Can I use a 20 amp GFCI on a 20 amp breaker?

Asked By: Yijie Bates | Last Updated: 23rd January, 2020
Category: home and garden home appliances
4.6/5 (823 Views . 20 Votes)
Can I use a 20 amp GFCI on a 20 amp circuit? Yes, that would be the preferred thing to do. A GFCI is NOT a circuit breaker so using a 15A GFCI on a 20 A circuit imposes some limitations. You can't plug a 20A device (one with a 20A plug) into the GFCI but a 20A GFCI will accept both 15A and 20A plugs.

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Subsequently, one may also ask, can I put a 20 amp GFCI on a 20 amp circuit?

The amperage of the outlet must never exceed the amperage of the circuit. According to National Electrical Code, only a 15-amp or 20-amp electrical receptacle can be installed to a 20-amp circuit. However, a 20-amp GFCI outlet may not be installed to a 15-amp circuit.

Secondly, what happens if you use a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit? It is not safe. You are allowed to use a 15 amp rated outlet on a 20 amp circuit simply because it is expected that the cord that's plugged into the outlet should not exceed 15 amps (by code).

Secondly, can you use a 15a GFCI outlet on a 20a circuit?

A 15 amp GFCI receptacle may be supplied power from a 20 amp circuit. Other that gratuitously degrading the performance of the circuit if only one 15 amp receptacle is used in the circuit, there is no reason why it cannot be done. In fact, most receptacles come in pairs with a potential of up to 30 amps.

How do you wire a GFCI 20 amp breaker?

Use a 15-amp breaker with 14-gauge wire and a 20-amp breaker with 12-gauge wire.

  1. Attach the curly white wire from the breaker to the neutral bus.
  2. Connect the white circuit wire to the neutral breaker terminal and the black circuit wire to the hot breaker terminal.

33 Related Question Answers Found

What is the difference between a 15 amp outlet and a 20 amp outlet?

20-amp receptacles have a horizontal slot branching off one of the vertical slots. A 15-amp circuit is usually served by 14-gauge wire and is protected by a 15-amp circuit breaker or fuse. A 20-amp circuit, protected by a 20-amp breaker or fuse, must be served by 12-gauge or 10-gauge wire.

What size wire do I need for a 20 amp breaker?

For a given wire size, increasing the current increases voltage drop. A general rule of thumb (and code minimum) for residential wiring in the United States is to use no smaller than 12 AWG wire on a 20 A circuit. Install 2 20 amp receptacles on a 30 amp breaker in parallel.

Do kitchen outlets require 20 amps?

Requirement: Provide at least two 20-amp, 120-volt circuits to supply power to GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacles for countertop and eating areas. Why: The 20 amps are required (vs. 15 amp) for the higher power requirements found in kitchens. Think toaster ovens, blenders, and mixers.

How many GFCI outlets can be on a circuit?


You only need 1 GFCI outlet per circuit (assuming it's at the beginning of the line and the rest of the outlets are loads). They are correctly wired in parallel - if they were in series, you wouldn't get the correct voltage at the other outlets when there is any type of load present.

How many outlets can be on GFCI?

Re: number of outlets after gfci
Using 220.14, a maximum of 13 receptacle outlets are allowed on a 20A circuit. They can be single or dulpex and still only counts as one receptacle.

How many outlets can be on a 15 amp breaker?

for a 15 amp circuit this allowed for 10 outlets and on a 20 amp circuit 13 outlets were allowed.

Can you replace a 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker?

The answer: It's possible, but not advisable without an electrician evaluating the situation. You should never just upgrade from a 15-amp breaker to a 20-amp one just because the current one is tripping. Otherwise, you may burn your house down via electrical fire.

Does a bathroom need a 20 amp circuit?

The minimum requirement for outlet receptacles in a bathroom is one GFCI-protected receptacle served by a 20-amp circuit. This is a bare minimum, however, and most bathrooms will have at least two receptacles, and often as many of four or five.

Can I replace a 15 amp outlet with a 20 amp outlet?


A 20 Amp breaker does not adequately protect a 15 Amp outlet. The breaker is supposed to pop instead of, or before the house burns down. Even in the very unlikely event that you have 20 Amp wiring, the appliances plugged into the 15 Amp outlet need to be protected with 15 Amp breakers.

Can I use 14 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit?

NEC 240.4(D)(3) states that 14 AWG must be protected at 15A. You can not use 14 AWG anywhere on a circuit that has a 20A breaker. If you are putting 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit with 12 gauge wire, then you MUST use the screw terminals, not the back stab terminals. Just use the side terminals.

Can I use 15 amp outlets on a 20 amp breaker?

Most household electrical receptacles have a 15-amp rating, but they connect to a 20-amp circuit. You can use a device that has a 15-amp plug with either a 15- or 20-amp receptacle. A 20-amp receptacle is for heavy-duty appliances and power tools, such as air compressors.

How many outlets can be on a breaker?

By rule of thumb you would stick with 8 to 10 outlets and or lights per breaker. Now this is of course they are 120 volts 60 Hz (USA or Canada).

How many amps does a refrigerator use?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average refrigerator uses approximately 725 watts of electricity and 15 to 20 amps, which can equal 10 percent or more of your home's total energy usage.

How many amps does a TV use?


LCD televisions vary widely, using 0.16 to 0.41 watts per square inch, so a 46-inch LCD television could use as little as 1.208 amps or as much as 3.1 amps.

Can I use 12 gauge wire on a 15 amp circuit?

It is perfectly acceptable to use 12 gauge wire on a 15 amp circuit. It shouldn't, many older homes were wired with 12 gauge throughout. Apart from that, it is actually explicitly allowed by code.

What uses a 20 amp plug?

You can plug in those heavy draw appliances like mixers, food processors, toasters, electric ovens or frying pans etc. Yes, they all say they are 15 amp but, they will draw more if under load. Just to clarify, a 20 amp receptacle is required to be on a 20 amp circuit.