Solved

AMP tester -- 15 vs 20 AMPs ?

Posted on 2014-03-03
4
1,116 Views
Last Modified: 2014-03-25
I have lots of outlets in multiple building and want to easily test how many AMPS, VOLTS, etc an outlet can handle without having to go back to the breaker box/etc.

What AMPS, VOLTS, etc under $100 outlet tester do you recommend ?
0
Comment
Question by:finance_teacher
  • 2
4 Comments
 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 250 total points
ID: 39901126
Well, 120V 20A (NEMA 5-20R) outlets have a sideways slot on the grounded neutral (typically white) wire's slot. That's the longer slot... the shorter slot should be connected to the ungrounded 'hot' conductor's (typically black) slot.
120V 15A (NEMA 5-15R) outlets won't have that sideways slot.

Electricians know to install #12AWG (or larger) wire and 20A breakers on 20A outlets.
If you find a 20A outlet without #12AWG (or larger) wire and a 20A breaker, you should replace it with a 15A outlet.

You don't need a tester to tell what they should supply.
With the ground hole on the bottom, 120V outlets should have the longer (neutral) slot on the left and the shorter 'hot' slot on the right. Note there is no requirement as to the mounting orientation of the outlet in NFPA part 70 (aka the NEC)... the ground hole can be up, down, or sideways.
If there's an extra sideways slot pointing out of the neutral slot, it's a 20A outlet.
If the neutral is an L-shaped slot, with the sideways slot pointing in, it's a 30A outlet.
A 120V 20A plug will fit into a 30A outlet, but a 120V 15A plug will NOT fit in a 30A outlet.

You can test if they're wired correctly using an inexpensive tool such as the Gardner Bender GRT-3500 from Home Depot, et al.
0
 
LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 125 total points
ID: 39901217
@Darr247 is correct.  In addition, you don't really want to 'load test' the outlets to see how many AMPs they will handle because you will trip the breakers and have to go back to the breaker panel to reset them.  And incidentally turn off everyone else on that circuit until you get it back on again.  If you turned off my computer while I was working on it, I would be unhappy about it.

If you are having an actual problem, you should call a qualified electrician to fix it.
0
 
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:viki2000
viki2000 earned 125 total points
ID: 39901408
0
 
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
Darr247 earned 250 total points
ID: 39902285
Here's an example of a 15 amp and a 20 amp receptacle.NEMA 5-15R and NEMA 5-20R duplex outletsI've been an electrician for 28 years and during that time I've seen exactly one installed 30A 120V outlet that wasn't a slant slot (NEMA 10-30R) or twist lock, so you're unlikely to find one in the building[s] you're documenting.
0

Featured Post

Complete VMware vSphere® ESX(i) & Hyper-V Backup

Capture your entire system, including the host, with patented disk imaging integrated with VMware VADP / Microsoft VSS and RCT. RTOs is as low as 15 seconds with Acronis Active Restore™. You can enjoy unlimited P2V/V2V migrations from any source (even from a different hypervisor)

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Monitor input from a computer is usually nothing special.  In this instance it prevented anyone from using the computer.  This was a preconfiguration that didn't work.
Whether you believe the “gig economy,” as it has been dubbed, is the next big economic paradigm shift (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/26/will-we-get-by-gig-economy) or an overstated trend (http://www.wsj.com/articles/proof-of-a-g…
Articles on a wide range of technology and professional topics are available on Experts Exchange. These resources are written by members, for members, and can be written about any topic you feel passionate about. Learn how to best write an article t…
Saved searches can save you time by quickly referencing commonly searched terms on any topic. Whether you are looking for questions you can answer or hoping to learn about a specific issue, a saved search can help you get the most out of your time o…

830 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question