My guess is you miswired it. Sounds like maybe you had Hot and Ground reversed. Putting a 20amp wall plug on a 15 amp line shouldn't be a problem (you are limited to the 15 amp breaker).
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You either miswired it or you have the wires touching each other. Pull the outlet back out and check it. The green wire goes to the ground screw. The white wire normally goes to the outlets on the same side as the ground wire. The black wire normally goes on the other side. Are all of the screws tightened down?
You should not use a 20A receptacle on a 15A circuit, regardless of what the audio retailers say. This is not allowed by the NEC. There is the potential for longterm overloading of the 15A circuit.
A typical household circuit breaker will trip in the presence of either a bolted fault (i.e., dead short) or large overcurrent, depending on amount of that overcurrent.
The maximum continuous/longterm current draw allowed on a 15A circuit is 12A or 80%. When you install a 20A receptacle, there is the increased potential for longterm current draw to be as much as 100% to 110%, depending on the trip curve of the breaker, yet not have it trip. That is the reason for the prohibition ny the NEC.
Please see the receptacle ratings table in NEC Article 210.
As for the 20 receptacle it did not cause your problem.
If you have a volt meter I suggest you check the voltage and polarity at the recept.
Small straight slot contact is the Hot.
"T" shaped slot is the neutral.
"U" shape hole contact the safety equipment ground.
*Hot to neutral you should read 120V nominal.
*Hot to safety equipment ground 120V nominal. (This will tell you the polarity is correct.) Reversed polarity would not have caused your problem.....
*Neutral to safety equipment ground zero.
Could be the cheap intergraded amp shot crap all on its own.....
As for NEC code though.... a 20 amp receptacle can only be installed on a 20 amp branch circuit. Two or more 15 amp rated receptacles can be installed on a 20 amp branch circuit.
The receptacle has nothing to do with how much current is drawn, what is plugged into the receptacle does.True but the face plate of the receptacle configuration determines what plug can be connected to it.
The max continuous load that a NEMA 5-15P can carry by NEC code is 12 amps.
For a NEMA 5-20P plug it is 16 amps.
NEC says for a 120V 15 amp branch circuit the receptacle must be a 15 amp rated receptacle. Reason being so a piece of equipment with a 20 plug cannot be plugged into it.
As I said in my ealier post, the 20 amp recept did not cause the problem.
Please clarify ... the PS Audio Ports are rated for both 15amp and 20amp I'm told. Can they be installed in a 15amp dedicated line?The receptacle will accept a NEMA 5-15P or 5-20P amp plug.
Technically by code a 5-20R receptacle cannot be installed on a 120V 15 amp branch circuit.
Will it cause any kind of a fired hazard if you use one for your audio equipment? No..... If you move just remember to pull the recept and replace it with a 15 amp recept so the next guy does not see the 20 amp recept and think he has a 20 amp branch circuit available.
Chuck -- No, the main purpose of that part of the code is to prevent a high-current device, fitted with a 20 amp plug, from being plugged into a 15 amp outlet (that has 15 amp wiring). 20 amp plugs have a horizontal prong which will not allow them to be inserted into a 15 amp receptacle (which just has two parallel vertical slots, plus the safety ground contact).
Stick a volt meter inthere and measure your voltage and see if the voltage is correct. Remember, Black-Hot, White Neutral, Ground Green, Ground the bottom hole, neutral, the wide slot. Amp sounds like it had one foot in the audio casket, the other on a banana peel. A time to fry....Best of luck. Have an electrician do the work. If your home owners insurance found out you have a fire from your wiring, coverage is not likely.
I don't think it's the wall outlet. Popping at the speakers and a smoking amp... that is most likely an open safety capacitor that's in parallel with the filtering cap causing a line-voltage arc over.
But judging by the way you asked your question about receptacles and circuit breakers, I would strongly suggest an electrician check out what you did.
If the outlet was wired backwards could the amp feed line voltage through the RCA connectors ground wire?
Under most circumstances the answer to that would be no, John. With properly designed modern equipment the ground (shell) of the rca connectors is in common with signal ground, the chassis of the amp or other component, and ac safety ground. All of those are isolated from both the hot and the neutral of the ac wiring. The connection between chassis and ac safety ground is intended to cause the ac circuit breaker to trip in the event that an internal short makes the chassis "hot."
But given all the ways in which the outlet could have been miswired, combined with the possibility (as GS suggested) that the "cheap integrated amplifier" (as the op described it) could have had a defective line filter capacitor, or marginal insulation in its power transformer, combined with the facts that we don't know if a source component was connected, and whether the component(s) had two-prong or three-prong plugs, and whether or not the amp had been used in the recent past, there are probably more possible scenarios than it's practical to enumerate. The op should have the wiring checked out as has been suggested, and also have the innards of the amp looked at by a suitably experienced person, to try to identify what smoked.
I have installed 15 amp plugs before with no problem and I thought I had this one installed right but I guess not.
Why not pull the recept out and check how you have it wired?
(Of Course remember to turn off the power first.)
*Hot black conductor to the brass or black colour terminal screw on the recept.
*White neutral conductor to the silver or white colour terminal screw on the recept.
*Bare safety equipment ground wire to the green colour equipment ground screw on the recept.
After rechecking the wiring to verify you have it correct try plugging in a 2 wire cord and plug table lamp into the recept.... Does the lamp light?
I would still invest in a descent multimeter. You can pick up a nice one at Radio Shack for less than $50 bucks.