Oh, and seeing as how you are into a full rewire, if the basic lighting circuits were wired with 12 ga, definitely do as much of the house in 14 ga as you can, you will be very glad that you did.
I also run 12 for it all,except greater than 20 amps. Of course ,My work is repair n remodels, not track housing.
Obviously, if you are extending a circuit, you just match wire gauge to the protection existing.
There are many misinformed people out there that think a 20 amp circuit is better than a 15 amp circuit for general purpose circuits.
Let’s look at this from a logical stand point. The cords that come on appliances used on general purpose circuits such as TVs, DVD players, lamps, ect… will be either a 16 or 18 gauge conductor. These cords have an ampacity of 7 and 10 amps respectively.
Using a 20 amp circuit to supply these appliances will allow at least 600 more watts of heat to travel through these cords in the event of a failure. This heat will most certainly cause more damage to the insulation than a circuit of lesser value.
Sometimes we think we are doing something that is better when in reality what we are doing is causing more problems. If we look at the owner’s manuals of some of these appliances we will find that plugging them into a 20 amp circuits is beyond the recommendations of the manufacturer.
What we seem to forget is that the breaker or fuse is there to protect the conductors not the appliance being plugged into the receptacle. Should a 15 amp circuit be overloaded the worst thing that will happen is the overcurrent device open but when we start installing a 20 amp overcurrent device on circuits that have cords that are rated at only 7 to 10 amps then we are causing problems especially if we are using such things as dollar store extension cords or plug strips.
IF you do NOT "bash" the box out, but rather cut it out, then a "remodel box" should fit the opening and you have enough room to work the wires before installing the new box, meaning that there should be very little drywall repair to do. Connect the ends of all pairs of the cut wires together before going down into the room, then you can test all the wires at one time saving multiple trips into the attic.
Licensed residential and commercial plumber
I don't know if I would trust remodel boxes with flip out lugs for receptacles, if the hole in the wall has been banged around a bit. If I did install them, and they were going in next to a stud, I'd think about drilling a couple of small holes and running some screws into the stud, if that would not cant the box around.
Anyway you count it, the OP has a mess on his hands, and would be well advised to have a relatively competent assistant on hand.
Hell, my daughter at age 6 helped me pull #2 thru some conduit that passed under a walkway between the house and garage. Ten years later she is almost less useful....
For me the fact that is lots easier to work with 14ga and it demands less space in boxes and that it costs less motivates me to use it as much as I can.
Just like I try to use the smallest legitimate wire nut, in order to fill the boxes less.
Last edited by jwelectric; 06-09-2012 at 01:11 PM. Reason: edited to fix quote
"If we look at the owner’s manuals of some of these appliances we will find that plugging them into a 20 amp circuits is beyond the recommendations of the manufacturer."
the appliance does not care what is it plugged into, as long as the prongs fit.. as you stated, the OCP for the wire in the wall is the 20a breaker at the panel. as for the 18 ga cord, that is up to the appliance to be fused. 20a vs 15a, it's still going to blow that fuse in the radio/tv/whatever. i guess i don't see your point. if 12 ga was 'incorrect' to use, it would not be able to be used for such a purpose, don't you think? our current house is wired the same way ( i didn't wire it, bought it like that in 2005, new build) and have had zero issues, except from where the 'rockers' got carried away with a rotozip and hit a wire i had to fix.
i just rewired my rental house. i used 12 ga in most receps, and 14ga for all lighting, outlets separate from lighting. if you are wiring a living room with 10 receps, with your tv/stereo, table lights, etc and then run a something like a vacuum, it gives you what, 600 more watts to play with? yeah, i'll take that, rather than string another dedicated line for a living room circuit.
Last edited by Chad Schloss; 06-10-2012 at 06:31 PM.
[QUOTE=Cif you are wiring a living room with 10 receps, with your tv/stereo, table lights, etc and then run a something like a vacuum, it gives you what, 600 more watts to play with? yeah, i'll take that, rather than string another dedicated line for a living room circuit.[/QUOTE]
Holy crap! Ten receptacles in one living room? You have the Queen of England as a client?
It is a large living room indeed that needs more than six receptacles by code.
I suppose you could be running your monster stereo at full whack so that you can hear it over the vacuum cleaner and then somehow, with a massive flat screen in the room running a vampire load, and then trip the breaker.
That is one huge living room.
Well said, On My using 12 Ga. in remodeling came from a retired Master Elec. in S.F.He was a German that polished the Ice Cubes ! Nuts on .