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GFCI installation

I am replacing an old exterior GFCI on my deck.  House is 30 years old.  The old GFCI was standard 3 prong (including ground)  but was not T-slotted for 20 amp plugs, so I purchased a Leviton 15 amp receptacle from Home Depot.  Upon removing the old receptacle I find that it is labeled 20 amp, 125V, 60 hz.  The breaker for this receptacle is labeled 20 amp.  Can I use the 15 amp receptacle or should return to Home Depot and swap the new receptacle for a 20 amp?  I don't anticipate ever using a plug needing the T-slot, but I want to do what is correct.  I must also replace the old receptacle box (plastic, recessed in brick veneer) and outlet cover as the screws were rusted and broke off when removing the cover and receptacle.
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Posted 2016-05-04T10:29:42+0000  by CBos CBos
You didn't mention the size of the circuit.  You can only install 15 amp receptacles on 15 amp circuits but you can often use 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit as well.  The exception if there is only one receptacle on a 20 amp circuit, then you must use a 20 amp receptacle.  Obviously, you can use  20 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit but they're generally unnecessary and more expensive than their 15 amp siblings.  GFCIs were, and unless things have changed recently, are internally rated at 20 amps, even if they don't have the "T" slot.  Which may be why yours says 20 but lacks the slot.

The device (receptacle) must be properly secured.  If you can't use the screw holes in the existing box, then you'll probably need to replace it.  Current code in most places requires an "in use" cover on exterior receptacles as well.  Those are the "bubble" type covers that keep the receptacle protected from the elements when something is plugged in.
Posted 2016-05-04T21:12:02+0000  by Adam444
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