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Joseph Tese

Ampacity of 5-15 vs 5-20 Plugs/Connectors

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As most of us know, everyone pushes the 5-15 on a 12g stinger close to 20AMPS on set.

Visually inspecting the 5-15 and 5-20 on the inside, they look identical, but not saying visuals are enough to determine its engineered ampacity. Can anyone know for sure that they are built with the same amp rating? I'm sure Hubbell or any other manufacturer would be reluctant to say so.

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they are the same amperage.


The 5-20 (20amp) designation really comes into meaning on  the designated 20 amp circuits that are required for some appliances like a power hog 120v window ac unit. By code they have to be on a single run 20amp circuit so they make the male connector on the appliance with one blade sideways 5-20p.  That way unknowing consumers don't plug it into a 15amp receptacle.

You can't buy an off the shelf stinger at a box store with a female 5-15/5-20 connector on the end like we see on our stingers so a consumer would have to go out of their way to plug a 5-20p (plug) into a 5-15r (receptacle)



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Internally the same, same blade width and thickness.  More than enough brass in the blade to carry the 20A and then some without melting down.  As Ed stated, the blade configuration is to prevent the unknowning from plugging a 20A into a 15A circuit.

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Yes - know about the form factors to eliminate confusion and promote consumer safety - But you both answered my question. The amount of metal is the same in both, so a 5-15 has the same ampacity as the 5-20! Thanks for clarifying.




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