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I have a small electric pottery kiln with NEMA 5-20 plug that uses and requires 120volts, 16amps, 1920 watts, and 20amp breaker to use in my apartment. I checked the breaker box in my apartment, and It says that 2 breaker switches for a kitchen and another room are 20amps and the rest are 15amps. The receptacles (outlets) in the whole apartment including the kitchen are NEMA 5-15 plug receptacles. I am hoping to use the kiln in the kitchen by plugging in only kiln plug into an outlet while baking ceramics for several hours. The 20amp circuit in the kitchen are on 5 receptacles. My question is that What changes do I need to make on receptacles to use this kiln safely. I thought about buying a Plug Adapter 15 Amp Household Plug to 20 Amp T-Blade Female Outlet Adapter (NEMA 5-15P to 5-15/20R) from the Homedepot but It seems that the adaptor can hold only up to 1875watts (max wattage) and can not hold 1920watts for ceramic baking. Then, I am thing about replacing one of the kitchen outlet socket with a NEMA 5-20R duplex socket after finding this web page. https://www.quora.com/Where-can-I-find-a-plug-adaptor-for-the-following-image-inside I am not even sure that if this works safely either.

I have never done electrical things and I am a little worried about messing up electrical stuff myself and very concerned about fire hazard. I also do not want to spend money hiring electricians if I don’t need to. What is the best solution for me to be able use this electric kiln in my apartment safely? Please assist me with your knowledge guys !!

Thank you

  • Can you post a photo of your apartment's electrical panel? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 9 '18 at 18:50
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Using an "adapter" is out of the question.

  1. Get an outlet tester and make sure all the receptacles work. If any receptacles don't work, make an effort to repair them, or positvely determine they are not part of a 20A circuit.

  2. Turn off all 20A breakers.

  3. Go back around and find which receptacles have lost power just now. Mark them "20???".

  4. Inspect every single one of them to assure that all the wires are #12, not #14 size. #14 will cheerfully fit in a "backstab" hole of a receptacle labled "#14 wire only". #12 will fit very tightly or not at all. If you can get a specimen of each, you can just hold them up to compare.

  5. If all the wires on all the "20???" outlets is #12 wire, feel free to change any of them to NEMA 5-20 receptacles. Remember to check for any broken tabs on the old receptacle.

Feel free to limit this exercise to just one breaker if you know the other won't have plugs where you need them.

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The wiring should be 12 awg in the kitchen, I would get a 20 amp receptacle or even better if not already GFCI protected a 20 amp gfci outlet and replace an existing outlet. Those cord adapters are not safe because although the outlets are rated for 20 amp feed through the outlet is only 15 amp.

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