National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Question:

In Omaha all commercial work is 20 amp and requires a 20 amp receptacle. In western Nebraska at a mall 15 amp receptacles are allowed. I had an inspector tell me that he would red tag me if I had a 15 amp receptacle in a meeting hall on a kitchen counter. Would you please tell me the code that says a 20 amp receptacle is needed in a commercial building?

Thank you Matt

A

Answer:

Hey Matt thanks for your question. The NEC does not specifically require that receptacles in commercial buildings have 20 ampere rating but a local ordinance or requirement or a specification could. Multiple 15 ampere receptacles are allowed on 20 ampere branch circuits under the conditions in 210.21(B).  They could also be necessary for cord and plug connected equipment with 20 ampere attachment plugs. Nicely ask the inspector (AHJ) to show you the rule that they are using to "red tag you".

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