15 amp sockets and code?

Yesterday I got a call from someone asking about how to wire up some sockets and lights in a basment remodel. The specific question was about the breaker size since
the box the outlet came in specified a 15A breaker. I asked what guage wire he was running and since it was 14ga told him to use 15A breakers.
Now the question. Has the code changed in recent years to disallow 15A (NEMA 5-15) outlets on 20A circuits, assuming of course the circuit uses 12ga wire? I know there used to be specific exemption for 15A rated outlets on 20A wiring. Have they taken that away, or was warning on the box some legal CYA? Just curious.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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snipped-for-privacy@vt.edu wrote:

I always use 20A circuits and #12 wire for receptacles, it's been standard practice for decades. The 15A rating is for each individual section of a duplex receptacle, no appliance with that plug will draw more than 15A.
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Well, that's my standard practice as well. The question was about the warning/instruction on the outlet packaging that specified use of a 15A breaker. First I'd ever heard of such a warning.
I told the guy I would normally use 12ga wire, but he already had 14ga and as far as I know it's not illegal to use, just not what I would do.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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snipped-for-privacy@vt.edu wrote:

Maybe they're super cheap receptacles? Amazes me whenever I see someone installing the 79 cent things when $1.60 or so will get one so much better made that doesn't wear out in a few years.
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On Wed, 11 Jun 2008 17:53:17 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@vt.edu wrote:

There still is. The only time you need a 20a receptacle is if there is only one on the circuit.
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On Wed, 11 Jun 2008 17:53:17 +0000 (UTC) snipped-for-privacy@vt.edu wrote:
| Yesterday I got a call from someone asking about how to | wire up some sockets and lights in a basment remodel. | The specific question was about the breaker size since | the box the outlet came in specified a 15A breaker. | I asked what guage wire he was running and since it was | 14ga told him to use 15A breakers. | | Now the question. Has the code changed in recent years | to disallow 15A (NEMA 5-15) outlets on 20A circuits, assuming | of course the circuit uses 12ga wire? I know there used | to be specific exemption for 15A rated outlets on 20A wiring. | Have they taken that away, or was warning on the box some | legal CYA? Just curious.
It could be CYA. Or it just could be a simple error by the writer of those instructions.
The code has not changed with respect to the outlets. You can use 15A style outlets on a circuit protected with a 20A breaker so long as there is at least 2 such outlets on that circuit. The biggest question is the size of wire. If it is #14 CU then it needs to be protected at the 15A level and then no 20A style outlets are allowed.
If the wire is #14 CU then the breaker must be 15A and the outlet or outlets must be 15A.
If the wire is #12 CU and there is only one outlet, 15A or 20A, the breaker and outlet must be the same rating.
If the wire is #12 CU and there are multiple outlets, a 15A breaker may be used but only with 15A outlets (no 20A outlets).
If the wire is #12 CU and there are multiple outlets, a 20A breaker may be used with any mix of 15A and 20A outlets (including only 15A outlets).
I don't really see a reason having a 20A breaker on a #12 CU circuit with a single 15A outlet is a safety hazard (since the appliance would not use more than 15A and if it did, the wiring is rated for 20A and the breaker woukd trip above that). But the code currently does not allow that.
Apparently, all 15A outlets are capable of handling 20A, at least in the common part. The 20A plug has the same contact surface area as a 15A plug, so I don't see that this is the issue. If UL tests all outlet devices that are of the NEMA 5-15R configuration as if they were of the 5-20R configuration, and they pass, it should be safe.
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

Thanks for the very complete answer, Phil. I have forwarded it on to the guy who was asking me about it, and except for the restriction dealing with a single outlet on a circuit was pretty much what I remembered. I wonder how many 20A breakers are technically in violation on fixed appliance circuits out there? Although, I guess a duplex outlet doesn't count, and I bet most of them are duplex.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net writes:

I've encountered el-cheapo 5-15R duplex outlets (from Home Depot, I believe) that if wired "backstabbed", would only accept #14 gauge, and therefore would only be usable on 15A circuits. It had holes that #12 simply wouldn't fit into. Of course the screws had no such restriction. I have to wonder if such an outlet could be rated as handling 20A from screw to screw. Of course with the recepticle being 5-15R, in theory, nothing plugged into either outlet could draw more than ~12A or so.
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On Thu, 12 Jun 2008 15:56:10 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@world.std.spaamtrap.com (Michael Moroney) wrote:

The U/L listing standard says it must be able to pass through 20a on the screw terminals
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