##### Asked by: Mammie Steinlehner

asked in category: General Last Updated: 22nd March, 2020# When would you use a 20a outlet?

**are**provided on their power cords as well. The NEC requires that a

**20A receptacle**is installed on a

**20A**branch circuit when there is only one

**receptacle**connected

**to**that circuit.

Similarly, you may ask, what is a 20 amp outlet used for?

You can **use** a device that has a 15-**amp** plug with either a 15- or **20**-**amp receptacle**. Standard 15-**amp** receptacles are suitable for typical household appliances, lamps and other accessories. A **20**-**amp receptacle** is for heavy-duty appliances and power tools, such as air compressors.

Additionally, can I replace a 15 amp outlet with a 20 amp outlet? A **20 Amp** breaker does not adequately protect a **15 Amp outlet**. The breaker is supposed to pop instead of, or before the house burns down. Even in the very unlikely event that you have **20 Amp** wiring, the appliances plugged into the **15 Amp outlet** need to be protected with **15 Amp** breakers.

Thereof, do I need 15 or 20 amp outlets?

Electrical plugs designated as **20**-**amp will** not fit into **15**-**amp outlets**. A **15**-**amp** circuit is usually served by 14-gauge wire and is protected by a **15**-**amp** circuit breaker or fuse. A **20**-**amp** circuit, protected by a **20**-**amp** breaker or fuse, must be served by 12-gauge or 10-gauge wire.

What happens when you put a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp circuit?

If your question is “can **I** connect a **receptacle** rated for **20 amps** to a **circuit** designed for **15 amps**?”, the answer is yes, because the **receptacle** can handle more current than the **circuit** is rated for. If **you** exceed **15 amps**, the **breaker** will blow, and protect the **receptacle**. The inverse is not true.