snip>> 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
circuit is only rated for 15 amps.
He currently has three outlets on the 15 amp wire, which allows him to plug
in several devices simultaneously causing an overload of the conductors,
regardless of the outlet ratings
On 15 Oct 2006 10:24:21 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have one of those it's easy to use. When you first plug it in, it
shows the line voltage. That's make it easy to check for voltage drop
from load. Press one button and you're measuring current used by the
Do you mean a recepticle rated for 20amps, or one with a 20 amp plugin? The
20 amp plugin has one of the blades turned 90' (See
You should *NOT* install one of those 20 amp plugin receptacles unless you
know that the whole circuit is on 12 gauge wire and on a 20 amp breaker.
Now, if you want to just user a higher rated standard outlet (See
On 15 Oct 2006 10:24:21 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
And what kind of wire do you have in the walls? If it is 14 gauge you
are just looking for trouble. 19 or 20 amps WILL overheat 14 gauge
wire. Why have fuses and circuit breakers at all if you're going to
encourage the use of loads that are bigger than the wire can handle?
You might not be planning to use bigger stuff, but what about your
teen-age son, your brother in law, your wife, your father and anyone
doing anything when you are out of town, out of the house, in the
hospital, dead, or have sold the house to innocent but unskilled
I agree that he should get the rest of it checked. He might want to
check with owners of other houses built by the same builder. If
problems are not too many and not too big, maybe they can let the
original electrician fix them.
My high school in 1963 came with a one-year warranty, and the school
system people were supposed to check things out soon after occupying
the building. Only because a truck hit a light pole and we lost power
one day did they learn that the emergency lighting was done all wrong.
There was supposed to be a back-up generator that ran one ceiling
fixture in every interior room, but some rooms had no lights, and some
exterior rooms had them instead. And I don't think the emergency
generator went on at all. And some other problems. I'm almost sure
the original electric company was allowed to do the repairs. Don't
think there was any graft involved, just screw-ups.
And just what makes you jump to the conclusion that if the wire is 14
gauge that it's NOT protected by a 15 amp breaker?
If it is, you could plug in a 30 amp load and the wire is still
protected, 'cause the breaker will open the instant you plug in too
great a load.
If you can
Same comment as above.
Simplest thing for him to do if he can't get at enouch of the cable
jacket to see what's printed on it is to bum a couple of inches of 14
gauge and 12 gauge wire someplace and compare the conductor sizes to
what he's got coming from that 20 amp breaker. The difference is pretty
I didn't jump. This is part of the original post "The particular
circuit I want to change out has a 20 amp breaker coming from the box
using a 14 gauge wire to, 1 15 amp GFI receptacle & 2 15 amp
receptacles in the kitchen."
Well, I was thinking the problems may not be limited to gauge. Anyone
who would put in 20 amp breakers with 14 gauge wire can't be trusted
to do anything right.
In explanation of my tweaking you on that point; Your post, which I
replied to, was NOT a direct reply to the OP's post, where he certainly
did write that it was a 20 amp breaker.
Your post was a reply to a post by "mgkelson" in which he simply said he
used 20 amp recepticals as replacements for 15 amp ones, because he felt
the 20 amp ones were "higher quality". He said nothing about the
breakers on those circuits being 20 amps.
It's easy to lose track of who said what on extended multiforked threads
like this one, I do it all the time.
As others have said, all kitchen outlets are required to be on 20 amp
circuits, it is Ok that the receptacles are 15 amp as long as there is more
than one outlet on the circuit. The cable should be 12 gauge. If your
appliance has a 20 amp plug on it, it requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit
Does your expresso machine have a 20-amp plug on it or a 15-amp plug?
If it has a 20-amp plug on it and you have 14-gauge wiring, I wouldn't
plug it in to your electrical system no matter what sort of socket you
What is the electrical rating of the expresso machine? You can usually
find the electrical rating on the bottom or the back of the machine.
This is all sounding rather odd . . . "will be a 20 amp plug" . . .
"supposed to draw". How do you know it's supposed to draw up to 18
amps? If memory serves, UL will not approve an appliance that draws
more than 16A on a 20A circuit, yet you have an appliance that
supposedly draws 18 amps.
Is this some sort of a homemade device? Even commercial expresso
machines only take about 1700 W (or 14 amps). Here's an example:
"Cecilware Venezia Automatic Espresso Machines w/ Volumetric Flow
Touch Pad Control Panel. Makes Single or Double Espresso; 1 or 2 cups
at a time. Double gauge for boiler and pump pressure control. Hot water
dispenser. Extra long movable steam wand. Water inlet valve. Built-in
motor pump with in-line filter. 4" adjustable legs. Pod filter adapter
included. European style to fit every decor. Number of heads: 1 group.
19.5"L. 120V, 1.7KW, 20 amps. Makes 240 cups/hour. Boiler size: 7
What's the make and model number on your expresso machine?
Something else no one appears to have pointed out. You problem is
bigger than just making sure that you have a 20amp outlet on a 20amp
breaker with 12 gauge wiring. Since this one appliance requires
almost all the capacity of that circuit, it means you really can't have
any other loads on other outlets on that circuit. In other words, it
will likely need it's own circuit.
However, from the description, it appears that this model can be used
in a mode where only one heater is active at a time, meaning it will
work on a 15 amp circuit. If you can live with it in that mode, it
could funciton on a 20amp circuit with some room for other loads.
They also have a 15 amp model, which I'm guessing is basicly the same
thing, but hard wired wo that it only runs in that one heater at a time
Even though there are multiple receptacles on the 1 20amp circuit, nothing
else will be populating the other receptacles, other then maybe recharging a
cell phone or the coffee grinder.
What will draw the most amperage will be using the espresso machine to pour
a shot & steaming at the same time, other then that it should not go over 15
That's interesting. I don't know a thing about Expresso. Can you put
ordinary Folgers coffee in it and then get a fast cup of coffee?
It looks like someone has actually done a power spread sheet on that
appliance. You can get it at: http://www.rimpo.org/s1/S1Power.html .
They show a maximum current draw of 16.67 amps. However, they indicate
a 12% fudge factor, so it might be rated at 16 amps maximum. As I said,
I think that's the maximum UL allows.
I'm not an electrician, but I would guess that you are perfectly legal
with installing a 20-amp socket on a circuit with 12 AWG wire and a
20-amp breaker. You do have to be careful that you don't run other
stuff on the circuit, of course. I would periodically, maybe once per
month or so, put your hand on the plug to make sure that it's not
generating a lot of heat. If and when that happens, I would replace the
plug and the socket.
Send me a cup of that coffee. I'm curious to know what it tastes like.
On Oct 16, 1:27 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You can put an unlimited amount of 16 amp appliances on one 20 amp
circuit. The problem comes in when you try to use them at the same
time. I am guessing that that all but the warmer on the espresso
machine would not be used more than 20 min a day.
If you want espresso and toast and want to use the microwave at the
same time then you should consider having more circuits.
Trying to do all of this at the same time is not unsafe. It would just
trip the breaker.
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