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Cybermonkey
11-12-2008, 05:42 PM
I wired my bedrooms with 12 gauge wire and have already orded my switches that are 15AMP:eek:. Can I install these switches or is this a code violation?
The other question is: Can you install a 20AMP switch on a 15AMP circuit?

It seems like common sense tells me 20AMP switch for 20AMP circuit and vice versa. But, is this really the case?

cacher_chick
11-12-2008, 06:07 PM
As long as the load does not exceed the rating of the switch it does not matter. If the switch controls an outlet, you should then use a 15A outlet.

leejosepho
11-12-2008, 06:14 PM
The wire must be sufficient to carry whatever the circuit breaker will let through, but you can have either 15- or 20-amp devices connected by either 14- or 12-gauge wire as long as the circuit is protected by a 15-amp breaker. But if you use a 20-amp breaker, then the wire must be at least 12-gauge even though 15-amp switches and receptacles can still be acceptable unless the circuit is a dedicated circuit such as for an AC unit requiring 20 amps.

Cybermonkey
11-12-2008, 06:18 PM
So, basically if the switch is just supplying the light I should be just fine?

Thanks for the help!

leejosepho
11-12-2008, 06:30 PM
So, basically if the switch is just supplying the light I should be just fine?

Yes, as long as the load on the switch is less than the switch's rating.

Johnny C
11-12-2008, 06:42 PM
Section 404.14 requires snap switches to be used within their ratings as marked. See Section 404.14(A) through (D). The ampere rating of the switch is based on the type of switch, the load current that it is intended to interrupt, and the type of load, such as inductive, motor, or tungsten loads.
Assuming the loads you intend to control are lights and small utilization equipment such as radio and tv, switches rated 15 amperes at 125 volts are permited on a 15 or 20 ampere circuit wired with No. 12 awg, Cu.

Cybermonkey
11-12-2008, 06:45 PM
Thanks for the reply.
The other question is: Can you install a 20AMP switch on a 15AMP circuit?

leejosepho
11-12-2008, 06:58 PM
Can you install a 20AMP switch on a 15AMP circuit?


Section 404.14 requires snap switches to be used within their ratings as marked.

Yes, 15 amps are within a 20-amp rating.

Johnny C
11-12-2008, 07:11 PM
Yes you can install a 20 ampere switch on a 15 ampere circuit.

hj
11-13-2008, 06:38 AM
The only time you could not use that 15 amp switch is if you were doing it the easy way and backstabbing the wires. In that case the openings, by code, will not accept the 12 gauge wire.