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20 Amp Plug 15 Amp Receptacle

Outlets and Plugs

15 Amp Receptacle

Ground

terminal color: dark green

120 V

Terminal color brass

Neutral

terminal color silver

Removable tabs

15 Amp Three Prong Plug

15 Amp Three Prong Plug

15 Amp Two Prong Plug

120 V

Neutral

Ground

120 V

15 Amp Two Prong Plug

Horizontal slot for rotated neutral pin to accommodate a 20 amp plug.

20 Amp Receptacle

120 V

Ground

20 Amp Plug

20 amp plugs are sometimes used with shop equipment, window air conditioners, etc. A 20 amp plug can not be plugged into a 15 amp receptacle.

240 Volt Receptacles

240 Volt Receptacles

240 volt receptacles are used for electric dryers and ranges. They are wired with A & B phase 120 volts to get 240 volts. This receptacle utilizes a neutral and ground connection.

Tamper Resistant Receptacles

2011 NEC requires receptacles installed in dwellings to be tamper resistant with a few exceptions. These receptacles are designed to prevent children from inserting foreign objects into them. Both the 120 V and neutral prongs from a plug are needed to allow insertion.

Decora Style Receptacles

Decora style is a decorative version of the standard duplex receptacle. Decora style is about 3 ½ times more expensive than standard receptacles. Some homeowners have had switches and receptacles replaced in their home with Decora style as a form of remodeling.

Decora receptacle

Receptacles

A receptacle is a device that supplies power to an electrical load through a cord and plug. Common household 120 volt receptacles are rated for 15 and 20 amps. 15 and 20 amp plugs will fit into a 20 amp receptacle. 20 amp plugs will not fit into a 15 amp receptacle. The most common receptacle is a duplex which actually contains 2 receptacles.

Receptacle Orientation

Conventional receptacle orientation is with the ground pin at the bottom. Many electricians feel the orientation should be with ground at the top. This orientation would reduce the chance of metal (bracelet or necklace) contacting the 120 V and neutral when plugging or unplugging a cord.

Wires connect to terminal screws

Screws on each side are connected together by a metal tab that can be removed to isolate the screws.

Neutral (oversize pin)

Neutral (rotated pin)

Outlet vs Receptacle

Electrical outlet is a very common name for a receptacle. Many home improvement stores use the term “electrical outlet” when referring to a receptacle. Outlets are the points at which the electrical system are accessed (receptacle outlet or lighting outlet). A lighting outlet is an electrical box where a light fixture is mounted and gets power. A receptacle outlet is an electrical box where a receptacle is mounted and gets power.

Electrical Plugs

Single Receptacle

Duplex Receptacle

Single Receptacle

20 Amp Receptacle Duplex Receptacle

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Outlets and Plugs

Outlet Wiring

Dedicated Circuit Wiring

Split Receptacles

Split Receptacle Wiring

Travel Plug Adapters

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

GFCI Load Wiring

GFCI Wiring Configurations

GFCI Location Form

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

Replace an Electrical Outlet