What is the difference between 15 amp and 20 amp GFCI?

Asked By: Ruthie Pitkevich | Last Updated: 11th January, 2020
Category: home and garden home appliances
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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.

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Similarly, you may ask, what is the difference between 15a and 20a GFCI?

By making GFCIs 20A internally but 15A on their face, it allows you to use the same GFCI on both 15A and 20A circuits. If the receptacle had the T-neutral, that would mean it could not be used on 15A circuits. NEC 210.24 allows you to put a 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit if it has 2 or more outlets on a circuit.

Additionally, what is the difference between 15a and 20a? 15a and 20a receptacles have different pin configurations. A 20a receptacle will have one slot that is turned sideways or T shaped to allow a 20amp plug to be used. A 15amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit will not overload the circuit. You will only be allowed to plug in 15a devices.

Likewise, 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.

What happens when you put a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit?

If your question is “can I connect a receptacle rated for 20 amps to a circuit designed for 15 amps?”, the answer is yes, because the receptacle can handle more current than the circuit is rated for. If you exceed 15 amps, the breaker will blow, and protect the receptacle. The inverse is not true.

18 Related Question Answers Found

Can you replace a 15 amp breaker with 20 amp?

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.

How many outlets can you put 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.

Do I need 20 amp outlets in kitchen?

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 do you size a breaker?

To calculate the breaker size, simply divide the adjusted wattage by 240 volts to find the rated amperage needed for your subpanel. Often, the result is not a common circuit breaker size. and you can simply round up to the next higher size of ?the breaker.

Will a 15 amp outlet work on a 20 amp circuit?

BOTTOM LINE: 15 AMP OUTLETS ARE FINE IN A 20 AMP CIRCUIT AS LONG AS IT IS NOT THE ONLY OUTLET IN THE CIRCUIT. It's referring to single receptacles, I.e., a microwave outlet a sump pump. You install a 15A single receptacle, and code requires that to now be a 15A circuit, with a 15A breaker.

How many outlets can I put on a 20 amp breaker?

One rule of thumb is to assign a maximum draw of 1.5 amps to each receptacle, which allows for 10 receptacles on a 20-amp circuit.

Can I use a 15 amp plug at home?

It is possible to plug a 15 amp plug into 10 amp socket legally and safely using an adapter called ampfibian. It MIGHT help in certain instances, for example I can use my small arc welder with 15 amp plug in ordinary household socket without problem.

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 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.

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.