My outlet has the horizontal line, so should be 20Amp, no ? Still the breaker that controls it (the one written Fridge/Oven on it) is 15 Amp. Am I missing something ? Did they install the wrong outlet ?

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  • Note looking at the panel I only see 1ea 20 amp small appliance branch circuit (kitchen) it states GFCI, so my guess in the answer is likely and it’s ok the 20 amp receptacle. How old is the home? When was the wiring updated? I am guessing at a DIY update because only 1 kitchen circuit.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 25, 2021 at 3:46
  • Building was built in 1929. Apartment had new owner in 2008 and 2021.
    – Lou
    Jul 25, 2021 at 7:35

1 Answer 1


You are correct that is a 20 amp GFCI receptacle but the breaker may not be for that fridge.

Residential requires 2 20 amp small appliance branch circuits this has been code for many decades.

Prior to GFCI requirements for the kitchen counter top circuits called small appliance branch circuits it was common to power the fridge from this circuit.

It became a common thing to put a GFCI receptacle at the first receptacle to provide GFCI protection for that branch circuit.

It is possible the “fridge” 15 amp breaker is for another device.

If the 15 amp breaker actually controls that receptacle a correction needs to be made a 15 amp receptacle to match the breaker.

(You can have 2 or more 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp breaker but not a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp breaker).

It may be possible the wiring is 12 awg, if 12awg wire it may be cheaper to replace the 15 amp breaker with a 20amp.

  • Ok. Thanks for confirming. The 15 amp breaker really controls that receptacle. I checked a few times to make sure the mistake was not mine. I'll check the wire awg. I still have hope I can plug my oven ...
    – Lou
    Jul 25, 2021 at 7:40
  • Oven igniters and clocks are really small loads a fridge and oven on a 15 amp with the fridge would not bother me compared to some. With a home this old there is a possibility of aluminum wire make sure of the type of wire for example a #12 aluminum a 15 amp breaker is the max if 10 awg aluminum the breaker can be upsized to 20 amp I figured I should mention the aluminum because I have run into aluminum several times on flips with older homes aluminum takes special splicing devices called alumiconns usually purple in color and switches/ receptacles rated for aluminum (CO/ALR) most devices are.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 25, 2021 at 15:00
  • OK, got it. I added pictures of the breaker box inside. I can't know the gauge of the wire for sure, but the lower the amperage, the smaller the wire should be (diameter-wise). It would seem that's not the case here. On the left side from instance, you have from bottom to top : 2 big wires connected to 30A, 2 small wires connected to 20A and 3 big wires connected to 2 15A and 1 20A. It should have been: 2 big, 2 medium, 2 small and 1 medium, no ? On the right, it looks like an even bigger mess...
    – Lou
    Jul 25, 2021 at 21:22
  • Compare the larger on the 20 to the smaller on the 15’s it looks like copper but I would have to see the wires to tell for sure. The thing I noticed was several whites under 1 screw that is a code violation. You usually can have 2-3 greens under 1 screw if the panel rating allows it but only 1 white . It also looks like the neutral buss is bonded the silver lug , code changed back in 99 and today or after 99 that would be a violation. Easy to fix since the grounds are separated.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 26, 2021 at 19:23

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