The problem with the wiring in the OPs circuit is not with the
outlets, it is with having a 20 amp breaker on a 14 ga circuit. I
wouldn't be worried about having a 20 amp _outlet_
on the 14 ga wire,
provided the breaker was the correct size. In fact, I think there is
a code section that even acknowledges this for the sake of
allowing the 20 amp outlets to be used with 15 amp/14 ga wiring. Even
if the outlet is rated for 20 amps, as long as the wiring is protected
at the proper current, i.e. 15 amp breaker on a 14 gauge circuit, afety
won't be compromised, since the breaker will still trip at 15 amps.
What makes the situation unsafe for the OP is that should he install
the 20 amp outlet, he then has the capability of connecting a 20 amp
device to a circuit with a 20 amp breaker, but the wiring in the
cirucit is only rated for 15 amps.
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - email@example.com
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