My energy provider sent me a WiFi A/C system to hook up to my window unit, however, I cannot plug it into my wall because I appear to have a NEMA 6-15 outlet that matches the plug on my A/C unit and based on my attempt at internet research this WiFi thing looks to be a 6-20 plug. Would it be safe to simply get an adaptor so that I can plug this in?

Hopefully the images below work, as I’m not familiar with these things so images can probably speak better than I can!

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  • Can you post a photo of the receptacle on the front of this plug-in-widget your utility sent you? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 3 at 2:30
  • Just added one. – Rebecca Harris Jul 3 at 2:57
  • I take it the receptacle's on a cord-pigtail? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 3 at 3:07
  • I’m sorry, I don’t know what that means (I’m trying!) but I added a photo of the full WiFi widget if that’s what you’re asking. – Rebecca Harris Jul 3 at 3:12

You are correct.

You have two choices, neither pretty.

Rewire the circuit

If you are in a rental unit, this option is not available to you without landlord consent; and then; a licensed electrician must do it.

Since the socket is NEMA 6-15, it is fairly likely the wire and cable behind it are 14 AWG. Open it up and have a look. If you're very lucky and it's actually 12 AWG wire, you can skip to the last step. Otherwise:

You will need to remove that wire/cable from there to the breaker panel and replace it with #12 wire or cable. This won't be so bad if it's in conduit, but if it's cable-in-the-walls, it may be prohibitive.

Once there's #12 wire in the walls, you change the receptacle to NEMA 6-20 and the breaker to 2-pole 20A.

Have them send you a different unit

NEMA 6-15 sockets are quite common for air conditioners. The power company should have gotten more clear on your requirements. I am surprised they made this mistake.

Contact them, say they blew it, and you need one with a 6-15 plug and socket. They should oblige.

Change the plug...?

Noting that the cable is inline on both ends, you could change both the plug and the socket to a NEMA 6-15 type. You can't leave the socket with a 6-20 because this would allow an appliance which requires a 20A circuit on a 15A circuit. Even if it doesn't trip the breaker, it'll run the circuit beyond the design intent. It breaks the whole system of coordination between Code requirements and UL listings that keeps appliances safe.

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    Thank you! This is incredibly helpful. I will contact the power company. Oddly enough - they DID ask me what kind of outlet I have, but before I could respond they went and shipped me this one. Their mistake I suppose. – Rebecca Harris Jul 3 at 2:53
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    It looks like the socket might be on a cord. If so, you could potentially replace both the plug and the socket for 6-15 versions. – Someone Somewhere Jul 3 at 2:59
  • @SomeoneSomewhere see above -- the socket is indeed on a cord – ThreePhaseEel Jul 3 at 3:13
  • @SomeoneSomewhere So. Let’s say I ask the power company for a replacement and they say they don’t have one that fits my situation. Outside of rewriting the circuit (which I can’t do because it’s a rental), how difficult is replacing the plug and socket on the WiFi adapter? – Rebecca Harris Jul 3 at 3:20
  • *rewiring the circuit – Rebecca Harris Jul 3 at 3:26

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