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Thread: Replace all Wiring that was Stolen any great suggestion???????????

  1. #76
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Default Guess I just don't get it.

    I don't really see the big deal with having 20 amp circuits and why they are not safe.

    It takes a lot less current to kill you so 15 amps is just as dangerous when it comes to electrical shock.

    As long as the wiring is correct I do not see the big problem.

    I would rather have larger wiring and less voltage drop. When voltage goes down current goes up.

    My breaker panel does not have any 15 amp breakers, the 120V breakers are all 20A.

    So does that make my house unsafe ?

    All the houses around here were built by the same builder, so I would think that they are all wired the same.

    Do we need a House oversize Wiring/Breaker Recall ?

    Voltage drop is more of a problem for appliances than having to much current available than required to operate it.

    What am I missing here ? Other than low voltage at my outlets when I plug in a heavy load.

    To be totally safe you can always turn your Main Breaker off and deal with the candle fire damage.


    Guess I just don't get it.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  2. #77
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I don't really see the big deal with having 20 amp circuits and why they are not safe. It takes a lot less current to kill you so 15 amps is just as dangerous when it comes to electrical shock. As long as the wiring is correct I do not see the big problem.
    I donít believe that anyone has said that there is a problem installing 20 amp general purpose (those circuits in the bedrooms, living, outside, ect) or that they are dangerous.
    If one would read this with an open mind one could see that there are draw backs to installing 20 amp general purpose circuits and the claim that 20 amp circuits are better than 15 amp circuits has flaws.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I would rather have larger wiring and less voltage drop. When voltage goes down current goes up.
    unless you have circuits a thousand feet long in your home then VD is no problem. The voltage drop on the utility side canít be fixed with oversized circuits. Case in point, At my house the voltage to ground at my service in off peak hours is ~ 127 but during peak hours can be down to ~115.



    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    My breaker panel does not have any 15 amp breakers, the 120V breakers are all 20A. So does that make my house unsafe ?
    Generally speaking no, but in some cases yes

    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Voltage drop is more of a problem for appliances than having to much current available than required to operate it.
    this is untrue. If it were true then every time that your heat or AC unit started up your appliances would have a problem. I have seen my brothers voltage at his service as low as 107 volts with on problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    What am I missing here ? Other than low voltage at my outlets when I plug in a heavy load.
    You seem to be overlooking things such as extension cords, supply cords, plug strips, surge protectors that will have either 18 or 16 gauge conductors that are protected at 20 amps instead of 15 amps.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Guess I just don't get it.
    The first part of getting it will be to open your mind. I didnít get it either until I opened my mind to the words of others that had lot more experience than me in current flow.

  3. #78
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Thank You Mike for breaking that all down for me so that I could understand it better.

    Most if not all consumer products that are sold today have built in protection.

    Even some of those Cheap if not All extension cords have a fuse link built into the Plug.
    People think the plug is bad, when really the fuse link opened. They replace the plug and it works again, but now with no fuse link.

    Most power strips have 10, 12 Amp or 15 Amp breakers built in.

    A 1000 watt microwave will have a 15 Amp fuse on the input before the surge protector.

    Most everything that connects to a AC outlet has built in protection of its own. Tell me what really don't ?


    We are not flying a Shuttle here, and the Redundancy is more problem than worth worrying about.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  4. #79
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Okay for the sake of argument let’s say that everything has built-in overcurrent protection of some sort

    The laws of current flow say that current will stop flowing at the place where the overcurrent is located. So now please explain what is protecting the conductors from the male end of the cord to where this overcurrent is located?

    If the insulation is cracked and is beginning to have a buildup of carbon in this crack to the point that it is conducting current what would role would internal overcurrent play for this situation. That built in overcurrent device would never see that current.

    Ever see a picture of a conductor that was discolored due to a loose connection? Why didn’t the overcurrent device on that conductor open? I have seen the ends of cords both on appliances and extension cords that was disfigured due to heat. Why didn’t the internal overcurrent devices open?

    When we up size from 15 to 20 amps we allow at the very least 600 watts (5 amps times 120 volts) more heat to flow across this continually and a surge up to 4000 more watts.
    Again I am not saying that the use of 20 amp general purpose circuits is illegal in any way. What I am saying is that a 20 amp general purpose circuit has flaws so to say one is better is incorrect.

  5. #80
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Again I am not saying that the use of 20 amp general purpose circuits is illegal in any way. What I am saying is that a 20 amp general purpose circuit has flaws so to say one is better is incorrect.
    I'll bang this drum one more time: for the contractor, installing 15 amp is better. It costs less in materials, and it goes in faster. It is a whole lot easier to stuff the wires into the boxes. I often can install 14ga by myself where I would need help with 12ga.

    As there is no advantage to having the general purpose circuits set at 20 amp (that I can see) I am more than ready to say that one is better than the other. And now that I am thinking of the unnecessary extra current available to cook a deteriorating cord, I am even more adamant.

    In some systems elsewhere in the world, plugs have replaceable fuses incorporated, and the fuse is rated to protect the device the plug is connected to. I know that this is practice in Britain, although I don't know if it is required of every item with a plug.

    I suppose that Congress could pass a law requiring a similar system here: your clock radio protected at one amp, your blender at four, etc.

    And then there would be all sorts of tiresome crying of the "Nanny State", from the same cretins who complain that 125 year old lighting technology should be abandoned for technology that is four or ten times as efficient.

  6. #81
    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    "And now that I am thinking of the unnecessary extra current available to cook a deteriorating cord, I am even more adamant."

    well how about 12 ga on an AFCI breaker? wouldn't that 'help' find such a fault?

  7. #82
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    "And now that I am thinking of the unnecessary extra current available to cook a deteriorating cord, I am even more adamant."

    well how about 12 ga on an AFCI breaker? wouldn't that 'help' find such a fault?
    It won't help you pull the wire and fold it into the box. Or pay the premium on 12 ga.
    Last edited by Homeownerinburb; 06-14-2012 at 08:52 PM.

  8. #83
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    well how about 12 ga on an AFCI breaker? wouldn't that 'help' find such a fault?
    That will depend on who you are talking with as most don't believe that they work as claimed.

    They seem to do fine with an arc between two conductors but no so good when the arc is contained in just one conductor. I have seen many discolored neutrals that were protected by arc fault and not tightened in the terminal bar and the arc fault did not open so should this be happening in a damaged cord it wouldnít open either.

    If it is not arcing and only overheating they will not open. Think of a portable electric heater, 1500 watts going through an 18 gauge cord for hours. The arc fault device is not seeing an arc but the cord is melting before your eyes.

    Now think of a plug strip or a dollar store extension cord that has a high load. The arc fault will not protect against the heat generated by this load either.

    Then we have the very delicate subject matter that is talked about in the circles that I sit in. Someone is doing work in their own homes or as most will call them the do-it-yourselfer that will not get inspections and has limited or no knowledge of what they are doing and seek help from other DIYers over the internet. In most of these cases the $65 arc fault is bypassed for the cheaper $6 standard breaker due simply to the cost. This is not to mention the other faults found such as box fill, types of joints, and the list go on and on.

    Having worked with home inspectors during the sale of a home I have seen some pretty scary DIY installations and set in wonderment of how the home did not burn to the ground. One that comes to mind was a multiwire circuit from a two pole 30 amp breaker for the addition of a sunroom built over a patio. 12/3 was installed to supply the lights and receptacles and one receptacle at a window for a wall shaker. When the AC was turned on it tripped the 20 amp breaker so they replaced it with a 30.
    The home inspector found one receptacle that didnít work so he suggested me and the buyer had me take a look. This receptacle was cooked completely to the point of disintegration not to mention the damage to the cable.

    I know this has little to do with the subject being discussed here but the heat allowed to pass through the 15 amp receptacles would have been the same should such a load have been protected by 20 amps.

    My point is that a 15 amp receptacle is rated at 15 amps period. Yes the tab is rated at 20 amps let through but the receptacle (the part we plug into) is still rated for a load of no more than 12 amps so to install this on a 20 amp circuit will surly cause a failure on a heavily loaded receptacle.

  9. #84
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    One problem I see with having 15 amp breakers, is that if they do trip then many homeowners will replace them with 20 Amp.

    And they may not understand that their wiring is not made for it.


    If you have a bad appliance cord and continue using it then you are just plain stupid, and that can't be fixed.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  10. #85
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    One problem I see with having 15 amp breakers, is that if they do trip then many homeowners will replace them with 20 Amp.

    And they may not understand that their wiring is not made for it.


    If you have a bad appliance cord and continue using it then you are just plain stupid, and that can't be fixed.
    Anyone who replaces a 15 breaker with a 20 is none too bright either.

  11. #86
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I'll bang this drum one more time: for the contractor, installing 15 amp is better. It costs less in materials, and it goes in faster. It is a whole lot easier to stuff the wires into the boxes. I often can install 14ga by myself where I would need help with 12ga.
    I'll bang all your guys drums with a ball pein hammer: Just about evey country except Kenya wire for 240 volts. Imagine all you electricians pulling wire the size of speaker wire - 16 gauge or so - Imagine wiring with a 5/16 drill bit.

    AMERICA THE STUUUUUPID! That roll of Romex just went down to 18$ a roll.

    My European friends see a roll of 12 ga wire and have a good belly laugh at our waste. I especially like my shop with three phase - I think 5 HP takes 14 gauge. Try that in 120 volts.

    In some systems elsewhere in the world, plugs have replaceable fuses incorporated, and the fuse is rated to protect the device the plug is connected to.
    AND.... they have REAL plugs and receptacles that put our junk to shame. At 240 volts. and they do not allow contact with the prongs while being plugged in like our JOKE "protective" new outlets with the little gates built in. Face it guys, Edison and some dopes in the 1800's decided less was better, and cost America trillions in wasted copper.

    As to irons, I never saw one over 1200 watts except at dads tailor shop and it weighed about 20 pounds.

  12. #87
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    I'll bang all your guys drums with a ball pein hammer: Just about evey country except Kenya wire for 240 volts. Imagine all you electricians pulling wire the size of speaker wire - 16 gauge or so - Imagine wiring with a 5/16 drill bit.

    AMERICA THE STUUUUUPID! That roll of Romex just went down to 18$ a roll.

    My European friends see a roll of 12 ga wire and have a good belly laugh at our waste. I especially like my shop with three phase - I think 5 HP takes 14 gauge. Try that in 120 volts.



    AND.... they have REAL plugs and receptacles that put our junk to shame. At 240 volts. and they do not allow contact with the prongs while being plugged in like our JOKE "protective" new outlets with the little gates built in. Face it guys, Edison and some dopes in the 1800's decided less was better, and cost America trillions in wasted copper.

    As to irons, I never saw one over 1200 watts except at dads tailor shop and it weighed about 20 pounds.
    Good point.

    220-230-240 or what ever you want to call it is more efficient also.


    120 is for kids.
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  13. #88
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Just about evey country except Kenya wire for 240 volts.
    I BELIEVE Japan is at 100v. I suppose I could look it up......

    Your point is absolutely well taken. One uses half as much copper (approx) when one doubles the voltage.

    Of course, a higher voltage is more dangerous. Again, there is a trade-off. We COULD run our homes on 12v AC and the opportunity for electrocution would rather drop off. Assuming you are not soaking wet when you get up against the hot conductor.

    And we could run them at 600v and use 24ga for the kitchen circuits.

    Seriously. 240v would be and is more efficient in many ways, but we don't have it and never will.

    And I cannot see any point in wiring general purpose circuits at 20amp.

  14. #89
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Japan has areas that are straight 240 and some that are 120/240. This has something to do with the work the U.S. did after WWII.

    If our infrastructure had been bombed back to the Stone Age after WWII like it was in Europe we would likely be on a straight 240V system also.

    The U.S. system is what it is because we had electric power first, and worked all the bugs out for the rest of the world. 110V was enough for the early uses. As electric power evolved 110/220V system was adopted to support existing equipment. Later on voltage was bumped up to 120/240.

  15. #90
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm

    Have a look at the word chart. We are a third or 4th world country, in with HAITI and JAMAICA. Imagine that Afghanistan and Albania and Iran know better than "US".

    ActionDave makes good points.... but if we can push sprinkler systems on residences, and now in California, off water systems homes require 250 gallons of water at 50 PSI. That would buy you a pretty fair used car. NOW they are requiring special roof clips with bizzare structural structural connections for .......SOLAR PANELS. Even if your roof only faces north and you are in a grove of 200' Redwood trees. And you never plan for panels.

    Point being, If we mice allow some green over educated, over paid college bone heads to destroy the building industry, how about mandating 240v lights, at the very least. It would be the only helpful item. Imagine, you can buy mobile homes - with none of the requirements.

    Time for builders to do a sit in at the capitol. And surround it with excavators.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 06-17-2012 at 03:25 PM.

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