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RE: Wise to keep in mind....

If there is a requirement that only a 30A receptacle is allowed with a 30A breaker, which would require a minimum 10# wire, then I stand corrected.

Yes there is.
NEC Table 210.21(B)(3)
Circuit rating 30 amps, Receptacle rating 30 amps

You can use a smaller rated receptacle, i.e., 15A, on a 20A branch.

Yes two or more. NEC 210.21(B)(3) and Table 210.21(B)(3)
The OP is buying a 15 amp 5262 duplex receptacle and it will be installed on a 20 amp branch circuit. That meets NEC code.
NEC 210.21(B)(1)(3) Table 210.21(B)(3)

The breaker is rated to protect the house wire, NOT what is plugged into the receptacle. 20A plugs can accept a 15A plug, which may be attached to a load with 16# wire or less.

True but what if some non-qualified person installed a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp branch circuit? That is against code. Why? When a manufacture designs and builds a piece of equipment he is supposed to follow NEMA standards for the cord and plug he will use to power the equipment. Note the word supposed.... If he is a reputable manufacture the equipment will be Listed by some recognized safety testing Lab like UL or CSA. In that case NEMA standards shall be followed.

If the FLA of the equipment is 12 amps or less the manufacture can use a NEMA 15 amp plug.

If the equipment FLA is over 12 but less than 16 amps then he will use a NEMA 20 amp plug.
NEC Table 210.21(B)(2) Max Cord-and-Plug Connected Load to receptacle.

So the non-qualified person installed a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp branch circuit. For sake of argument the recept was installed near a window. The person moves that lives in the residence and a new person moves in. He decides to supplement the cooling in the room with a window air conditioner. The plug on the end of the cord is a NEMA 20 amp plug. He plugs the plug into the 20 amp recept, no problem.

Let’s say the FLA on unit is 14 or 15 amps. Problems?


However, getting back to the original poster, 10# wire, which is rated for 30A, can be used with a 20A breaker. You don't HAVE to use a 30A, and it is also not needed for a *normal* home hifi load. The purpose of going 10# is not for more current capacity, but to lower voltage variations under varying load.

Agree! Especially in this case where the OP is only going to install one dedicated 20 amp branch circuit. We have no idea what audio equipment he has or what he may buy in the future. But if he has a big power amp and likes to play his music loud the rest of his equipment will appreciate he installed the bigger wire when he plays his music loud and the dynamic fluctuating current draw of the primary winding of the power transformer on the AC dedicated circuit will hopefully keep the voltage constant and not fluctuate keeping in beat with the music, LOL.


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