I recently got a circuit added to my spare room to grow some tomatos, the lighting I am going to be using is 8amp on each plug, I noticed the electrician didnt install a 20A rated receptacle with the side blade but installed a 15amp instead. I am wondering if this is safe, it is the only receptacle on the line. Pretty simple fix to swap it out if need be enter image description here

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    Yes, this is safe and legal. Someone else will probably chime in with the code section that allows this, but basically, all duplex outlets are rated for 20A (up to 15A through each half) even without the sideways blade. The sideways blade just means you can take the full 20A from either half.
    – Nate S.
    Apr 3 '19 at 16:51
  • thank you Nate I do appreciate your fast and informational reply, I feel much better about the situation. Now just to help me understand better would it be OK to do 15A on one plug and 5A on the other plug? Secondly, I am assuming if I have a power strip and put 20A on one plug that is definitely a no no. Just trying to solidify my understand and knowlege, again thank you very much for your time! Apr 3 '19 at 19:02
  • @StevenStreich, yep that's all correct.
    – Nate S.
    Apr 3 '19 at 19:49

That is fine. If there was only a single receptacle then it would have to match the 20A circuit. With a duplex, 15A is fine on 20A circuit. It matches your usage perfectly as each receptacle will use less than 15a and together more than 15 but less than 20.


Yes, that is fine.

Normally, the rule is that the socket size must match the breaker size. However there are two exceptions:

  • 15A receptacles are allowed on 20A circuits, as long as there are at least 2 sockets on the circuit. This is supported by a UL rule that requires the internal wiring of all 15A sockets certify for 20A passthru.
  • 50A receptacles are allowed on 40A circuits because nobody makes a 40A receptacle.

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