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Outlets on 12-2 Electrical Wiring


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Select the Correct Electrical Outlets for the Circuit Wiring – This should not be a problem as it is common for a standard 15 amp outlet to be installed on a 20 amp circuit, in fact some outlets have a 20 amp feed through capacity


Amp Ratings of Electrical Outlets

My house was built in 1960. The light fixtures are all run on 14-2 wire. The outlets are all run on 12-2 wire.

  • The outlets are rated 15amp. Is this a concern.
  • Should the outlets be rated 20amps to go with the 12-2 wire?

This electrical wiring question came from: Jim, a Handyman from Upland, CA

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jim.

How to Select the Correct Electrical Outlets for the Circuit Wiring

  • This should not be a problem as it is common for a standard 15 amp outlet to be installed on a  20 amp circuit, in fact some outlets have a 20 amp feed through capacity, and you may want to check for this.
  • A 15 amp outlet may be installed on a 20 amp circuit, but a 20 amp outlet may not be installed on a 15 amp circuit.
  • The areas I would not advise the standard outlet is where there will be a lot of use such as a kitchen or workshop.
  • These areas should have 2o amp rated outlets where there is #12 AWG wiring.

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Outlets on 12-2 Electrical Wiring


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