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Thread: 15 amp to 20 amp

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ryan87500's Avatar
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    Default 15 amp to 20 amp

    I am about to purchase a house with a 15 amp breaker in the bathroom and would like to change it to a 20 amp breaker. I know I have to rerun the 14 gauge wire to 12 gauge wire, but is there any requirements for neutral wires?

    I do not know the size of the neutral wire that is currently being used.

    Ryan
    Last edited by ryan87500; 09-08-2008 at 07:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Is this a cable instllation?

    The white is the same size as the black in a cable.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Just my opinion...if you don't know the answer to your question you may want to have an electrician do the work...

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    This is more complicated than you think. Assuming that breaker serves several receptacals and/or switchs, you would have to track down ALL the runs and branches on that circuit to ensure that NO 14 gauge wire remained.


    You did not tell us what you want to accomplish, but it sounds like it might be simpler to just install an all new 20 amp circuit into the area where you need it.

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    DIY Junior Member ryan87500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    This is more complicated than you think. Assuming that breaker serves several receptacals and/or switchs, you would have to track down ALL the runs and branches on that circuit to ensure that NO 14 gauge wire remained.


    You did not tell us what you want to accomplish, but it sounds like it might be simpler to just install an all new 20 amp circuit into the area where you need it.
    I realize that I would have to track it down to all switches / receptacles and pull new wire to each one.

    What I want to accomplish is not getting yelled at by my wife when she trys to run her 1875 watt hair dryer and her hair straightener and keeps on tripping the breaker.

    The wire is run through conduit in the house and from what I can tell is they have a separate breaker that controls the 3 batrooms in the house.

  6. #6
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    with a 1875 watt dryer and the other item plus the lights a 20A circuit may not work

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member ryan87500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    with a 1875 watt dryer and the other item plus the lights a 20A circuit may not work

    The current run only connects the outlets in the bathroom so with a 20a I believe I should be fine.

  8. #8
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    how many watts is the hair straightener?

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member ryan87500's Avatar
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    It is 170w

  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    It may be easier to just buy a smaller hair dryer

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    DIY Junior Member ryan87500's Avatar
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    Is 15AMP standard for a house that is about 25 years old?

  12. #12
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan87500 View Post
    Is 15AMP standard for a house that is about 25 years old?

    Yes
    Many homes only have a 15 amp circuit supplying the bath receptacle.
    Sometimes it is better to fit our lifestyles around what we have instead of fitting everything around us to our lifestyles.

    Edited to add:

    Portable electric heaters are sometimes too big for the circuit that supplies them.
    The question becomes, do I install a larger circuit for the heater, find a different circuit to plug into or just put on a few more cloths?

    This can also be said about the big blow dryers. Do I rewire the house to satisfy the hair dryer or do I find somewhere else to plug it in?
    The simple solution is to get a smaller dryer.
    Last edited by jwelectric; 09-08-2008 at 09:16 AM.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member ryan87500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Yes
    Many homes only have a 15 amp circuit supplying the bath receptacle.
    Sometimes it is better to fit our lifestyles around what we have instead of fitting everything around us to our lifestyles.

    Edited to add:

    Portable electric heaters are sometimes too big for the circuit that supplies them.
    The question becomes, do I install a larger circuit for the heater, find a different circuit to plug into or just put on a few more cloths?

    This can also be said about the big blow dryers. Do I rewire the house to satisfy the hair dryer or do I find somewhere else to plug it in?
    The simple solution is to get a smaller dryer.
    I agree that is the best option.

    Just for curiosity sake does the neutral wire gauge have to match the hot wire gauge.

    Thanks

  14. #14
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan87500 View Post
    I agree that is the best option.

    Just for curiosity sake does the neutral wire gauge have to match the hot wire gauge.

    Thanks
    YES unless it is a deversified load such as a range service dryer ect,,,

    All 120 volt circuits will need a neutral neutral the same size as the hot conductor.

  15. #15

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    Conduit in your house? Sweet

    Pull in a couple of #12's and install a GFCI outlet. Leave the other wiring intact/fed thru/capped off.

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