Can I use 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit?

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The National Electrical Code, in article 210.21 (B) 1, 2, and 3, describes the requirements of single and multiple receptacles on a circuit. The use of multiple 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit is permitted in part 3. A duplex receptacle is considered as multiple receptacles and is therefore permissible to use as the single, or one of several, multiple type receptacles on the circuit.

Part of the UL listing for the 15 amp receptacles is that they are capable of feeding through the 20 amp circuit, the primary difference between 15 and 20 amp receptacles being the faceplate configuration.

Receptacles rated higher than the circuit rating may not be used, so 20 amp receptacles are not permitted on a 15 amp circuit.

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