I am adding two 20-amp circuits to provide a total of 6 above-the-countertop
receptacles. I will be wiring them so that every other receptacle is on a
different circuit -- so two sets of 3 receptacles per circuit. And, the
first receptacle for each circuit will be a GFI with the remaining two
receptacles on each circuit being covered by the GFI at the beginning of
My question is, can the two GFI's be 15-amp rated GFI receptacles, or do
they have to be 20-amp rated GFI's?
I am thinking that the GFI's and the remaining receptacles can all be 15-amp
rated receptacles, but I wanted to check here in case I am wrong about that.
Two 20 amp circuits is over kill iif you only have enough counter
space for 6 outlets mho. But you are correct, you can place multiple
15 amp receps on a 20 amp circuit.
A minimum of 2 -20 amp circuits is required by the Nec for kitchen counter
I'm about to wire up my kitchen counter. What I'd like is two pairs
of two duplex outlets. That would be a total of 8 outlets in two groups.
A) split wire all the duplex outlets.
B) wire each duplex in the same box to a different circuit/phase.
C) wire each double duplex all to the same circuit.
It's an L counter and these outlets will be in each side of the
corner. I'll have the MW, toaster oven and coffee maker plugged in, who
knows what else. Outlets will be in the wall, a few inches over the
Stove on the left, sink to the right, and a duplex outlet on each end
of the L.
Does the fridge need to be on a separate circuit?
The only difference between a 15 amp receptacle and a 20 amp
receptacle of a given grade(*) is the face plate, the 20 amp
receptacle has the extra slot to accept 20 amp plugs. The innards are
the same and are rated for 20 amps pass through.
(*) 20 amp receptacles may not be available in the cheapest grades,
but I only use the better grades that provide back pressure-plate
I certainly wouldn't use 59 cent receptacles. I will often install a
20 amp plug on something that I don't want anyone plugging to a 15 amp
receptacle. One of the problems I often come across in commercial
settings is a receptacle burning up. An industrial or commercial grade
20 amp receptacle solves the problem. If I have a situation where items
are being plugged in and unplugged a lot, I install a hospital grade
No, it is not. 15/20 Amp breakers are NOT guaranteed to have 20 amp
capability in a 15 amp component. Internal wire gages & all connections are
usually NOT capable of 20 amps because it's cheaper to make them for 15
amps. Every penny saved is important on a manufacturing line.
15 amp receptacles are required by UL to handle 20 amps feed through.
The UL directory information for RTRT (receptacles) does not make that
100% clear, but UL has provided further detail. See, for example,
their response included in this thread (third to last post):
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