Currently, in my kitchen I have a 20amp GFCI receptacle (faceplate only accepts 15amp plugs but back says it is 20 amp rated) off of that GFCI outlet there are 3 15amp receptacles, one is for a garbage disposal, the other 2 are at counter top level for usage. The breaker for the kitchen is 20amps. I have purchased two new 20amp outlets with USB charger capability for phones etc.

Is it okay to have the two receptacles at counter level be 20amp and the disposal be on a 15amp receptacle or should I return the new 20amp receptacles and install 15amp ones?

Not sure if it is correct to have both 15amp and 20amp receptacles off of the 20amp GFCI.

5 Answers 5


Yes you can.

(I see the OP was edited to include details and will retain the rest for the database)

Having the GFCI marked 20 Amp is so the one model can be used for either type of circuit. If you have a 20 Amp Circuit then there is no problem with using 15 Amp receptacles on the same run.


Having the receptacles is one thing. Having the wiring and circuit breaker to support 20 Amps is another matter.

Unless you have the 20 Amp breaker and proper wiring, you will want to limit the total current draw to 15 Amps.


Most 20 Amp circuits are dedicated for specific purposes. Most often there will only be one single outlet for a specific need like a computer rack or a dialysis machine.

In a GFCI situation like described here, the second outlet would most likely be very near to prevent causing the breaker to trip inadvertently. Example: Plugging in an electric heater. Something that has nothing to do with the original reason a 20 Amp circuit was installed.


Yes, you can have either or both kinds of outlets on the same circuit, and it will work well unless you exceed the amperage allowed by the circuit breaker.


It is usual, customary and code approved to install 15-amp rated duplex type receptacles on 20-amp rated circuits. The reason being is that there are two receptacles from which to draw power on that one device. Both of them are rated at 15-Amps. It is understood that it is unlikely that the full capacity of the circuit will be drawn through just one of he two available receptacles. Now if it is a single receptacle on a single device, those have to be matched.


Short answer: You are fine with the 20 amp receptacles. If the 15's are cheaper and you wish to save some money you could return the 20's and get the 15's. Either way you are good.

Longer answer: Appliance circuits in kitchens have been required to be 20 amp circuits for decades. They are not dedicated or individual circuits. They are just larger than the 15 amp circuits in very old houses.

The GFCI receptacle is rated 20 amps since it may have to interrupt a 20 amp circuit when it trips. As in the case of a kitchen appliance circuit.

15 amp receptacles can be used on 20 amp circuits without a problem. Article 210 of the National Electrical Code allows this.

The garbage disposal is just fine as it is don't worry about it.

Refer to Tables 210.21(B)(3) and Table 210.24 of the National Electrical Code for more information. The National Fire Protection Association allows free viewing of the Code on their web site at NFPA.org.

Good luck!


Start from the breaker. You said it's 20A. Then look at the wire. Make sure you have 12 gauge wires (or larger) all the way from the breaker. The breaker protects the wires.

Finally, the receptacles. They can be either 20A or the usual dual 15A receptacles. You can mix and match 15A and 20A.

But your garbage disposal should be on a dedicated, circuit. No GFCI required for that circuit.


In general practice, 20 amp receptacles are only used on a dedicated 20 amp circuit. At a glance the 20 amp receptacles unique configuration tells you it is a dedicated circuit and will supply its full load to that one receptacle.

  • 1
    5-20T receptacles are used on 20A small appliance and general-use circuits on a regular basis, at least IME Jan 28, 2023 at 19:37
  • Every single receptacle in my house is on a 20 A circuit with 12 ga wire - they're all standard 15 A duplex receptacles.
    – Mark
    Jan 28, 2023 at 22:03

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