15A outlets on 20A circuits

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On Oct 13, 8:49pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

It's you who either can't read, or more likely, as usually, will not simply admit that there was something that you didn't know about and were wrong. I already pointed out that the table you are referring to, Table 210.21(B)(3), DOES NOT APPLY because it starts off by clearly saying right there in plain English that the table applies to circuits with TWO OR MORE receptacles. You do understand that TWO receptacles is not the same thing as ONE receptacle, don;t you?
Here again is what you are relying on to make your case:

We are talking about a SINGLE receptacle. The rules for receptacles are clearly seperated in the NEC into two cases, circuits with single receptacles and circuits with multiple receptacles. Multiple outlets are covered by the section with the table you keep trying to use. The code covers single outlets in the section just before it, 210.21(B) (1):
" 210.21 Outlet Devices. (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."
Since 20 amps is greater than 15 amps, the 20 amp receptacle may be used on a circuit where it is the only receptacle. Following your process, one coud use a table in the code that says it applies to circuits less than 600 volts and apply it to circuits over 600 volts or vice versa. Somehow I think it doesn't work that way. Anyone who wants to read the sections in the actual NEC, and make up their own minds, which I encourage, it's available online here:
http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=70&EditionID=238
It's a good resource for everyone to have. After you have the book open, click on the TOC button in the lower left to bring up the table of contents, then go to section 2, flip through a few pages until you get to 210.21 It's all there in a few short, clear paragraphs.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 02:36:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

the end (as long as it is rated for at LEAST 15 amps - the circuit is protected. - code issues - if any- aside.
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According to the article it does matter. First of all, in legalese, saying "not less than" doesn't mean that it can be greater than. It just can't be less than. Second, the table in the same article shows that a receptacle on a 15 amp circuit cant' be rated over 15 amps. Personally, I'd like to know that if I have an appliance that has a 20 amp plug on it, and I find a 20 amp receptacle that I can plug it into, a 15 amp breaker isn't limiting the current.
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logic is involved.
"not less than" means exactly that. Equal to or greater than equals not less than. PERIOD.
And a 15 amp breaker does not LIMIT current - it interrupts current when current excedes the limit. Limitting current would controll the current by reducing voltage to hold the current to the maximum limit.
A 20 amp 115/125 volt receptacle also accepts 15 amp plugs perfectly.
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This isn't much of a case of legalese, which is usually used to refer to long, winding sentences that are difficult to decipher. This is one short, direct sentence. Saying it can't be "less than" leaves open exactly two possibilities:
A - It can equal to
B - It can be greater than
Either of those options is valid and not restricted. If they wanted to retrict it to just A, all they had to do was say the receptacle has to be equal to the circuit rating.
Let's take some other examples. Suppose the law says that on a certain section of road you must maintain a vehicle speed not less than 40MPH. Would you argue they mean I can't drive at 55MPH? Or that a section of the plumbing code says a pipe must be rated not less than 160 PSI. Does that mean I can't use a pipe rated at 250 PSI ?

On that I agree with you 100%, which is why I brought up the issue in the first place. Like you and I think 99% of the rest of the world, I would not put a 20 amp receptacle on any 15 amp circuit, as at the very least, it leads to confusion.
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GFCI for refrigerator is likely to warm up the food. Something trips the GFCI and you notice the next morning. Not good.
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He is NOT using a GFCI on the fridge. Read it again. NEVER use a GFCI on a fridge or freezer.
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I misread that, but just for clarification, the Nec requires GFCI protection by receptacle location, not by what you're planning to plug into the outlet. Every receptacle in a garage, or unfinished part of a basement requires GFCI protection, even if you plan to plug in a fridge or freezer

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On 10/12/2010 6:29 PM, RBM wrote:

UNLESS.... there's always an exception.
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Steve Barker wrote:

All but one of the exceptions disappeared in the 2008 NEC. (The remaining one is for alarm panels.)
The NEC panel does not see a problem with refrigeration on GFCI. In commercial kitchens plug-in refrigeration (15/20A, 120V) is required to be on GFCIs. The UL allowed leakage is around 0.5mA if I remember right.
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On 10/13/2010 9:35 AM, bud-- wrote:

I only know what my local AHJ goes by. And that is the 2005 version. They just switched (last year) from the 1994 version. I'm sure there'll be no switching again for quite some time. <G>
Also, i think some of the confusion comes from the interpretation of the term "single outlet". SINGLE outlet does NOT mean a duplex outlet. And SINGLE (non gfci) outlets are allowed in basement and garages on a circuit for sump pumps and refrigerators. Whereas nothing else can be plugged into them without unplugging the device the outlet was intended for. Has this been eliminated for the 2008 version?
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Yes it has. There are no longer any exceptions
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On 10/13/2010 4:44 PM, RBM wrote:

guess i'll be breaking that rule then. I will NOT put a sump pump on a gfci. period.
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Then you run an extension cord from an outlet in the house into the garage, for the fridge.
None of my garage outlets have any GFCIs The original wiring from the 1920's or 30's was constantly shorting out, especially those hanging light sockets hung by cotton covered wires which were half bare from age. And the old turn type bakelite switch with exposed hot wire screws was sparking quite a but when it was turned, probably because of years of water leaking down that wall from a bad roof. And most of the outlets were single ones, not duplex and not one had a ground. The wiring was a combination of knob and tube, some sort of cloth covered romex, metal sheathed cable, and a small section of conduit, which was actually black gas pipe. The fuse box was supposed to have two 15A plug fuses, but both were 30A fuses, with one cartridge fuse for a main fuses also being 30A, and a pull down shut off handle with both sides of the line switched (hot and neutral) and exposed so anyone could touch it.
No one ever died from it. So why the hell do I need GFCIs now?
As fas as this old wiring, about ten years ago the garage roof collapsed from snow, and caused the wiring to completely short out when the wires got torn apart as the roof fell. Those old hanging lights got crushed, and the fuse box was mangled. Well, I had to build a new roof, and in the process, I replaced 3 of the 4 walls due to rot and cracked studs from the roof collapse. I ended up having to replace the fuse box with a new breaker box having 12 breakers instead of two fuses. Then I had to rewire with modern romex and new light fixtures and outlets. Of course all of the old wiring was grandfathered in, because this was an old garage from the 1920's, it just had a new roof, and 3 new walls, so I was not required to follow any electrical codes on an 80 year old garage building like this. I even put that old turn type bakelite switch back on the wall just for memories, even though it's not connected.
By the way, a year later I built an addition on to the garage and destroyed all but 8 feet of the studs of that original wall. So, it's now a completely new building. except for about 6 or 7 2x4's. But hey, this is an 80 year old building, so I dont need no stinking GFCI outlets or other useless modern nonsense. Hell, if the inspectors were to come, I'll just hammer out the dents on that old fuse box, and screw it to a piece of plywood, and put that plywood over the top of my breaker box. This is an 80 year old building (or actually 90 now), and they did not have breakers or GFCIs in 1920.
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Unfortunately, your conclusion that "no one ever died from it" is completely incorrect. Not only have people died from it, but buildings have burned down from it. This is exactly why the National Electrical Code has evolved, and every three years has an upgrade. Whether you agree with it or not, the intent of the NFPA and it's NEC is to safeguard life and property.

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I find interesting the statment that:
"Of course all of the old wiring was grandfathered in, because this was an old garage from the 1920's, it just had a new roof, and 3 new walls, so I was not required to follow any electrical codes on an 80 year old garage building like this."
Say what? The roof collapsed causing lights, wiring, even the fuse box to be damaged to the point they had to be replaced and you were not required to follow any codes because it was grandfathered? Where do you live? Every place I'm aware of you would be required to not only follow code, but bring the part that is being replaced up to the current code.
And if, as you claim, you were not required to follow code, then why the need for this statement:
"Hell, if the inspectors were to come, I'll just hammer out the dents on that old fuse box, and screw it to a piece of plywood, and put that plywood over the top of my breaker box. "
Your approach to safety seems to be that since nothing bad has happened so far, that means you should just keep doing the same thing and not learn from standards and practices that are in place based on the experience from millions of similar situations over decades. Kind of like texting while driving and since you haven't had a wreck or killed anyone so far, it must be OK to keep doing it.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 07:03:09 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Well, I should mention that ALL the current wiring in this garage IS up to code as far as the wiring itself, I just dont have GFCI outlets. Or, actually, I do have ONE. That one is above my workbench and is there for testing power tools or any other electrical devices that I am repairing. It also feeds the outdoor outlet on the garage, because I did not want a GFCI on the outside of the garage, knowing water can get into them no matter how well the covers are made. Once something is plugged into them, water can get in.
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Yes, the "INTENT" is as you said, but many of the rules are totally stupid. For example, they even put a green ground screw on switches now. WHY? If the switch is in a metal box, it's grounded by the screws, but even in a plastic box, that small piece of metal on the front of the switch is covered by a plastic plate. Those old bakelite rotary swithces with the exposed HOT WIRE screws WERE dangerous, VERY dangerous. I would not even think of allowing such a thing. Not only can children touch them, but when I walk into a dark room fiddling around for the switch, I could easily touch them. In fact when I had that switch in my garage, I planned to replace it, but when I moved onto this property there were a million projects and all had priorities. Yet, I did apply some electrical tape over those screws shortly after moving here.
Old wiring was extremely dangerous. Much did not even make common sense, such as any exposed HOT electricity. Those old knife switches were insane on 120V AC. They were fine for a 6 or 12 V battery circuit, but allowing them, or even using them on 120V AC was just stupid. Yes, people were electricuted and some died, and fires started. Then in the 1950's and 60's, all wiring was in metal. Conduit, BX, metal boxes, etc. That was likely the safest wiring ever made. Now we have plastic coated cable in plastic boxes. Plastic burns. It's not as safe, but we rely on breakers rather than plug fuses which could often be oversized. Yet, nothing stops someone from hooking that #14 wire to a 30A breaker if they know how. It's just that back when fuses were used, ANYONE could change a fuse, now it involves the use of tools and some guys wont open any electrical box.
In some ways, wiring has improved, in others, it's gone backwards. I still believe that the old metal enclosed wiring was superior to what is used today. But much of that old metal enclosed wiring was connected to fuses, so we have advanced in the regard of breakers.
I do have GFCIs on all my outdoor outlets, but not those in my garage, basement, or bathroom. But those are all existing installations and have not been rewired except for a few outlets that were replaced due to wearing out or just wanting a grounded one to avoid hunting down those damn adaptors all the time.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 14:29:30 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

You are only properly grounded in a metal box if the device is listed as self grounding (a spring or brass clip on the yoke) In a plastic box, there is no guarantee the plate will be plastic and you still have metal screws. Before the grounded switches, they only allowed plastic screws on switch plates but that rule was not followed much either.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 16:30:46 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

.In almost 60 years I've NEVER seen a plastic plate screw.
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