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Old 07-18-2022, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default Electrical Outlet replacement ?

I need to replace an electrical outlet in my kitchen. Going to take the one to replace with me down to Box store and purchase same.
Since this is a kitchen outlet handling appliances, I suspect it would be a 20amp
outlet.

My question to Forum.... how do you differentiate and know between a 15amp or 20amp outlet ?
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:19 PM   #2
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A 20 amp outlet will have a ''T'' in the upper left position.
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
I need to replace an electrical outlet in my kitchen. Going to take the one to replace with me down to Box store and purchase same.
Since this is a kitchen outlet handling appliances, I suspect it would be a 20amp
outlet.

My question to Forum.... how do you differentiate and know between a 15amp or 20amp outlet ?
I would be surprised to see you have a 20 AMP in the kitchen. Possible, but no common.
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:30 PM   #4
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I would be surprised to see you have a 20 AMP in the kitchen. Possible, but no common.
Kitchens and bathrooms 20 amp
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lakeboater View Post
Kitchens and bathrooms 20 amp
Not in my houses in the past, only newer construction,,,

I may well be mistaken, but assumed that if it needs replacing it must be older as a new outlet should not need replacing for many years.
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:55 PM   #6
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Come to think of it, I dont know if I have every had a kitchen or bathroom appliance that used a 20 AMP plug,,,

I'm trying to recall what common item would have such???

I dont even think my air compressor has a 20 AMP plug.

Must be some reason for it,,,
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:55 PM   #7
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Kitchens are required to have two 20 amp circuits on GFCI.

The outlets tended to be 15 amp while the wire was 12 gauge connected to a 20 amp outlet.

Some electricians just went 20-12-20... because they did.
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:57 PM   #8
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All of our kitchen counter outlets are 20A with the upper left T. The wire is heavier 12 gauge vs 14 used on 15A outlets.

Alan
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Old 07-18-2022, 02:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mercier View Post
Kitchens are required to have two 20 amp circuits on GFCI.

The outlets tended to be 15 amp while the wire was 12 gauge connected to a 20 amp outlet.

Some electricians just went 20-12-20... because they did.
I assume you are talking about new new construction.
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Old 07-18-2022, 02:34 PM   #10
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It has been code in NH for over 20 years.
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Old 07-18-2022, 02:44 PM   #11
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It has been code in NH for over 20 years.
I assume there is no requirement to retrofit older homes, unless you are doing some major upgrade.
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Old 07-18-2022, 03:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
My question to Forum.... how do you differentiate and know between a 15amp or 20amp outlet ?
You may need to get out the glasses or magnifier, but there is usually a stamped legend/text somewhere on the outlet that tells you if it's 15 or 20.
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Old 07-18-2022, 03:52 PM   #13
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Default NH codes

All NH towns vary. Depends on what codes they adopt. I manage residential building projects throughout the states. It is unbelievable that towns don't adopt the latest codes. Some are a decade old!

So electrical can be different. For years 15 amps were normal throughout the home. In the past 2 decades kitchen, bathrooms, garage, and exterior outlets are 20 amps GFCI. So you need to see if your wires are 12 or 14 gauge. If 12 then accept 20 amps. Bathrooms and kitchen near sinks must be GFCI. Exterior and Garage outlets must also be GFCI. You can't go by the outlets. The previous homeowner may have replaced the outlet with the wrong one.

You can always use an amperage meter. I always check the polarity. You could fry sensitive electrical appliances.
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Old 07-18-2022, 03:57 PM   #14
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It is a state level code.
A municipality can be more, but not less.

It would only be for upgrades as grandfather clause does cover.
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Old 07-18-2022, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mercier View Post
A 20 amp outlet will have a ''T'' in the upper left position.
John, I checked the plug and it has 'no' T', in the upper left position.

Some background I should have said in the beginning....
House was built in 2006. Reason for replacing is when I plug anything into outlet and try to take out, it seems stuck and very difficult to unplug.

All said, I believe the outlet is 15amp, but will take original with me to Lowes.
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Old 07-18-2022, 04:39 PM   #16
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https://www.lowes.com/pd/Eaton-Light...let/1001463020

This is what a 15 amp tamper proof looks like.
It can be very hard to plug into or remove something from it because of the extra friction caused by the tamper proof spring-loaded shutter.

Unless you need the tamper proofing... ask the associate to point out a 15 amp standard grade or commercial grade outlet without the tamper proofing.
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Old 07-18-2022, 05:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
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A 20 amp outlet will have a ''T'' in the upper left position.
20 amp receptacle.
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Old 07-18-2022, 07:23 PM   #18
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If you have 14g wire then donít use a 20a outlet. Is there a 20a breaker on the circuit AND 12g wire? Then use a 20a outlet.
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Old 07-18-2022, 08:43 PM   #19
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20 amp receptacle.
Dual outlet.
Each has a ''T'' in the upper left. The bottom is a ground.
You can also purchase a single outlet.
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Old 07-18-2022, 08:51 PM   #20
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If you have 14g wire then donít use a 20a outlet. Is there a 20a breaker on the circuit AND 12g wire? Then use a 20a outlet.
A 20 on a 14 would cause the 15 breaker to trip when more than 15 is drawn.
A 20 breaker attached to a 14 is code violation.
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Old 07-19-2022, 07:15 AM   #21
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Nice thing with that 20amp/gfci at the kitchen counter, near the sink, is you's can be running the toaster, the keurig, and a small 10" table saw, all at the same time!

And that 10" carbide finish blade makes it happen for slicing through that frozen dark pumpernickle Russian loaf of non-sliced bread! ..... .... Is how they do it in Odesa, Ukraine!

So, how the heck did people in New Hampshire manage to live without a 20-amp/gfci in their kitchen ....

And, you can always run an extension cord out to the lake to power up your boat lift motor for lowering and raising your 4000-lb, 22' boat! .... ..... and swim there, at the boat lift, in complete safety, knowing it is gfci protected! ....
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Old 07-19-2022, 08:12 AM   #22
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Seems to me that the ONLY difference is that a 20A plug will accept a special 20A plug. I don't see kitchen appliances with any special plug requiring a 20A outlet. As others have said, if you really want to put in the 20A outlet, make sure the wiring is #12....not #14. Simple to check out by going to breaker panel and seeing what size breaker is on the kitchen circuit. In my opinion, the 20A is overkill and not needed. Any outlet...even without the "t" slot, can handle 20A.

If the outlet is near water, make sure you get a GFI outlet. In my kitchen, every outlet has a GFI.....overkill but safer.
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Old 07-19-2022, 08:23 AM   #23
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As far as regulations are concerned everything has to be overkill! No wonder it cost a fortune to build in the US!

As we go green with appliances 20 amps or even 15 amps will no longer be needed.
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Old 07-19-2022, 08:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
Nice thing with that 20amp/gfci at the kitchen counter, near the sink, is you's can be running the toaster, the keurig, and a small 10" table saw, all at the same time!

And that 10" carbide finish blade makes it happen for slicing through that frozen dark pumpernickle Russian loaf of non-sliced bread! ..... .... Is how they do it in Odesa, Ukraine!

So, how the heck did people in New Hampshire manage to live without a 20-amp/gfci in their kitchen ....

And, you can always run an extension cord out to the lake to power up your boat lift motor for lowering and raising your 4000-lb, 22' boat! .... ..... and swim there, at the boat lift, in complete safety, knowing it is gfci protected! ....
Still trying to think of a normal/common portable kitchen appliance that would pull 20 AMPs or even have a 20 AMP plug,,, Still coming up empty.

As for the GFCI and safety receptacles/outlets, personally they are nothing but a new age waste of money. Never used one of the new safety outlets that worked properly, and GFCI is far too sensitive, the damn things pop constantly. Not progress not better, just typical over engineered namby-pamby hand holding for the bubble wrap society we have created. Drive everyones costs up and give then nothing but headaches for their good deeds of conforming.

I think if you lived and long and full life and died before the year 2000, you lived a better existence and enjoyed it far more. This Amazon/Google/extreme coddling world is going to be our undoing,,,

Clearly I am totally off track, in need of more caffeine, and should stop typing!

Hope the repair goes well, love to see any home owner who can tackle basic stuff like this without having to spend $200. Absolutely call in a pro when needed and dont bother them when you can fix it with a screwdriver in 5 minutes and no real technical knowledge or skill is needed.

ATB
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Old 07-19-2022, 08:29 AM   #25
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The code is not a lot more expensive to follow...
And you shouldn't run GFCI in sequence... they will counter act each other.
Only the first outlet on the circuit within the wet zone will need the GFCI.
If you have every outlet GFCI, someone pigtailed them and wasted money.
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Old 07-19-2022, 09:06 AM   #26
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Default 70's electrical code

They were pretty wild. You can run the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, and exterior outlet to one GFCI and one 20 amps outlet. I've encountered a number of them! I had countless calls of homeowners that says the 20 amp breaker is ok and no juice. I know of one condo complex in Lakes Region where the GFCI is outside on the sundeck outlets! Can't imagine in the middle of the winter in below zero temperature having to trip the GFCI just to use your electric shaver!
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Old 07-19-2022, 11:37 AM   #27
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No practical kitchen appliance is going to draw more than 15 amps.
Assuming you have a 20 amp circuit, it is serving multiple outlets, and a typical use case would have multiple items powered up simultaneously at least some of the time. Thus the need for a single duplex outlet to support 20amps of actual current draw is pretty much zero.

Your existing outlet will have a rating on it, replace it with the same rating, which is almost guaranteed to be 15A and perfectly fine.

IMO, if you actually wanted a bona-fide 20A outlet, you'd want to have a dedicated circuit for it.
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Old 07-19-2022, 11:48 AM   #28
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If it was a 20 amp... probably put in by a home owner.

They may have wanted to upgrade the outlet... but instead of going to a commercial grade thought the 20 was better than the 15. The commercial grade outlet being what they wanted.
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