Duplex Outlet

A duplex outlet provides space for two electrical receptacles, leaving you room to plug in two devices. A duplex outlet is one of the most common outlets found in homes and businesses, and its design will protect you from electrical shock hazards. Whether you’re in search of a 30A, 125-Volt outlet for your washing machine or a 50A, 250-Volt outlet for your electric dryer, you are sure to find the right outlet for you at HomElectrical!

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What is the difference between a 15-amp and 20-amp receptacle? 

Most homes are wired with both 15-amp and 20-amp receptacles. 15-amp outlets have a u-shaped grounding hole and two slots. 20-amp receptacles have a horizontal slot that branches off from the vertical slots. 20-amp outlets work with appliances, such as microwaves, and must operate on a 20-amp circuit.

How do I install a duplex outlet? 

  1. Turn off all power to the outlet from the circuit breaker.
  2. Unscrew and remove the wall plate.
  3. Unscrew and remove the electrical box from the wall with wires still attached.
  4. Remove the wires.
  5. Carefully check the old receptacle and make sure the break-off tab connecting the two terminals on each side is broken off. If it is, remove the tabs from the outlet using a pair of long-nose pliers.
  6. Attach the wires to the terminals of the new electrical receptacle.
  7. Push the new outlet back into the box and screw into place.
  8. Screw the wall plate and turn the power back on.

What kind of wiring is required for duplex receptacles? 

Some duplex outlets allow for back wiring instead of side wiring because it is generally a much simpler process. However, back wiring is not as secure as a side wiring connection. We recommend installing a duplex receptacle with both type of connectors.

What are the ADA requirements for outlets in a bathroom?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that unobscured outlets must measure between 15 inches and 48 inches from the floor.

What is a duplex outlet?

A duplex outlet, also referred to as a duplex receptacle, is a standard wall outlet that has two spaces to plug in devices. Duplex receptacles are some of the most common outlets found in homes and businesses. Browse HomElectrical’s selection to see the many kinds of electrical outlets we offer!

How many duplex outlets can be on a 20-amp circuit?

Generally, you should have no more than 10 duplex receptacles on a 20-amp circuit. Technically, you can run however many outlets you want on any kind of circuit, but the National Electric Code (NEC) advises against this. Overloaded circuits can be hazardous; excess wires and electricity run risks of electrical fires. Instead, the NEC suggests using 80% or less of your circuit’s power to be safe. In other words, 1 receptacle per 1.5 amps, which for a 20-amp would be 10 outlets.

How many duplex outlets can be on a 15-amp circuit?

According to the National Electric Code’s 80% rule (1 receptacle per 1.5 amps), the safest amount of outlets to use on a 15-amp circuit is 8.

How many watts can a duplex outlet handle?

The rule of thumb to determine how much power your outlet can handle is by multiplying the receptacle’s amps by the voltage of your circuit. Typical households run on a 120-volt circuit, so that means that a 15-amp receptacle can handle 1800 watts, and a 20-amp receptacle can handle 2400 watts. But just because your outlets can handle it, does not mean you should regularly max out wattage. Most duplex outlets are rated at 15A, meaning they can safely and comfortably accommodate up to 1500 watts, so sticking to that maximum per receptacle is good practice to prevent going over capacity.

Can you split a duplex outlet?

Yes, you can split a duplex outlet. Most duplex receptacles are made to be able to operate separately. If you have two separate circuits, splitting a receptacle between them allows you to draw twice as much power, and can be a much safer way to plug two high-power appliances into the same outlet without exceeding watt maximums.

Can a 15-amp outlet be used on a 20-amp circuit and vice versa?

You can put a 15-amp outlet on a 20-amp circuit, but not the other way around. Your receptacle’s power should never exceed that of the circuit it is drawing from. If possible, it is best to keep your outlets, circuits, and breakers all the same amperage to minimize any electrical surges or hazards.

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