prevent some issues, but at a cost most people won't need. Most appliance manufacturers recommend that you run a dedicated circuit for their high-current devices, and if you do this, you'd normally not have a problem.
    Jim DeBruycker
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  2. #17
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    Ballvalve, I don't believe your thinking is clear.

    A 15 amp receptacle will only allow a 15 amp plug to be plugged into it. A 20 amp receptacle will allow a 15 or 20 amp plug to be plugged into it. There is no other difference between the receptacles.


    20 amp plug
    Before commenting on my thinking you should think to understand what a 20 amp outlet really looks like for a kitchen

    http://www.buyacehardware.com/ace-sa...e-3192531.html

    Takes a standard plug. Gee, thats why they make up 20 amp circuits on 12 gauge wire.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 02-12-2011 at 02:34 PM.

  3. #18
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Yes, look at the 20 amp GFCI receptacle and then realize that it is capable of plugging in the 20 amp plug which I posted a picture of.

    With the exception a plug-in air conditioner, I have yet to see anything in anyone's home that required a 20 amp receptacle.

    All the cords on anything commonly found in a house have a 15 amp plug, as that meets or exceeds the current draw of the device being powered.
    Last edited by cacher_chick; 02-12-2011 at 03:12 PM.

  4. #19
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    Note that LLigetfa is in Canada...
    Ja, I filled in the Location: info so no mystery there and I was careful to use the term "us" as in us Canadians. Note that ballvalve is in California and he cites a similar code.

  5. #20
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    With the exception a plug-in air conditioner, I have yet to see anything in anyone's home that required a 20 amp receptacle.
    Toaster and microwave.

    Countertop oven and warming plate.

    iron and a hot plate. I could continue.

    Those receptacle things have [2] spots for plugs. Women do funny things in the kitchen.

    15 amp receptacles are rated for 15 amps continuous draw only. I use 20 amp receptacles as often as possible because they have better internals and grip a plug tightly.

  6. #21
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Toaster and microwave.

    Countertop oven and warming plate.

    iron and a hot plate. I could continue.

    Those receptacle things have [2] spots for plugs. Women do funny things in the kitchen.

    15 amp receptacles are rated for 15 amps continuous draw only. I use 20 amp receptacles as often as possible because they have better internals and grip a plug tightly.
    None of those appliances listed have a 20 amp cord end. The overcurrent device would trip at the same point if overloaded if 20 amp T-slot devices were used as it would with 15 amp slotted devices.

  7. #22
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Provided you are comparing the same grade of recepts. there is no difference in the internal parts. The only difference is the extra slot in the plastic face.

  8. #23
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The point is that 2 appliances drawing 10 amps = 20 amps. Elementary

    As to the receptacle internals, better take one apart and carefully inspect a 20 vs a 15.

    You would say that a 15 amp breaker is the same internally as 20 amp breaker?

  9. #24
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    The point is that 2 appliances drawing 10 amps = 20 amps. Elementary

    As to the receptacle internals, better take one apart and carefully inspect a 20 vs a 15.

    You would say that a 15 amp breaker is the same internally as 20 amp breaker?
    No, I think it is you who are missing the point and providing misleading info.

    A commodity (builder) grade outlet is not as sturdy as a commercial grade one, but the ability to provide the rated current is identical. A commercial grade device will often provide a longer service life in a home, but is only useful if it is used where items are installed and removed regularly. A good, middle of the road device would last as long if you say plugged in a lamp and left it there for years. A commercial grade device often will last longer, but that is not the point (and it may only last as long in a heavy commercial use situation as a utility grade one in a home). Two 10A devices into one 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit won't blow the CB (or shouldn't), and is an acceptable load as EACH receptacle is rated for the 15A. The only thing a 20A receptacle gains for you is the flexibility of plugging in a device spec'ed to REQUIRE more than 15A into the device. A commodity (builder) grade 20A receptacle is no better than a 15A device in that respect. If you want sturdy, pick a commercial grade device.

    A 20A CB isn't made 'better', it has larger contacts because it is designed to carry more current. The internals of a decent receptacle of the same class (commercial-commercial, builder-builder) are the same between 15A and 20A when spec'ed for 20A pass-through, since the whole thing must still pass 20A.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #25
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Larger contacts, tighter grip pressure, better metallurgy, heavier plastic, and not a lot of cost difference in commercial grade receptacles. Seems like the right thing to use in a kitchen where outlets get put to big tests.

    Just try weighing your 69 cent home depression receptacle and a commercial grade 20 amp version. All that reeks of "BETTER" to me. A little bit better usually means a little bit safer.

    The cost is not much more than the 15 amp version anyway...

    http://www.electricalmarketplace.com...-pack-P41.aspx

    And for 5 or 6 bucks you can get a hospital grade receptacle.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 02-14-2011 at 11:33 AM.

  11. #26
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Just try weighing your 69 cent home depression receptacle and a commercial grade 20 amp version. All that reeks of "BETTER" to me. A little bit better usually means a little bit safer.

    The cost is not much more than the 15 amp version anyway...
    The same could be said about a .69 cent 15 amp and a $2 commercial grade 15 amp. Since toasters and mixers don't have 20 amp cords you would be wasting your money installing a 20 amp T-slot device..

  12. #27
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    As to the receptacle internals, better take one apart and carefully inspect a 20 vs a 15.
    You try this at home and report back what you find. Once you do you may be disappointed since they are the same on the inside.

    Don't fret though, there is a better grade available. This is the receptacle for you. They are the best money can buy. Nothing else on the market even comes close.

    If a little bit better is a little bit safer then a whole lot better is a whole lot safer, no?


    * Audio Grade
    * Ultra heavy-duty triple wipe contacts
    * Silver plated solid brass terminal clamps, mounting stap, rivets, and grounding strip
    * Glass filled high temperature nylon housing
    * Superior ground contact
    * Wattgate Three Layer Plating Process*
    * 20A/125VAC

    *WATTGATE Three Layer Plating Process
    1. Oxygen free copper plating
    improves conductivity

    2. Electroless nickel plating
    necessary to prevent the leeching of the copper through the pure gold layer

    3. 24k gold plating
    improves conductivity

    http://www.wattgate.com/products/381/
    Last edited by ActionDave; 02-14-2011 at 10:52 PM.

  13. #28
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    No, I think it is you who are missing the point and providing misleading info.

    A commodity (builder) grade outlet is not as sturdy as a commercial grade one, but the ability to provide the rated current is identical. A commercial grade device will often provide a longer service life in a home, but is only useful if it is used where items are installed and removed regularly. A good, middle of the road device would last as long if you say plugged in a lamp and left it there for years. A commercial grade device often will last longer, but that is not the point (and it may only last as long in a heavy commercial use situation as a utility grade one in a home). Two 10A devices into one 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit won't blow the CB (or shouldn't), and is an acceptable load as EACH receptacle is rated for the 15A. The only thing a 20A receptacle gains for you is the flexibility of plugging in a device spec'ed to REQUIRE more than 15A into the device. A commodity (builder) grade 20A receptacle is no better than a 15A device in that respect. If you want sturdy, pick a commercial grade device.


    A 20A CB isn't made 'better', it has larger contacts because it is designed to carry more current. The internals of a decent receptacle of the same class (commercial-commercial, builder-builder) are the same between 15A and 20A when spec'ed for 20A pass-through, since the whole thing must still pass 20A.
    Excellent post.

  14. #29
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Confused posts. You guys must be bored. Semantics and antics.

    Yes, a little better is better, and a lot better is better yet. And really better can be the best, if you install it better than a homeowner.

    A little better O-ring on a certain space shuttle would have saved a few billion dollars and several lives. For a few bucks more.

    You guys use your 69 cent receptacles from china and mexico, where the plug barely holds and hangs down exposing the hot blades, waiting for that aluminum foil or butter knife from your kid to experiment with. I'll go for something that GRIPS a plug.

    And finally, all such plugs and receptacles in the USA are Sh*&^, and dangerous. The europeans laugh at our plugs that do not shield the hot portions while being engaged and disengaged. Your NEC really fails us as a nation with that absurd system.

    Have a look: Chad, Niger, Poland and Slovakia have more brains than "US" -

    http://electricaloutlet.org/type-e
    Last edited by ballvalve; 02-15-2011 at 11:00 AM.

  15. #30
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    And finally, all such plugs and receptacles in the USA are Sh*&^, and dangerous. The europeans laugh at our plugs that do not shield the hot portions while being engaged and disengaged. Your NEC really fails us as a nation with that absurd system.

    Have a look: Chad, Niger, Poland and Slovakia have more brains than "US" -

    http://electricaloutlet.org/type-e
    I did a search of all the forums here looking and couldn’t find even one post beg you to stay here. If you are not happy with us them please feel free to move to one of those places you mentioned above.

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