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20A Circuit Brkrs VS 15A

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  • 20A Circuit Brkrs VS 15A

    I had a 20A transient voltage surge suppressor receptacle installed for a plasma TV. The handyman that installed it, said that the 15A circuit brkr needed to be replaced w/ a 20A, which he did. Another person said that the original 15A circuit brkr would be OK. The salesman @ Lowe's said I would have to upgrade the wiring from 14/2 to 12/2 if I replaced the 15A circuit brkr w/ a 20A.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    The salesman was actually correct. That seems to be a first. The purpose of the breaker is to protect the wire. The breaker will trip before the wire melts. A 15A breaker will protect #14 wire, a 20A breaker will protect #12 wire. Installing a 20A breaker on #14 wire is both unsafe and a violation of building code. Clearly the guy who did it is ignorant of the laws and safe practices of electricity. I would not have him back.

    Most places require a licensed electrician to do this type of work, I doubt that the guy who did this is.

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    • #3
      Thom,

      Thanks for the info.

      If I reinstall the 15A circuit breaker, is it OK to still use the 20A surge supressor receptacle or do I now need to buy a 15A surge supressor receptacle?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RoseRx
        If I reinstall the 15A circuit breaker, is it OK to still use the 20A surge supressor receptacle or do I now need to buy a 15A surge suppressor receptacle?
        You will only need to change the breaker. You are fine using the 20 amp "surge suppressor".
        "Diplomacy is saying nice dodging until you can find a rock." Will Rogers
        "If a Monkey can do your job, are you in the right profession?

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        • #5
          PolarSparky,

          That is what I thought about the 20A S/S receptacle, but some say both receptacle & breaker have to be 15A.

          Thanks!

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          • #6
            Bigger is fine on anything downstream of the breaker. A 20 A plug is capable of handling 20A but in this case the max it will see is 15A. You can also use a 15A breaker on 12/2 wire. Electricity flow can be compared to water flow. If you force 20 gal/min (20A breaker) into a pipe that is only large enough to pass 15 gal/min (14/2 wire) the pipe will burst, Conversely a pipe large enough to pass 20 Gal/min (12/2 wire) is quite happy to pass 15 gal/min

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