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In a 23-year-old house I have a 20-amp line to a kitchen GFCI outlet (20A confirmed at the junction box). However, the outlet itself is a 15 amp GFCI (as evidenced by its two vertical plug-ins, no extra horizontal). The same line continues to two additional outlets in the kitchen which are also 15-amp configuration (no additional horizontal plug-ins). I now have a 20-amp espresso machine with dual boilers so want to replace the GFCI outlet to a 20-amp (with extra horizontal plug-in). With the two additional outlets on that line used for things like a large KitchenAid blender and toaster, is it okay to make that change to a 20-amp GFCI for use of a true 20-amp appliance? Any complications I should anticipate?

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  • If making toast and espresso at the same time trips the breaker, then you know it's not OK to run them at the same time on one circuit! Move the toaster to a different circuit or just be sure not to use them at the same time. (I would expect that you're not making coffee and using the blender at the same time, but maybe you're making espresso smoothies, I don't know... Same rules apply, though.)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 15:28

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If you've actually confirmed that this is a 20A circuit (at the panel, not just the junction box based on the color of the cable), you should be able to use either 15A or 20A receptacles on there. So yes, I would replace one of those outlets with a 20A for the espresso machine.

The only other thing I'd consider is how much power your espresso machine draws, and whether that + your other appliances would overload your kitchen circuit. Though if you're not typically using all at the same time it'll probably be fine. Personally, I ran a dedicated 20A circuit for my dual-boiler espresso machine while doing some recent renovations just to avoid this possibility.

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    Can't tell by color. Or rather, just because it is not yellow doesn't mean it isn't 12 AWG. That apparently started in 2001 diy.stackexchange.com/questions/204883/… and old stock could have been around for years after that. Plus if wires are in conduit then there is no cable jacket color at all. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 3:26
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    Agreed, that's why I said you gotta check at the panel and not just at the junction box by color :) my 1993 home has a bunch of white 12/2 and 12/3 as well
    – peter
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 3:29
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    Just to be clear, "checking" means determining the wire gauge, not the breaker rating. Your whole wiring run needs to be at least 12ga if you want to use 20A loads.
    – Armand
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 4:39
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    LOL @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact. I knew I asked that question and just went to look it up to link it here!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 15:26
  • @Armand wire gauge choice should be done by whoever's adding that circuit with a 20A breaker (or changing breaker size). When replacing a receptacle I don't check all in-wall wiring for it to ensure it's 12 gauge.
    – peter
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 15:59

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