Kitchen outlets are often wired to provide 20 amp, 120-volt circuits to GFCI outlets, especially for countertop areas. Must kitchen outlets be 20 amp? Kitchens must have at least two 20 amp outlets.
These outlets are used to power high voltage appliances such as toasters, blenders, and microwave ovens. The best way to identify a 20 amp outlet is to find the horizontal slot extending from the vertical slots. This means the outlet is ready for 20-amp powered appliances.
What Appliances Use 20 Amp Outlets?
We’re going to cover all the bases. First, let’s learn what Amps are and why you should know the number necessary to operate kitchen equipment. Here is a list of 20 amp powered outlets that you can purchase for your kitchen.
Kitchens, by code, are required to have at least two 20 amp, 120-volt circuits installed on every kitchen countertop. The main reason for this is so the outlet can handle enough amps to power simple kitchen cookware such as microwave ovens, toasters, and blenders. 20 amp outlets will power all of the equipment above.
When to Replace an Outlet Receptacle
The two outlets give the homeowner enough space to plug different units in different areas without crowding one small part of the countertop. When purchasing a home, ask the realtor or electrician which outlet provides which amps.
Having at least 2 20 Amp outlets are required by most electrical codes (we always recommend checking with your local electrician about your state’s code, as it will vary from state to state). The importance of having two 20 amp outlets in your kitchen is to power appliances requiring a higher power voltage to run.
This is typically any device with a motor that provides a high power output. Examples of these kitchen appliances are:. Microwave Ovens. These appliances may require additional amperes to run, so it’s always good to consider having a few outlets in an area with space to fit these appliances to be used when necessary.
It’s recommended that you use 20 amp outlets to power your kitchen appliances properly. The other most common type of electrical outlet is the 15-amp outlet. If the outlet is not 20 amp, there’s a good chance it’s providing a 15 amp circuit.
15-amp outlets will not give the electricity needed to power these sizeable electrical kitchen appliances. 15-amp electrical outlets fit basic lighting requirements such as ceiling fixtures, cabinet lighting, or standard kitchen counter lighting.
15 Amp vs 20 Amp Outlet: What’s The Difference?
Be sure to check the manual of each light fixture to ensure that 15 amps are the minimum amount of output needed. Here’s an excellent resource for electric kitchen codes, which can guide you when installing electrical outlets.
20 amp outlets are required for kitchens because high-powered appliances are often plugged into these outlets. A short could happen if a 20 amp kitchen appliance is plugged into a 15-amp outlet. Amp stands for Ampere. Essentially, an amp is a unit of measurement that measures electrical currents and output.
The higher the amps, the more power put out through the outlet. We want to find the right amount of electrical power for our kitchen appliances so they don’t short out or aren’t overpowered by the number of amps being put out by the current.
Most kitchens require 20 amp outlets to have enough electric output to power the appliances. 20 amp outlets can be purchased at your local hardware store and installed by an electrician. We recommend these outlets if you’re looking for online solutions to be delivered directly to you.
They commonly come in packs of 10 or more, so you’re saving money and have plenty to fill a kitchen. The Bestten 20 amp GFCI receptacle outlet is an excellent standard that looks great with any white walls.
This outlet is 125 volts and has red and black buttons for reset and testing, which is great for any shortage or power outage. Another great feature is the LED indicator status light. The GFCI indicator light will indicate the power is working or in testing mode.
Best 20 Amp Outlets
The outlet indicates a malfunction, not wired correctly, or the power is off if it’s off. This is an excellent system for knowing which outlet is dead and when an electrician should be called to fix the power outage.
Buy the Bestten GFCI outlet with a 10-pack to fit your entire kitchen outlets and house outlets for 20 amp power. The Leviton smart lock pro is a 20 amp tamper-resistant receptacle with an LED indicator light.
The light uses only 1W of electricity, which means the bulb doesn’t need to be replaced. The product description states,” For an added layer of protection, the GFCI regularly conducts an automatic internal test to confirm that it can respond to a ground fault.”. Built-in lockout action prevents a reset if the GFCI is damaged or cannot respond to a ground fault.
The slim and shallow design is excellent for standard outlets paired with any kitchen design. In conclusion, check what outlets the electrician is installing and where. It’s important to know which outlets are 15 amp and 20 amp so that you can provide an antiquate amount of power to the kitchen appliance.
The Bottom Line
A 20 Amp outlet is crucial to power most kitchen appliances with a motor to heat up or blend food. These appliances typically require a high amount of voltage to work correctly.
Short appliances do not work because it doesn’t have the proper amount of power. We’ve compiled a complete list of frequently asked kitchen questions for new and experienced homeowners. Our team of experts answers these questions to help assist you through DIY projects and home repairs.
Standard 120-volt receptacles typically come in two amperage ratings: 15-amp and 20-amp. They look similar, but on a 20-amp receptacle, one of the vertical slots has a "T" shape. This is so that the special plugs on some appliances that need more power can be plugged into them.
Standard cords and appliances can also be plugged into 20-amp outlets. When replacing a receptacle, buy one that looks exactly like the old one and has the same amperage rating. Most importantly, never install a 20-amp receptacle on a 15-amp circuit.
In addition to the outlet rating (15-amp or 20-amp), the circuit wiring and the circuit's breaker are important clues to the circuit amperage. Circuit wiring (usually non-metallic (NM) cable, or Romex) on 20-amp circuits uses 12-gauge wire and usually has a yellow outer sheathing.
Cable for 15-amp circuits has 14-gauge wire and typically has white sheathing. The circuit breaker on a 20-amp circuit must be stamped with a "20," indicating a 20-amp rating; likewise, a 15-amp circuit must have a breaker stamped with "15."
Outlet receptacles can wear out over time. The metal contacts inside the receptacle may lose their resilience and stop gripping the prongs on appliance cords.
Open the Outlet
Or, the plastic casing on the receptacle may develop cracks or chips. Sometimes, the replacement can be for simple aesthetic reasons—for example, replacing old brown receptacles with white or ivory receptacles that are more pleasing on a light-colored wall.
GFCI receptacles sometimes go bad over time, for no reason other than that they have perhaps been reset too many times. Replacing a GFCI outlet is really no different than replacing a standard outlet, though it is important to make sure that the wires are reattached in exactly the same way as on the old receptacle.