Can 15 Amp Outlets Be Used On A 20 Amp Circuit Breaker

Can 15 Amp Outlets Be Used On A 20 Amp Circuit Breaker

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We will cover a few different items associated with this topic. First we will discuss code, then move on to safety/fire hazard, and finish up on what appliances actually need more than 15 Amps. I will also cover my recommendation for increasing your knowledge of the national electrical code as a DIYer and what type of outlet you should be using on all your future electrical projects.

My Favorite 15 AMP Commercial Grade Outlet
Legrand (CRB5262) –

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  1. Jason on March 6, 2023 at 5:51 am

    No most common is 15 amp … there are more 15 amp in a residential setting than 20 amp … 20 amp are for wet locations kit and baths get the NEC… hack n decker is crap

  2. Adam Lam on March 6, 2023 at 5:54 am

    Video was great until u taught homeowners to use adapters

  3. Eric Fraser on March 6, 2023 at 5:54 am

    My 15A pronged GFCI says 20 AMP on it. 15A breakers are rated to handle 20A.

  4. Anothercg Gmail on March 6, 2023 at 5:55 am


  5. Lazarus Long on March 6, 2023 at 5:56 am

    Large microcomputers (very powerful gaming PCs, workstations & servers of a certain size) and small welders routinely have 20 amp plugs.

  6. Wil Ferch on March 6, 2023 at 5:58 am

    Maybe you could have spoken more about the differences between 15A commercial vs 15A residential grade….to complete the story?

  7. Smokey Yunick on March 6, 2023 at 5:59 am

    Gaming PC’s here soon are gonna need a dedicated 220V plug, when i rewire my house i’m putting 1-2 in my game room for my next PC, they have 30a 120v breakers as well dude

  8. Rusty Denham on March 6, 2023 at 6:00 am

    I’ve always found the incessant mentioning of code compliance to be humorous Most homes in America are not close to code compliant their owners don’t even know what the codes are they live in them for 20, 30, 40 years. Try finding a original amp outlet in a whole Built-in the seventies or eighties you’re not gonna find it.

  9. Rick Hicks on March 6, 2023 at 6:00 am All info in 8 seconds

  10. Ted Sanders on March 6, 2023 at 6:00 am

    At 1:54 a few lines in the book above your finger it says "A duplex receptacle (with a space for two plugs) counts as two receptacles". This is an important detail for clarity that some viewers may not realize.

  11. pd on March 6, 2023 at 6:00 am

    UL498. Standard receps are UL tested at 150% of their rating and must hold it for 8 seconds. Hospital and commercial grade, 250% of their rating. In other words, a cheepo 15A recep must hold 22.5A in order to be rated for 15A. In addition, the link between the terminals is rated 20A, and must hold 30A for 8 seconds to be UL listed as a 15A recep. It is close to impossible to overload a 15A recep on a 20A circuit, assuming proper installation and a correctly functioning breaker or fuse.

  12. Carlos Funes on March 6, 2023 at 6:00 am

    What state are you live in currently, I really like watching your videos.

  13. oddo pops on March 6, 2023 at 6:02 am


  14. G O on March 6, 2023 at 6:03 am


  15. Terryharleyrides on March 6, 2023 at 6:10 am

    Good Stuff,…..

  16. mos8541 on March 6, 2023 at 6:12 am

    GET READY.. 10 yes TEN amp recips are on the way….

  17. Emile Catanzaro bhm on March 6, 2023 at 6:12 am

    Can you use12 wire to pigtail because 14 wire to short to put outlet in. Thanks

  18. Sam Fish on March 6, 2023 at 6:13 am


  19. RadioRich100 on March 6, 2023 at 6:13 am

    Buy the book – yes, listen to this guy – no. Stick to fixing squeaky doors. Your not an expert in most of the subjects you make videos for , and alot of the info you give out is questionable. Your a jack of all trades master of none.

  20. William Rucki on March 6, 2023 at 6:14 am

    Using a 15A outlet on a circuit protected by a 20A breaker can’t be a problem, by definition. The 15A receptacles is a NEMA 5-15 and is keyed. Only a 5-15P (plug) will fit in the receptacle. Any device or appliance with a 5-15P will be limited to 15A and likely limited to 80% of that rating or 12A for residential service so the integrity of the receptacle is assured. The 20A breaker in the panel (branch circuit protection) is there to protect the conductors only, no devices or loads or appliances. There is no conflict and no issue.

  21. Greg Hill on March 6, 2023 at 6:15 am

    i believe they design 15-amp duplex outlets to allow 20-amp power since you could have two 10- or 12-amp devices plugged into a 15-amp duplex receptacle and gfci outlets even say 20 amp pass through since you have multiple outlets downstream all running through the gfci outlet

  22. Obwan Kenobi on March 6, 2023 at 6:16 am

    I havent seen anyone comment on this and what happens.
    lets say 14/3 wire is being used to power up 2 different 110v circuits. Now connect that 14/3 to a dbl 220v 15A breaker .
    what happens if one side of that overloads or shorts.
    Do both sides of the breaker trip every time?
    I saw this in a house and couldnt beleive anyone would do that!

  23. Obwan Kenobi on March 6, 2023 at 6:17 am

    with those cheezy 15A outlets
    i’ve seen the outlet starting to melt with a space heater plugged in. The contacts are so cheap the plugs will be sagging and falling out in no
    Comercial grade is much better of course.

  24. Rich on March 6, 2023 at 6:18 am

    When looking at the 15 vs 20 amp internals at 5:27 you can see that the hot side on the 20 amp is the same as both the hot and neutral on the 15 amp. The part that was removed from the previous model 15 amp would really only come into play when the connection is a horizonal prong. Since this isn’t possible with a 15 amp receptacle, the part was probably only there so that both could be manufactured on the same line.

  25. RJM on March 6, 2023 at 6:18 am

    You getting way to technical man. A 15 amp duplex has to be able to supply 15 amps to each outlet, So right there you know the internals have to be capable of supplying more than just 15 amps.

  26. Siren on March 6, 2023 at 6:19 am

    Question: so majority of appliances (refrigerators, ovens, stoves etc…) dont go over the 15A? During what scenario would a 20 A be appropriate, more than one appliance plugged into the outlet?

  27. Tim Kaylor on March 6, 2023 at 6:20 am

    Your link for a 15 amp outlet Legrand actually links to a 20 amp outlet by Pass and Seymore.

  28. Scott Bernard on March 6, 2023 at 6:21 am

    My Black & Decker Guide came with floppy disks.

  29. LDoctorKC on March 6, 2023 at 6:21 am

    Haha – I have mostly 15 amp 14 awg wires.

  30. Usi Pussi on March 6, 2023 at 6:22 am

    The reason why I still do not agree to put 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuit breakers because if a appliance is drawing 17A on a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit, the breaker would not trip and the outlet will melt and possibly cause a fire, this has happened to me on a 15 amp outlet that was on a 20 amp circuit when I used to live in a apartment. Great video though!

  31. Don Madden on March 6, 2023 at 6:22 am

    I am searching for an answer to the following….."I have an outlet that my refrigerator was plugged into in the past and the circuit kept blowing. So I plugged my fridge elsewhere. Today, I looked at that now unused outlet and it says 10A 250v 15A125v. Can I replace this outlet with just a simple 15A outlet?"

  32. Casey Cooper on March 6, 2023 at 6:23 am

    You really hit the nail on the head with this video. As a general rule, it is a waste of money to purchase 20-amp receptacles versus heavy duty 15-amp versions, especially given the innards are identical. The highest amperage device i have found is hair dryers, which are rated at 1875 watts. Divide that by the 125 volt nominal rating of receptacles and you get 15 amps. It’s almost like the manufacturers designed the hair dryer to be at the maximum rating of a 15-amp receptacle.

    As you showed, the reason NEMA specifies the perpendicular grounded terminal for 20-amp attachment plugs is so they can only be used on receptacles on 20-amp circuits and not potentially overload a 15-amp circuit.

    An important point to make is that circuit breakers only protect the wiring, not the devices in use on the circuit. Ideally, all residential circuits would be wired with 12 awg wiring with 20-amp breakers, therefore making capacity moot. However, 12 awg wiring costs 50٪ more, uses more material, and is harder to work with than 14 awg. So, we’re left with the compromise of 15 and 20-amp receptacles.

    Related to this, I’ve learned it’s better to wire dedicated circuits with 14 awg wiring when the device is rated 1440 watts or less, especially disposals, dishwashers, and air handlers. I also do this for refrigerators and microwaves/hoods when the inspector permits it (some think all kitchen circuits must be 20-amps, not just the two small appliance circuits mentioned in Code.) Why spend 50% more on wiring for literally no benefit?

  33. Roy on March 6, 2023 at 6:24 am

    One thing you failed to mention is that all of the commercial grade outlets you featured have a bonding jumper that holds the bottom screw in place. This is very handy if you use or encounter metal boxes because you can eliminate the need for a separate ground wire to bond the outlet with the box.  

    Both screws on the cheap outlets are held in place with a piece of cardboard and should only be used on plastic boxes where it doesn’t matter.

  34. David Hornbeck on March 6, 2023 at 6:25 am

    Thank you for answering my question in terms I can understand. I put in a 15 amp receptacle for a 50 inch flat screen and a lamp but, for safety sake, i think I will be more comfortable with a 20 amp receptacle.

  35. Dreamingrightnow on March 6, 2023 at 6:28 am

    If you have a 20 amp plug can you use if for general use? I’m thinking I should put a 20 amp in my garage for my motorhome hookup; can I also use that outlet for Christmas lights and other light duty stuff?

  36. Apack Westbound on March 6, 2023 at 6:30 am

    Another outstanding video. Thank you Scott.

  37. Mike Dickman on March 6, 2023 at 6:30 am

    Is it ok to use 14 gauge wire? It’s easier to handle.

  38. Michael Hirnam on March 6, 2023 at 6:34 am

    So I can use a converter for my table saw that has a nema 5-20 to use on the 5-15 in the garage or switch it out to a 20A receptacle?

  39. Jon Lanier on March 6, 2023 at 6:35 am

    So, can you plug an everyday appliance into a 20 amp plug and have no problems?

  40. Micheal Olsen on March 6, 2023 at 6:35 am

    Great and very informative video!! Thank you!!

  41. The Next Hobby on March 6, 2023 at 6:35 am

    It’s odd that people who question using a 15A receptacle on a 20A line or multiple 20A receptacles on a 20A line never seem to question using multiple 15A receptacles on a 15A line, despite it happening all over their house … the underlying concepts and restrictions remain the same: Pay attention to both single and total load.

  42. Patrick Connolly on March 6, 2023 at 6:37 am

    Something to consider when referring to the NEC is to actually look up the article in the code book….maybe not someone’s interpretation of the ”code”…..the visuals that other publications offer is certainly nice but an even better reference is the "NEC Handbook"…..they are not cheap but what is your life worth and your customers safety worth…..just saying….

  43. lsater on March 6, 2023 at 6:41 am

    I have a 120-volt GFCI outlet with a 15-amp receptacle on a 20-amp circuit, in my garage.

    My question, is that I have something that I need to plug in that recommends using a 120-volt GFCI outlet with a 15-amp circuit. Are their any issues with my outlet having a 20-amp circuit?

  44. Gregg Purviance on March 6, 2023 at 6:42 am

    Biggest problem is installing. Most burned receptacles are installed incorrectly

  45. Sirus on March 6, 2023 at 6:43 am

    Does the USA/Canada have an actual regulatory body and a whole heap of reg books like the UK?

  46. Dan Brown on March 6, 2023 at 6:44 am

    Why chince on components when laser is where the big costs are? All 12ga., all 20-amp, IMHO.

  47. L H on March 6, 2023 at 6:45 am

    Hi there!!
    First thanks for enlightening me on differences with 15a 20a receptacles and the wiring types and all. Very informative

    Quick question tho.. so when I plug in my vacuum in certain different sockets in my mobile home and the breaker kicks power off.. does that mean I have bad wiring is present somewhere or should I just purchase a new vacuum or call an electrician?

    The home is quite up in age as well as the vacuum and I’ve learned a lot from this video so if I do have to call electrician I can ATLEAST sound like a mechanic ha
    Any advice will be appreciated

  48. DANH Do on March 6, 2023 at 6:46 am

    Can I replace an Eaton AFCI Br 20amp circuit breaker with an Eaton AFCI Br 30amp? These are for outlets in 2 bathrooms. EACH bathroom has 2 outlets. The Lights have seperate circuit. My wife used Hair dryer and for some reason, it broke even after I reset the 20amp breaker. All outlets are dead.

  49. Allan Paduchowski on March 6, 2023 at 6:46 am

    Yes it is your opinion
    But you do not mention the UL listing for the product or more importantly you do not mention Tamper resistant requirements for receptacles

  50. Joel Aichner on March 6, 2023 at 6:48 am

    Yes , in a pinch , but only if your smart enough to draw no more than 1200 watts through it , rule of thumb , 75 percent of capacity , or shit gets hot

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