Thanks Tom, for that explanation; it provides more light on the subject.
On a prior reply I asked ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs the purpose of the device rating?‚Äù
When you say ‚Äúnot all of the amperage ratings we see on electrical devices are meant to mean the same thing.‚Äù, it appears that the expression ‚Äúamperage rating‚Äù may be misleading and erroneous, at least to the average consumer.
Should there be several ratings: its ampacity (the one I was focusing on); for receptacles, the kinds of plugs that can safely be inserted, for switches their usage rating, or possibly others?
To borrow some lingo from computer programming, the expression ‚Äúamperage rating‚Äù is a property describing the device object.
Consider another object ‚Äì the box. One property of boxes is ‚Äúmaterial type‚Äù. Listed boxes are either metallic or non-metallic (none are semiconductor). Decisions are made on that property being accurate and meaningful. What if the property ‚Äúmaterial type‚Äù also meant to include another property - the internal space of the box? Wouldn‚Äôt that be confusing?
To the trained and licensed electrician these matters may be simple. But from many postings on forums like this and personal experiences, I see many questions that could be resolved by an improved design and/or presentation of info. In the NEC, in electrical terms, in UL listing information, in products and their installation instructions. The average ‚Äúdiy‚Äù homeowner does not need to know the complications of commercial and industrial code.
Perhaps there should be a ‚Äúbasic‚Äù level of products and expertise that would include mistake-proof designs, reducing the inspection time. Of course these products could be utilized by contractors also.
Another (future) possibility is to have electronic agents in each device and appliance, permitting the proper amount of current to flow when and where allowed, similar to the protocols on computer networks?
I need to get back to work on this kitchen.