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Can you replace a 50A receptacle with a 30A 3-prong receptacle and keep the existing dedicated 20A pair of breakers?

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2008-08-24 02:13:25
2008-08-24 02:13:25

No. The receptacle, wiring, and breaker ratings should all be matched properly. Replacing the 50A receptacle with a 30A receptacle isn't a problem, since the wire should be rated at least 50A. But a 30A receptacle should be protected with a 30A double pole breaker. The breaker only costs about $8.00, so why wouldn't you change it given you don't have to change the wire which would actually be expensive or time consuming? The fact that you mention a 50A receptacle protected by a 20A existing breaker isn't normal either. I would check to make sure the wiring is actually rated for 50A and that someone didn't just throw a 50A receptacle onto a 20A circuit. (This means your wiring should be at least #8AWG THHN Copper wire.) If you protected a 30A receptacle with a 20A breaker, the load might trip the breaker often, considering the appliance requiring a 30A receptacle probably requires about 30A. If you do not understand the work well enough to accomplish it yourself properly and safely, don't try it. Consult a professional electrician, as they are proficient enough to do it properly and safely. When working on electrical circuits and equipment, make sure to de-energize the circuit you will be working on. Then test the circuit with a definitive means to make sure it is off (multimeter with metal tipped leads, voltage tester with metal tipped leads, etc., not a non-contact tester, which is non-definitive.)

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