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Is it possible to split-feed a 20 Amp receptacle with one receptacle using 15amp and the other 20amp circuits?

  • Your question is a little unclear. We need more details and need to understand the problem you are solving. – JPhi1618 Jul 16 at 20:45
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    Smells like an XY-problem. What are you really trying to solve here? – brhans Jul 16 at 21:34
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    Why are you trying to do this? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 16 at 22:36
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I'll be darned. You can do it.

The crux of the issue is supplying a 20A NEMA 5-20 receptacle (T-shaped neutral) on a 15A breaker.

Since you will only have one socket on the entire circuit, this applies.

210.21(B)(1) Single Receptacle on an Individual Branch Circuit. A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch circuit.

So a solitary socket on a 15A circuit must be at least 15A.

What if the circuit had more than one socket?

However, if this 20A circuit supplied other receptacles, then you wouldn't have a solitary outlet. Table 210.21(B)(3) would apply, and 15A receptacles would be allowed on a 20A circuit -- but 20A receptacles would not be allowed on a 15A circuit.

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How do you breaker this thing?

Because you have a single yoke with two separate circuits on it, the circuits must have common maintenance shutoff. Having two breakers with different values can be accomplished by using individual 1-pole breakers and identified (listed) handle ties.

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No, you can't feed a split receptacle from circuits with differently-sized breakers. Here's why:

You can, but you have to meet certain conditions:

The National Electrical Code now requires that the two hot wires in a split receptacle must be connected to a double-pole circuit breaker, so that when the breaker is shut off, the action will automatically disconnect both receptacles. That way, the outlet will be safe to work on.

source: The Spruce

To my knowledge, handle-tied double breakers with different current ratings don't exist. However, as ThreePhaseEeel points out, you may be able to find UL listed handle-ties for your breaker brand. This would require that they be mounted adjacent. Or you could reduce the 20A circuit to 15 Amps and use the same wire.

  • You could use a 15A and a 20A single pole with a handle tie connecting the two... – ThreePhaseEel Jul 16 at 22:36
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Isherwood raises the most relevant point I think, but another issue is that you would only be able to use an outlet (with the tabs removed) with maximum 15A rating. This pretty much negates any advantage of having a 20A circuit (presumably with 12G wire run) anyway.

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