Electrical Outlets


Not being an electrician, I often find it difficult dressing wires to electrical outlets in boxes. In particular, it is hard to get two #14 or #12 around the same outlet screw reliably. Recently I found the Cooper BR20V outlet that has compression type fittings for the wires. It is a dream to wire.
Here is my dumb question: Is there a code problem with using a 20A socket in a 15A circuit? I assume not, but I thought I would ask.
These things are about $3 each. Does anyone know of a cheap source?
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If it's rated at 20A but doesn't have 20A legs like:
http://tinyurl.com/yhqaopl

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When you have 3 wires to connect to an outlet, leave one long, strip it further back from the end leaving an insulated tail, and then wirenut the 3rd wire to end of the tail.
20amp outlets are pricey. You might find some deals in quantity or on ebay/craigs list. I recently got a whole box full of 20 amp outlets and switches off craigs list.
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to elaborate - one should strip the insulation for about 1/2" or so, but two inches from the end of the wire. Then strip another 1/2" from the end of the wire. You need good strippers to do this.
is it even legit to put two wires under the same screw?
nate
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That's because you are only supposed to terminate one wire at an outlet screw. If you need to terminate two wires, you either use both screws with one wire each, or you pigtail.

Yes, I highly recommend the compression plate type backwire receptacles.

If by 20A socket you mean a receptacle that accepts a 20A plug, then yes, that would be a violation, unless it is a single receptacle that is the only receptacle on the circuit.
Cheers, Wayne
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wrote:

You're thinking 15 amp receptacle, on 20 amp circuit. OP wants 20 amp receptacle on 15 amp circuit
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Oddly, if you have an individual branch circuit with only a single receptacle on it, the only NEC restriction is that the receptacle rating matches or exceeds the branch circuit rating, as per 210.21(B)(1). Only if there is more than one receptacle on the circuit (or a duplex receptacle) do the requirements of 210.21(B)(3) kick in, which prohibts a 20A receptacle on a 15A branch circuit.
Cheers, Wayne
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wrote in message

Correctamundo, I read it three times, as I was sure I must be misreading it. It does seem strange that they would allow you to underrate a receptacle. Certainly no danger, just a matter of perception. To me, it would make sense that a 50 amp receptacle should be expected to power a 50 amp appliance, and not be connected to a 15 amp circuit
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

Seems odd that a single 20A receptacle on a 15A ckt is not covered in those sections. It is covered in 406.3-A. A single 20A receptacle on a 15A ckt is a violation.
There appears to still be a hole in that if there is no ground you can replace a single receptacle on a 15A circuit with a 20A receptacle with no ground. It is a much more limited hole. The intent is clearly that this not be done.
--
bud--

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Thanks for the pointer! Wayne
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wrote in message

Thanks Bud, that makes more sense, strange that it isn't indicated in 210
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I'm pretty sure screw terminals generally are designed to take only one wire under each screw, with the occasional well-marked exception. So what you're finding difficult, you're not supposed to be doing.
One way (the best way? the code-compliant way?) around this is to "pigtail" your wires with a wirenut inside the box, and connect only one black and one white wire to the outlet. Yes, this does take more space in the box. The idea is that if one outlet connection becomes loose, it doesn't make the whole downstream part of the circuit flaky; and you can replace an outlet in the future without disturbing the wiring that feeds the rest of the circuit.
It *may* be code-compliant (unsure about how much codes vary from place to place within the US and Canada) to connect one wire under each of the two screws on the outlet, so that the downstream load passes through the outlet side plate. Obviously, doesn't work if you're branching off to two downstream legs.
I agree that back-wired outlets, in which the screws are used to compress plates that you've inserted the wires into, are brilliant. I try to use them exclusively.

There is a big code problem with using a 5-20 type outlet on a circuit wired with 14-ga wire. You gotta stick with 5-15-type outlets (and of course 15-A breakers) on 14-ga wiring.
Luckily, your new favourite outlet has a little brother, the BR15. See http://www.cooperwiringdevices.com/productCatalog/searchProducts.cfm?partNbr=br20v&keyword =

You can get commercial-grade backwired Cooper outlets for 3 bucks? Dang!
Call around some electrical supply places out of the Yellow Pages and see what you can get a box of 10 for.
I just finished a living room reno in which I used a different Cooper outlet, with plastic guards that cover the terminals, in case your kids slide something in under a loose cover plate. I think I paid like CAD $12 each for them, box of 10.
It's well worth the extra bucks for a commercial-grade device, not only for the back wiring but it'll keep a better grasp on plugs even after long heavy use. Considering your own time, your investment in tools, your bashed knuckles (is that only me?), going for the 49 outlet really makes no sense.
Chip C Toronto
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I just bought a box of 10 "spec grade" but not backwired Leviton duplex receps for $14 and change at my local supply house. For that price it's not worth using the consumer-grade stuff. Reason I did it was most of the existing receps in my house were becoming loose and sloppy (not holding plugs in securely) now they ought to be good for another 30 years or so.
Got lucky and found new in box spec grade switches, both normal and 3- way, for $5/box of 10 at a local salvage place, so I am well hooked up now.
If box space is at a premium I can understand wanting to use backwire - but under no circumstances use backstab!
nate
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Chip C wrote:

http://www.cooperwiringdevices.com/productCatalog/searchProducts.cfm?partNbr=br20v&keyword =
I found the 15s at Lowes for $1.89 each, so I bought a pack of 10. I really like these outlets. Now to get some prior messes cleaned up.
While I was there, I also bought some green grounding wire nuts, with the hole in the top. That seems like a neat idea.
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There is a 15A version, which would be preferable to use, even if using the 20A recep isn't a code violation it seems like a bad practice
http://www.cooperwiringdevices.com/productCatalog/pdf/G%2014.pdf
HTH
nate
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