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Old 09-29-2020, 10:21 AM   #1
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30 to 20 amp adapter

We had a 30 to 20? amp adapter for our previous RV, which went with the rig when we sold it. Wish I had kept it as all I can find now is a 30 to 15 adapter. Maybe I was wrong about the old one being a 30 to 20. We did run the air conditioner off of it on many occasions and it worked fine on a 20A circuit as long as we did not try to run anything else other than lights. Straighten me out! Is a 30 to 20 available?
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:26 AM   #2
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:34 AM   #3
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The internals on the 30 amp to 15 / 20 amp side of the adapter are probably the same, although I'd avoid the cheapest junk).

The pin configuration of the 20 amp 120V connector (male plug) is designed so that you cannot plug a 20 amp device into a 15 amp receptacle since it is possible that the 15 amp receptacle is wired with #14 wire rated at a maximum of 15 amps. In most cases both connectors (plugs) will handle 20 amps.
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:59 PM   #4
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The main difference between a 20 amp short dogbone adapter and a 15 amp one is that one of the flat prongs on a 20 amp plug is turned sideways so that it won't plug in to an old-style 15 amp receptacle. Newer 20 amp receptacles allow for a prong of either orientation.

Another possible difference is wire size. Cheap 15 amp adapters use #14 wire while all 20 amp adapters should use #12.

There are still lots of the old 15 amp receptacles in use so to be sure you can plug in and only need one adapter, use something like this that has both parallel plugs and #12 wire:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076FLVHF7/
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkeyeEZ View Post
The main difference between a 20 amp short dogbone adapter and a 15 amp one is that one of the flat prongs on a 20 amp plug is turned sideways so that it won't plug in to an old-style 15 amp receptacle. Newer 20 amp receptacles allow for a prong of either orientation.

Another possible difference is wire size. Cheap 15 amp adapters use #14 wire while all 20 amp adapters should use #12.

There are still lots of the old 15 amp receptacles in use so to be sure you can plug in and only need one adapter, use something like this that has both parallel plugs and #14 wire:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076FLVHF7/
I'd prefer #12 wire rated at 20 amps with a 15 amp connector (plug).
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:09 PM   #6
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I corrected my mistake in my post above. Yes, #12 wire, not #14 is preferable and comes on the adapter I referenced:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076FLVHF7/
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
The internals on the 30 amp to 15 / 20 amp side of the adapter are probably the same, although I'd avoid the cheapest junk).

The pin configuration of the 20 amp 120V connector (male plug) is designed so that you cannot plug a 20 amp device into a 15 amp receptacle since it is possible that the 15 amp receptacle is wired with #14 wire rated at a maximum of 15 amps. In most cases both connectors (plugs) will handle 20 amps.
Jon, did not think of that as I would not be plugging in to a 15A circuit and (never have) Talk about a fast response! Thanks.

As an aside, many years ago I hauled aluminum from the Alroll plant in Oswego. In the winter sometimes the snow would be piled so high on the side of the street the storefronts would not be visible!
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:24 PM   #8
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Thanks Alan!
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HawkeyeEZ View Post
The main difference between a 20 amp short dogbone adapter and a 15 amp one is that one of the flat prongs on a 20 amp plug is turned sideways so that it won't plug in to an old-style 15 amp receptacle. Newer 20 amp receptacles allow for a prong of either orientation.

Another possible difference is wire size. Cheap 15 amp adapters use #14 wire while all 20 amp adapters should use #12.

There are still lots of the old 15 amp receptacles in use so to be sure you can plug in and only need one adapter, use something like this that has both parallel plugs and #12 wire:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076FLVHF7/
Yep, that would fill the bill! Thanks Hawkeye!
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:44 PM   #10
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This reminds me, our new house is wired totally with #12. The electrician did not bother to separate outlets and light circuits. Interestingly, all the breakers are 20A but the outlets are 15A. Don't understand how this passes code. Of course in the garage they are 15A GFI's. I could not run my pressure washer 14.9 amp draw from that GFI protected circuit with out it tripping in a minute or so, therefore I installed a 20 A outlet. What a world.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom&Joan View Post
Jon, did not think of that as I would not be plugging in to a 15A circuit and (never have) Talk about a fast response! Thanks.

As an aside, many years ago I hauled aluminum from the Alroll plant in Oswego. In the winter sometimes the snow would be piled so high on the side of the street the storefronts would not be visible!
That is why I usually spend my winter in Quartzsite, AZ. Haven't made up my mind if I want to try for a cross country trip this winter, but sure would like to avoid the 150" - 200" of snow...

They now use special trucks to haul the rolled aluminum used to make Ford trucks - I see a at least couple per day going by.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tom&Joan View Post
This reminds me, our new house is wired totally with #12.
...
Interestingly, all the breakers are 20A but the outlets are 15A. Don't understand how this passes code.
That's not a problem, since the outlets are rated lower than the circuit - the other way around would be unacceptable, of course.

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The electrician did not bother to separate outlets and light circuits.
Mixing receptacles and lighting on residential circuits has been normal practice in Canada for as long as I can remember. It makes sense, and minimizes the length of cable required.

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Originally Posted by Tom&Joan View Post
Of course in the garage they are 15A GFI's. I could not run my pressure washer 14.9 amp draw from that GFI protected circuit with out it tripping in a minute or so, therefore I installed a 20 A outlet. What a world.
That's strange - 20 amp GFCI receptacles are readily available - they are now the standard for kitchens in Canada.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tom&Joan View Post
This reminds me, our new house is wired totally with #12. The electrician did not bother to separate outlets and light circuits. Interestingly, all the breakers are 20A but the outlets are 15A. Don't understand how this passes code. Of course in the garage they are 15A GFI's. I could not run my pressure washer 14.9 amp draw from that GFI protected circuit with out it tripping in a minute or so, therefore I installed a 20 A outlet. What a world.
1) The NEC requires X number of general lighting circuits based on square footage of the home IE ; 3 watts per square ft
2) Normally general lighting circuits are #14 wire and have over current protection set at 15 amps ( Supplying both general lighting and convenience receptacles )
3) Both 15 and 20 amp duplex receptacles are allowed on 20 amp circuits
4) Changing a 15 amp receptacle to a 20 amp receptacle does not affect the trip point of a circuit breaker or a GFCI
5) Many inspectors do not allow the overcurrent devices feeding general purpose lighting circuits ( bedrooms , living rms , halls , lighting to be set at 20 amps - 15 amps only

From the description in your post the electrician wired your home according to the NEC and did nothing illegal or unsafe

The only time I installed 20 amp receptacles in a residence was when I wired a separate 20 amp circuit feeding a single 20 amp receptacle IE ; A receptacle feeding a single appliance requiring a separate 20 amp circuit per appliance manufacturer’s UL listing
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tom&Joan View Post
This reminds me, our new house is wired totally with #12. The electrician did not bother to separate outlets and light circuits. Interestingly, all the breakers are 20A but the outlets are 15A. Don't understand how this passes code. Of course in the garage they are 15A GFI's. I could not run my pressure washer 14.9 amp draw from that GFI protected circuit with out it tripping in a minute or so, therefore I installed a 20 A outlet. What a world.
The insides of both 15 amp & 20 amp receptacles are all rated for 20 amps; as Steve noted, 15 amp receptacles can be placed on #12 wire protected by a 20 amp breaker. Again, the primary reason for the 20 amp connector (plug) is to insure that the consumer does not connect a device requiring 20 amps to a circuit wired with #14 wire & a 15 amp breaker. 15 amp connectors (plugs) fit fine in a 20 amp receptacle, but the other way around doesn't work.

I also agree with Steve - changing the 15 amp GFCI receptacle to a 20 amp should should not make any difference. Now, if your pressure washer is tripping because of a fault, making the change to a 20 amp non GFCI receptacle would prevent tripping, but leaves you open to a shock hazard. If the new 20 amp receptacle was a GFCI receptacle, the previous 15 amp was probably faulty. There is nothing in a GFCI receptacle that measures current. Electric pressure washers, because they mix water & electricity, often cause GFCI problems
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:30 PM   #15
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So if I dare revert back to the adapter topic ... On our current trip we stopped at a CG where power pole only had 50 and 20 amp connections. Fortunately we have a 50 to 30 plug adapter. While youíre buying you might want to think about picking up both.
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:16 PM   #16
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So if I dare revert back to the adapter topic ... On our current trip we stopped at a CG where power pole only had 50 and 20 amp connections. Fortunately we have a 50 to 30 plug adapter. While youíre buying you might want to think about picking up both.
Yes, I have the 50 to 30. For some reason I saved that one. Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:12 PM   #17
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It would be very easy to fabricate a 20 amp to 30 amp adapter with wire and parts from Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Ace Hardware. However, unless the outlet is a true 20 amp outlet, a 20 amp circuit (12 AWG) is likely to have 15 amp outlets.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:49 PM   #18
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Lots of internet/computer problems - anytime I type more than a couple of lines the whole thing disappears. I have a lot more to say, so after this is resolved I'll be back.
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:57 PM   #19
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I don't think I've ever seen a 20A 120V receptacle that didn't have the T-shaped slot to accept 15A plugs.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:53 PM   #20
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I don't think I've ever seen a 20A 120V receptacle that didn't have the T-shaped slot to accept 15A plugs.
True John, I have not either. I do have a 20 A commercial plug in my box of plugs, mostly used, but when I want a plug to replace one or make a new extension cord the first thing that surfaces is that 20A plug with the one conductor at a right angle! Need to put that plug aside, as I'll probably never have a need for it.
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