15A outlets/switches on 20A circuit

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by maurice53, May 29, 2011.

  1. maurice53

    maurice53 New Member

    May 15, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    I have outlets on a number of 20A circuits (12/2 wire)- dining area, kitchen counter, den, garage- that appear to be rated 15A. Is this okay? Do wall switches need to be rated according to the circuit amps?
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Jun 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    This is code compliant

    If it was a single receptacle on a 20 amp circuit then it would be required to be rated at 20 amps but a duplex receptacle on a 20 amp circuit can be rated at 15 amps
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  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Mar 30, 2011
    Rocket Scientist
    Houston, TX
    The wall switch needs to be rated above the load that they are switching, Not the Max circuit amps that the breaker can provide.

    Have a great day.

  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    IOW, if the switch can turn the entire circuit off, it needs to be 20A, otherwise, as long as it is sized for the max load it can have, it is fine. Typically, that switch would turn a lamp on/off, and only if that load was the full value of the circuit or was dedicated to that single load, would it need to be a 20A switch.
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