20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?

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danvprod

Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #20 on: 15 Mar 2017, 11:30 pm »
That is a reasonable alternative for sure.

Wayner

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #21 on: 15 Mar 2017, 11:32 pm »
I totally agree.
However if you look at the laws governing outlets in the USA electrical codes..
Installing a 20 amp duplex on a 15 amp circuit is not allowed.
However installing a 15 amp duplex on a 20 amp circuit IS allowed.

These are rules for electricians and electrical contractors.

Some folks think they are laws like US statutes.. (which they are not)

My last post comments are 'sarcasm'.. I think folks can use a 20 amp design outlet duplex in a 15 amp circuit. But I agree a electrician cannot. He might lose his license.

I guess that ignorance is bliss. There are no statute of limitations for electrical wiring. If you alter your home wiring, then do not have it inspected, then something happens (fire or someone's death) and it can be proven in a court of law, you are responsible.

I have been an electrical designer for some time, have passed many NFPA-79e courses (I sure without googling that, you wouldn't have a clue what it is) and have a copy of the NEC in my book case.

jea48

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #22 on: 16 Mar 2017, 12:15 am »
This is what I picked up today at Lowe's:




Take the duplex receptacle back if you still can. That is a cheap, cheap, cheap, line of Hubbell that is meant to compete with the cheap, cheap, cheap, competition that is out there. One bad thing it uses a galvanized steel back strap.

If you don't mind brown here is a NOS original Hubbell HBL8200H Hospital grade compact/slim body duplex receptacle. Contacts are non plated brass. Supporting back strap is also non plated brass. These are no longer made. Too pricey to compete in today's competive market.
http://www.ebay.com/p/Hubbell-HBL-8200H-15a-125v-Brown-Hosp-Grade-Duplex-Receptacle-5-15r/1978791454

Here is a very good heavy duty spec grade Hubbell duplex receptacle
Again non plated brass contacts and a non plated brass back strap.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hubbell-HBL5262GY-15A-125V-Specification-Grade-Duplex-Receptacle-Gray-/232250971870?hash=item36133c96de:g:BuIAAOSwx6pYr5Wj
From the pictures I believe it is also a compact/slim body style.

If you don't mind red here is another Hubbell non plated brass contacts and non plated brass back strap. Pictures are better. The duplex is definitely the compact/slim body type.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hubbell-HBL5252R-15A-125V-Specification-Grade-Duplex-Receptacle-Red-NEMA5-15R-/232250977322?hash=item36133cac2a:g:8DEAAOSw~AVYr5d8

Last, but still a good Hubbell NOS hospital grade duplex receptacle. This receptacle has a nickel plating over the brass contacts and brass back strap for corrosion protection. This duplex is from Hubbell's extra heavy duty industrial grade series. It uses a deeper body than a compact/slim series.

Hubbell HBL8200I Duplex Receptacle Hospital Grade 15 amp 125V 5-15R Ivory
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hubbell-HBL8200I-Duplex-Receptacle-Hospital-Grade-15-amp-125V-5-15R-Ivory-/262891069181?hash=item3d35875efd:g:vQ0AAOSwWxNYxFep

Wayner

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #23 on: 16 Mar 2017, 12:32 am »
What is the outlet and plug for?

Wayner

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Elizabeth

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #25 on: 16 Mar 2017, 12:54 am »
Here, this will fix your problem: https://www.amazon.com/NEMA-5-15P-5-20R-Plug-Adapter/dp/B00DNF5Z2M

So you are fine with circumventing the idea that a 20 amp device should not be plugged into a 15 amp circuit?
As long as it gets around the rules?
I am playing 'Devil's advocate' here. I have no problem with it at all. I just wonder why you think this is OK.

danvprod

Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #26 on: 16 Mar 2017, 02:50 am »
I decided to just get a 15 Amp unit. Not sure which one but going to sell the SurgeX.

jea48

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #27 on: 16 Mar 2017, 03:27 am »
I decided to just get a 15 Amp unit. Not sure which one but going to sell the SurgeX.

Do what you want. But there was nothing wrong with just changing the 20 amp plug to a 15 amp plug. The unit has 15 amp duplex outlets not 20 amp duplexes. The only difference is the 20 amp circuit breaker on the back of the unit. Hell in the event of a short circuit or ground fault event the circuit breaker on the unit will probably respond quicker than the circuit breaker in the electrical panel. How many 15 amps plug strips have you seen without any circuit breaker at all.

Even if you buy a 15 amp unit I would still recommend you buy and install a good heavy duty duplex receptacle for the outlet the unit will plug into. Just remember all your audio equipment will essentially be plugged into a single receptacle. You want the best plug blade to female contact surface area and contact pressure possible.   

Hubbell Receptacles
Check out pages 6, 10, and 8.
http://www.hubbellcatalog.com/wiring/catalogpages/H5254.pdf

Scroll down the pages and find that cheap Hubbell duplex receptacle you bought in the link.... See any cut away pictures showing the construction and contacts? No. Why do you think that is? The insides are nothing like those found on the duplex receptacles shown on pages 6, 8, and 10.
.

Wayner

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #28 on: 16 Mar 2017, 11:59 am »
So you are fine with circumventing the idea that a 20 amp device should not be plugged into a 15 amp circuit?
As long as it gets around the rules?
I am playing 'Devil's advocate' here. I have no problem with it at all. I just wonder why you think this is OK.

The device itself does not draw 20 amps, unlike, say a welder. You can overload a 15 amp power strip too. The OP (unlike a few others) seems to have a handle on the overloading concept. My suggestion was a plausible work-around without altering the home wiring.

Pangea (thru Audio Advisor) offers 20 amp outlets mounted in a box, with a 20 amp IEC outlet for power. Their solution was a 20 IEC cord to a 15 amp straight blade. Because it has a cord (not hard wired), it can be considered a "temporary" device (portable too).

'ner

kclark0395

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #29 on: 16 Mar 2017, 01:17 pm »
Local codes may dictate exactly what can be installed, but from a safety standpoint, installing a 20 amp outlet (that is, an outlet designed to handle up to 20 amps) on a circuit with a 15 amp breaker is fine. The circuit breaker will trip before the outlet reaches capacity. The other way around would be dangerous. A 15 amp outlet installed on a circuit with a 20 amp breaker would allow the outlet to be used over capacity before the breaker would trip. The same is true for the actual wiring. You can install wire capable of handling more current than the breaker, because the breaker is what provides the protection and the wire would never be used over capacity. 15 amp capable wire run to a 20 amp breaker on the other hand will fail before the breaker trips. In short, everything downstream of the breaker must be rated at least to what the breaker is. More is OK, less is not.

FullRangeMan

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #30 on: 16 Mar 2017, 01:37 pm »
Local codes may dictate exactly what can be installed, but from a safety standpoint, installing a 20 amp outlet (that is, an outlet designed to handle up to 20 amps) on a circuit with a 15 amp breaker is fine. The circuit breaker will trip before the outlet reaches capacity. The other way around would be dangerous. A 15 amp outlet installed on a circuit with a 20 amp breaker would allow the outlet to be used over capacity before the breaker would trip. The same is true for the actual wiring. You can install wire capable of handling more current than the breaker, because the breaker is what provides the protection and the wire would never be used over capacity. 15 amp capable wire run to a 20 amp breaker on the other hand will fail before the breaker trips. In short, everything downstream of the breaker must be rated at least to what the breaker is. More is OK, less is not.
Correct. This Surge X conditioner is safe to me, what will say there is some risk is the load in use by the custumer.

Wayner

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #31 on: 16 Mar 2017, 02:42 pm »
Local codes may dictate exactly what can be installed, but from a safety standpoint, installing a 20 amp outlet (that is, an outlet designed to handle up to 20 amps) on a circuit with a 15 amp breaker is fine. The circuit breaker will trip before the outlet reaches capacity. The other way around would be dangerous. A 15 amp outlet installed on a circuit with a 20 amp breaker would allow the outlet to be used over capacity before the breaker would trip. The same is true for the actual wiring. You can install wire capable of handling more current than the breaker, because the breaker is what provides the protection and the wire would never be used over capacity. 15 amp capable wire run to a 20 amp breaker on the other hand will fail before the breaker trips. In short, everything downstream of the breaker must be rated at least to what the breaker is. More is OK, less is not.

Wrong. You have it exactly backwards. A 20 amp outlet on a 15 amp circuit is a no-no. A 20 or 20/15 outlet on a 20 amp circuit is OK.

Wire does not provide protection, the circuit breaker does.

A perfect 15 amp circuit would have a 15 amp outlet, 14 gauge wire (or heavier)(THHN) and a 15 amp breaker.
A perfect 20 amp circuit would have a 20 or 20/15 amp outlet, 12 gauge wire (or heavier)(THHN) and a 20 amp breaker.

The breaker protects the wire and the outlet, it is the electrical guardian of the circuit.

jea48

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #32 on: 16 Mar 2017, 02:49 pm »
Local codes may dictate exactly what can be installed, but from a safety standpoint, installing a 20 amp outlet (that is, an outlet designed to handle up to 20 amps) on a circuit with a 15 amp breaker is fine. The circuit breaker will trip before the outlet reaches capacity. The other way around would be dangerous. A 15 amp outlet installed on a circuit with a 20 amp breaker would allow the outlet to be used over capacity before the breaker would trip. The same is true for the actual wiring. You can install wire capable of handling more current than the breaker, because the breaker is what provides the protection and the wire would never be used over capacity. 15 amp capable wire run to a 20 amp breaker on the other hand will fail before the breaker trips. In short, everything downstream of the breaker must be rated at least to what the breaker is. More is OK, less is not.

Quote
Local codes may dictate exactly what can be installed, but from a safety standpoint, installing a 20 amp outlet (that is, an outlet designed to handle up to 20 amps) on a circuit with a 15 amp breaker is fine.

Strictly speaking, it is not ok with NEC code. NEMA 125V 15 and 20 amp receptacle face plate configurations are made different for a reason. In most cases the contacts found in a 15 amp receptacle are the same as found in a 20 amp receptacle. Only the face plates are different. Per NEC code a 15 amp duplex receptacle must have a 20 amp pass through rating. It doesn't matter if the duplex is connected to a 15 amp branch circuit or a 20 amp branch circuit. The pass through rating is 20 amp.

Per NEC code you can install 2 or more 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp branch circuit.
You can not install a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp branch circuit. 

 
Quote
The circuit breaker will trip before the outlet reaches capacity.

That's a myth. Even if the breaker is operating within its' design standards it will not trip the second it reaches its' handle rating. In fact per NEMA standards, in the case of an overload, it is required to trip open in less than 1 hour overloaded at 135%.  Less than 120 seconds when overloaded at 200%.

Article is from 2007
https://www.tdi.texas.gov/fire/documents/fmnec70papers.pdf



Wayner

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #33 on: 16 Mar 2017, 03:13 pm »
Good job!

danvprod

Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #34 on: 16 Mar 2017, 05:46 pm »
Really interesting article to link here. I've learned quite a lot in this thread.

@jea48 -- this makes sense (re: 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp branch circuits) -- looking at my breaker box I have several 20 amp branch circuits, but all the receptacles in my house a 15 amp.

Also, thanks @jea48 for the suggestions on better 15 amp receptacles. I will install those in my listening room anyways -- Make sense to have one for the speaker system and also my computer's battery backup (which is on a difference branch circuit).

The "specification grade" units you've linked look quite nice: http://www.ebay.com/itm/232250971870?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I was able to bring back both of the units I purchased yesterday (The hubbell plug and receptacle).


Armaegis

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #36 on: 17 Mar 2017, 07:18 am »
I have no personal experience with it, but I've heard good things about Brickwall. Them, along with Furman, SurgeX and ZeroSurge are maybe the most "no-nonsense" non-sacrificial surge protectors/conditioners you can get. Actually there's one more name I'm forgetting that's up there... if it comes to me I'll post it later.

MaxCast

Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #37 on: 17 Mar 2017, 09:48 am »
I decided to just get a 15 Amp unit. Not sure which one but going to sell the SurgeX.
:thumb:

danvprod

Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #38 on: 14 Apr 2017, 01:21 am »
Just as an update on this.

I ended up getting the recommended Hubbell HBL5262GY 15A 125V Specification Grade Duplex Receptacle.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hubbell-HBL5262GY-15A-125V-Specification-Grade-Duplex-Receptacle-Gray-/232250971870?hash=item36133c96de:g:BuIAAOSwx6pYr5Wj



I also ended up getting a Audio Prism Foundation III Power Line Filter.


jea48

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Re: 20 Amp Surge protector -- OK to replace with 15 amp cord?
« Reply #39 on: 14 Apr 2017, 02:43 am »
Just as an update on this.

I ended up getting the recommended Hubbell HBL5262GY 15A 125V Specification Grade Duplex Receptacle.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hubbell-HBL5262GY-15A-125V-Specification-Grade-Duplex-Receptacle-Gray-/232250971870?hash=item36133c96de:g:BuIAAOSwx6pYr5Wj



I also ended up getting a Audio Prism Foundation III Power Line Filter.



You might want to check the stainless duplex cover plate to make sure it does not have ferrous materials in it. You can check it with a strong magnet. If a magnet is attracted to it replace it with a better quality SS plate. Just take the magnet with you and check the plate before buying.

A ferrous duplex cover plate can dull the sound of an audio system.