Why are there 15- and 20-amp receptacles?

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On 11/12/2010 6:36 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Well yes, but the Variac I use is about 50+ years old. Someone probably added the hot and neutral fused plug because it also has a fuse built into the case, and a switch of course.
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On 11/13/2010 9:41 AM, Tony Miklos wrote:

I've seen junk sit there and burn up without tripping the breaker in the panel and this confuses a lot of folks. I have to explain the purpose of the circuit breakers to them. Now I don't know if the newer arc fault circuit breakers would trip under the same circumstances.
TDD
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wrote:

It is what roy was trying to explain, the underrated receptacle will not withstand the amperage, despite the breaker, because it burns under the breakers protective current rating. I hope when he comes back and sees this maybe he can explain it better.
[Proteus is gone, There just hasn't been anytime to close his account, and frankly I like it so who knows] Tecumseh The Ghost in The Machine
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On Fri, 12 Nov 2010 11:42:50 -0800, David Nebenzahl wrote:

Yes, they are! Few things hurt more than stepping on one without shoes on, too :-)
I have mixed feelings about them - yes, they're enormous, but they're also very solid - the pins don't bend or get damaged like can happen with US plugs, and the 'hot' pins are shielded at the tops so that the ground always makes contact before the hot pins do (I've seen a lot of situations where US plugs get pulled - or just fall due to wear - partway out of outlets, exposing the pins)
All in all they're not too annoying I think, except in portable situations or where you want lots of things plugged into a power strip.
cheers
Jules
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David, a 15 amp receptacle will brown out and melt if you plug anything more than it is rated for, a 20 amp outlet is stronger and will withhold overusage better..it is best to measure or calculate the amperage of the machine/s you will be plugging into it and if you plan to have a constant load plugged onto it permanent rate it properly. I have see this many times, specially on outlets where extension cords wth multiple appliances floor lamps display cases and stuff plugged in to them..They Brown Out and melt. Roy Q.T. E.E.Technician
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