How do American 20 amp plugs/outlets safely carry more current than their 15 amp counterparts ?


I’m referring specifically to the NEMA 5-20R socket.

Obviously the neutral blade is larger and so is capable of carrying more current but the Live (Hot) blade is the same size as a 5-15 plug so how is it able to safely carry 20 amps ?

In: Engineering

They have bigger wires. You have to use 12 gauge wires for a 20A outlet, whereas you can use 14 gauge wires for a 15A outlet.