No matter how much of an electrical guy you are, you could still get confused over 15-amp and 20-amp. And that’s when finding exactly how to tell if outlet is 15 or 20 amps should help? To be frank, guessing these outlets are pretty hard unless you are used with these tasks.

Similarly, some find the two different voltages of outlets hard to locate and for that, we suggest checking 110v vs 220v outlets.

To understand the outlet-related topics you can also check what is a tamper resistant outlet and how many watts can an outlet handle. It’s essential to have clear idea on these topics in order to identify the outlets.

So, if you want to pick one type for your house project but can’t tell apart 15-amp and 20-amp outlets, then today let me help….

How To Tell If Outlet Is 15 Or 20 Amps?

So How To Tell If Outlet Is 15 Or 20 Amps?

If it has 2 slots (Hot + Neutral) vertically with U-shape ground, it’s a 15-amp outlet. However, the 20-amp outlet holds 1 vertical (Hot) and T-shape (Neutral) prongs with ground connection. And that’s the easiest way to recognize them.   

You might ask ‘how do I know what AMP my outlet is?’ but the answer relies on some electrical points. And these are:

  • The slot that is wider, consider it as ‘Neutral’ pin. Most of the time, it is connected with white color wire to the screw terminal of the outlet.
  • The slot that is tiny, consider it as ‘Hot’ pin. It is connected with the black and red wire to the brass shade screw. 
  • The half-circular hole is the ‘Ground’ pin. It is connected with green/ green with yellow stripe wire to the green screw. 

Now that you know each type of slot or prong identification, it should be clear whether do 20 amp outlets look different or the same as the 15-amp one. Let’s get into that!

What Does A 20 Amp Plug Look Like?

The 20 amp plug or outlet has a different outlook due to the ‘T’ shape slot on the wider side, which is Neutral. And then, it holds a straight yet narrower slot side by side attached, which is Hot pin. Under these 2 slots, the semicircular slot is the ground line.

20 Amp outlet

This outlet is one of the best options for high-powered tools use that offer a stable and strong power source for appliances. And, it can be used with both 15 and 20 amps devices or machines. 

What Does A 15 Amp Plug Look Like?

Quite the opposite of the 20-amp plug, the 15-amp outlet has 3 slots. It has parallel (vertical) 2 slots that are straightly aligned against each other. After that, you will see a semicircular slot that is the same as the 20-amp outlet offer, the ground connection.

15 AMP outlet

While the 15-amp outlet only has 2 similar slots, the 20 amps plug offer vertical and horizontal line in a slot. And it is ideal for home and residential use which is safer than others.

Frequently Asked Questions.

How many outlets on a 15 amp circuit?

Based on National Electrical Code, it is stated, 1 outlet can be used on 1.5 amps of the circuit. Yet, the circuit breaker is added 80% of the capacity. Therefore, you can use 8 outlets on a 15-amp circuit.

How many watts is 15 amps?

If you happen to have a circuit breaker on a 15-amp outlet, the watts will be 1440W (80% of 15A x 120 volts). Without a circuit breaker, the wattage of 15 amps outlet is 1800W (15A x 120 volts).

Do I need 20 amp outlets?

The 20-amp outlets are one of the best for those who need the power to run microwaves, blenders, dryers, toasters, and so on. To make sure an efficient and powerful energy flow, this will be an ideal option.

Wrapping Up

Got enough idea of how to tell if outlet is 15 or 20 amps? Hopefully, you have. Locating each outlet is not a difficult matter if you just look into the slots and wires. The reason why most can’t figure that out is due to lack of knowledge.

To attach a power source to the kitchen or other rooms, it’s essential to learn about 15-amp and 20-amp outlets. Hopefully, you find this guide useful in order to tell their individuality just by looking at them now. See You Soon!

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