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Thread: wire gauge change mid circuit

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  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Default wire gauge change mid circuit

    Question,
    Am I allowed to change a 12 gauge circuit to a 14 gauge lighting circuit? I would expect the other way to be an absolute no no.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Default

    Only if the breaker was a 15A breaker.

    14awg = 15A
    12awg = 20A

    Why would you even consider that?
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Yes obviously. Just wanted to know if it would pass inspection if he saw 2 different gauges even though the breaker was still 15amp.

    TY

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    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Default

    Sorry,
    I didn't answer your question.

    Well the house was rewired with 200 amp before I bought it and I see 2 cases of it done. I guess it was cause the installer had extra 3wire in 14 that he used instead of getting more 12/3. Kind of cheap. I plan to replace it when I redo that room so if I evern need to change 20amp I will be set in the future.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member jamiedolan's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rockycmt View Post
    Sorry,
    I didn't answer your question.

    Well the house was rewired with 200 amp before I bought it and I see 2 cases of it done. I guess it was cause the installer had extra 3wire in 14 that he used instead of getting more 12/3. Kind of cheap. I plan to replace it when I redo that room so if I evern need to change 20amp I will be set in the future.

    Thanks
    I would ensure the 12 awg in your panel is clearly labeled "warning connected to 14awg wire, must be protected by 15A breaker"

    Yes, I have seen this done, and I don't know why they did it either. It is wrong. You can have a smaller gage wire connected to the 12gage and maintain 20A protection, but only if that smaller gage wire feeds (and is attached to by the manfacture) a UL approved fixture (i.e. hanging lamp with 16 gage cord)

    What do you mean it was because he had an extra 3rd wire in the 14? When I hear things like that, I think MWBC, use due caution.

    Jamie

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    I feel the installer used 14/3 (Cause he had it on hand) to wire a ceiling fan instead of purchasing more 12/3 to keep the gauges the same. He cheaped out.

  7. #7
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Default

    You can have a smaller gage wire connected to the 12gage and maintain 20A protection, but only if that smaller gage wire feeds (and is attached to by the manfacture) a UL approved fixture (i.e. hanging lamp with 16 gage cord)

    Is this really allowed? There's no danger of overheating?
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  8. #8
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Default

    What do you want to do?
    Put a 15a breaker (1800 watts) on 12g wire
    --allowed, but as stated - why? breakers are the same $$

    You can hook up lighting to a 12g circuit (2400 watts)

    Do you want to run 14g wiring now to lights from a 12g circuit?
    I would never mix wiring in a circuit, not sure about code on that
    The problem is when someone looks at the wire in the breaker panel, sees 12g wire & upgrades the breaker to a 20a
    The 14g wire may be hidden & unknown
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
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