I have a NEMA 10-50 receptacle wired properly. I have a device with a NEMA 6-15 plug.

I think that I cannot chain a new NEMA 6-15 outlet from the existing 50amp service.

Is a plug adapter the appropriate choice here?

  • Is this 10-50 wired back to the main panel, or to a subpanel? Is pulling a new homerun for a 6-15 receptacle an option? Is there a ground at this 10-50? (Can you post photos of the inside of the receptacle's box for that matter?) – ThreePhaseEel Jul 10 '18 at 11:39
  • Are you using the NEMA 10-50 receptacle for anything today? Is its neutral wire white or bare? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 10 '18 at 12:57

I was just looking into a related question and am on the NEC Article that does not allow you to chain a lower rated amperage receptacle from a higher rated one. NEC Table 210.21(B)(3) and its corresponding Article. States that if you have a 50A circuit then the device must also be rated 50A. In theory from a Code standpoint you could install a NEMA 6-15 on your circuit if you could find one that was rated to withstand 50A.

Good luck with that one.

  • If one didn't need a 50A receptacle, could one install a box with a couple of 20A breakers and a couple of 20A receptacles? I've sometimes seen individual breakers in what looks (at least from the outside) like a fairly normal junction box, though I don't know if there are any special rules applicable to such things. – supercat Jul 10 '18 at 23:10
  • @supercat - You always have the right to change a 50A circuit into a 20A or 15A circuit, but that is different from chaining(?) or tapping a 50A circuit and adding a 20A or 15A receptacle. So it depends upon what the person has in mind and how it matches up to the NEC. – Retired Master Electrician Jul 11 '18 at 13:19
  • A 15A or 20A-style receptacle requires something to interrupt a sustained current in substantial excess of 15A or 20A, respectively and could not be fed directly from a 50A breaker. My question was about whether one would be possible to place circuit breakers near the receptacles near the outlets, and have those breakers fed from a 50A circuit. If one could have outlets and breakers adjacent in the same box, so an attempt to use an adjacent microwave and toaster would just pop the breaker near the receptacle rather than one in the basement, would seem convenient. – supercat Jul 11 '18 at 14:48
  • @supercat - First I thought this question was asked by Matthew. Now the question has changed to a different dynamic from the original question, which requires other code reviews before it can be answered. So why don't you propose this as a separate question on this site, and we can get it out to everyone. I think you are trying to sneak in the fact that you are going to try and use the 50A breaker for a range or something and tap it for a microwave or other appliance, and this is not allowed by another Article of the NEC. – Retired Master Electrician Jul 11 '18 at 15:49
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    You will not be able to terminate the conductors used for a 50A circuit onto a device rated for 15 or 20A at either end anyway, so it's a moot point. The only thing you COULD do is to add a "sub panel" fed by the 50A breaker and conductors, then put 15 or 20A feeder breakers inside of that sub panel for your 6-15 outlets. That's however a lot of trouble for a simple circuit requirement like that. I would just pull new wires. – JRaef Jul 12 '18 at 2:00

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