I will be using a high amp appliance at the end of a branch circuit, but in between them I have a room connected to it with a 15 amp receptacle.

Am I allowed to do this?

  • What is the current breaker size now? – Kris Apr 16 '17 at 16:13
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    Is the high amp device that air compressor from your other question? – ThreePhaseEel Apr 16 '17 at 16:50
  • The original version of this question said 30 amps in the title and 20 amps in the body. I went with 20 amps for both in my edit; please fix it if I chose the wrong one. Thanks! – Niall C. Apr 16 '17 at 19:22
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    Can you provide a bit more information about the situation? If this is the same circuit that you were talking about in your previous question, the answer to this question will be slightly different. – Tester101 Apr 17 '17 at 11:01
  • Where are you in the world? The answer is different for different places. – Speedy Petey Apr 17 '17 at 11:44

It's only a 20-amp branch circuit if all the wires are 12 AWG or larger. If there is any 14 AWG wire at all, it's a 15 amp branch circuit.

To get a UL listing for a 15A receptacle, the maker must rate it for 20A of pass-through. (pass-through is where you use the two screws on the receptacle to continue a circuit, rather than pigtailing.) The purpose of this rule is to make it legal and safe to do exactly what you are doing.

So, yes. It will be fine.


The answer to the question you've asked here, is yes. According to National Electrical Code 210.21(B)(3), you can install 15 ampere receptacles on a 20 ampere branch circuit, as long as the circuit supplies two or more receptacles or outlets. All the wiring in the circuit must be sized to a 20 ampere circuit, meaning that it must all be 12 AWG or larger copper.

To answer this question in the context of your previous question, you can still have 15 ampere receptacles on the 20 ampere circuit. However, since the circuit will have to be 240 volts, the 15 ampere receptacles have to be 240 volt receptacles (NEMA 6-15). Any equipment attached to these receptacles will also have to be rated for 240 volts, and be rated less than 16 amperes (210.23(A)(1)).

  • If I plug my phone charger up to that 240 v circuit , it would not be a good idea then? – DIYguy Apr 17 '17 at 12:36
  • @DIYguy If you have 240V receptacles installed, you shouldn't physically be able to plug your 120V charger in. – Tester101 Apr 17 '17 at 12:49

I am not sure where some of the comments are coming from. To reword your question can you have a 15 amp outlet protected by a 30 amp breaker NO this would be a code violation. If this is an existing run of #10 you could have a 30 amp outlet but not a 15 or 20 amp outlet connected to this circuit. If it is a 12 AWG wire the maximum breaker size is 20 amps. One of the few times a larger breaker can be used is for a dedicated motor load Or air conditioner (no other devices) . so the large load at the end of the line could not have a 15 amp outlet. At this point I am guessing you changed the question since so many are talking about a 20 amp breaker but as of now are asking about a 30 amp breaker. Not legal!

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