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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Using 15A inlet on 20A circuit?
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:22 AM   #1
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Default Using 15A inlet on 20A circuit?

Hey all, I'm reconfiguring my heatstick set-up and have run into a challenge. Hoping the electrical experts out there can give me some feedback.

I run a 2000 watt heatstick on a 20A circuit. My wiring is all 12 AWG, and I'm plugged into a GFI protected outlet.

I'd like to add an inlet box to my rig for convenience, however I'm having a hard time locating a 20A inlet. Would it be a safety risk to use this 15A inlet such as this one as long as I'm still connected to my 20A GFI outlet down the chain? I don't mind the risk of damage to the inlet, but do mnd the risk of damage to my noggin.

For that matter, as I was unable to find the appropriate 20A plug for my original cord I've been using a 15A plug. It shows no sign of stress or heat, but maybe that's been a bad idea.

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:37 AM   #2
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Big question - 120 or 240V power?
Short answer 120V = No / 240V = Ok - This is based on the normal power/amps going through the equipment. You could damage the equipment which could lead to damaging your noggin when it becomes unsafe and stray hot wires are touching things they shouldn't.

Also the link you post is for a male receptical, this is not good. You want a female one just like standard outlets.

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:32 AM   #3
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If it's going on the heat stick, it needs to be male.

The amperage ratings are primarily guidelines to how much current a device can take before it starts to suffer from excessive heat. An additional issue you have is that the ambient temperature is high because the inlet is connected to a hot element. That is good reason to want to exceed the usual safety specifications rather than skimp on them.

If it gets hot to the touch or shows signs of heat damage then you know you have a problem.

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:49 AM   #4
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It depends on how many amps you're pulling. Using a 15 amp receptacle with a 20A breaker is ok as long as you don't exceed 15 amps with whaterver you're powering. I prefer to match my receptacles with my breakers so that I never have to worry about it, but if you keep an eye on how many amps you're pulling, you'll be ok. Most devices will tell you how many amps and volts they run on.

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Old 04-12-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
...Also the link you post is for a male receptical, this is not good. You want a female one just like standard outlets.
Sorry, I think I misunderstood. If it is an input into the heatstick then it's fine.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien View Post
If it's going on the heat stick, it needs to be male.

The amperage ratings are primarily guidelines to how much current a device can take before it starts to suffer from excessive heat. An additional issue you have is that the ambient temperature is high because the inlet is connected to a hot element. That is good reason to want to exceed the usual safety specifications rather than skimp on them.

If it gets hot to the touch or shows signs of heat damage then you know you have a problem.
This is correct. A more direct way of saying it is that you are choosing components that are underrated for your application, which is not the most prudent way to proceed. It may work, but why take the chance?

You can look at the Neutrik Powercon 20a. They have a "power in" chassis mount and a "power out" cord connector. Or you could search on "NEMA 5-20 inlet"

For your plug, you should have a NEMA 5-20 plug fed from a NEMA 5-20 GFCI.

You should be using 12awg copper in your cord to the heat stick, and in your wiring from a 20a circuit breaker in panel to the 20a GFCI outlet.

None of these components are difficult to obtain.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:18 PM   #7
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You want a straight blade connection? I would think an interlock would be a better approach for this part of your rig, itll protect against disconnects - the cord cant come out

http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-2315-R...+flanged+inlet

If you still want straight get one of these
http://www.amazon.com/Woodhead-1533M...ght+receptacle

or get a single gange single 1.406" hole device like the link below and a waterproof cover from HD/Lowes
http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-107-05...+single+outlet

and put this cover on ti

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Old 04-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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As mentioned before, female receptacles are inappropriate for this use. The first one you mention is bulky and expensive.

I would go with the blue 20A powercon connectors from Neutrik.

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm curious why a female receptacle is inappropriate. Perhaps it would help to diagram what I'm doing here as I'm open to anything: just looking for the simplest solution and don't want to drop excessive amounts of money on this.

I'm looking for the simplest connection at the red components in the diagram below. I've labeled them according to my original proposed solution, but am open to new ideas.

In this diagram, the head of the arrows represents a MALE plug.

And, to confirm: this is 120V.

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Old 04-12-2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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You want the male inlet on the appliance side, because you always supply power from a female socket to avoid having a male plug with an exposed hot prong.

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