12/3 connected to 12/2 and 14/2

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this)@optonline.net> wrote:

Since you're so confident that it's a violation, perhaps you'd be good enough to cite the article of the Code which prohibits it?
Remember, he has *twelve* gauge wire coming off of a *fifteen* amp breaker (for which 14ga would be sufficient), and he's reducing it later to 14ga.
That's *not* a problem.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Greetings,
Although I cannot quite explain it, I know that everyone loves photos. I have included them at the URL below.
Thank you all very much again, William
URLS: http://tinyurl.com/awu4o
or http://www.universityofsavanna.com/flat/alt.home.repair/050616%20%2012-2%2014-2%2012-3%2010-3%2010-3%20Junction%20Box%20Electrical%20Photos /
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Lotsa wires in that box... Have you done a capacity calculation?
Mininum size of the box is 2.25 cubic inches per 12ga conductor, plus 2.25 cubic inches for the equipment grounds, plus 2.00 cubic inches per 14ga conductor
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Greetings,
I have added a box size calculation spreadsheet at bottom. http://tinyurl.com/awu4o
Hope this helps, William
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or, you could be nice, and provide a written explanation stored someplace close to the box. (at least tell them where to look --- "see junction box above north wall in room blah")
--
be safe.
flip
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

If some idiot does replace the 15A breaker with a 20, it's not all that dangerous in this case. IIRC, the ampacity of #14 UF cable is 20A even though the code limits you to 15A. The #14 cable is underground, so if it does get overloaded it has a nice heat sink to protect it for a while, and if it ultimately burns up it will not start a fire because it's buried.
Tape a little card inside the panel cover that says "Breaker #5 is 15A because the circuit contains a mix of 12 and 14 ga wire", or write something to that effect with a Sharpie.
Best regards, Bob
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And your code reference is.............?! It is not only acceptable, but is done all the time. Anyone who would increase a breaker size without checking the circuit out should not be doing any electrical work.
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With what mystical power is one to determine that somewhere downstream the wire size has been reduced

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this)@optonline.net> wrote:

Trace the cable. I'd certainly be inclined to do a bit of checking, if I saw a 12ga wire coming off a 15A breaker.

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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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RBM wrote:

Every 15 amp breaker in my house (Built in 1986) has a 12 gauge feeder to the first recepticle/box.
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I know of no code section that prohibits you from reducing the size of a breaker on a given conductor.
As others said in the future there is a greater chance of someone installing a oversized breaker for the smaller wiring. I would not do what your suggesting.
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I would say that could be done, a bit confusing though. No real cost savings in it either.
One thing that would be a problem with it though is if you used arc faults to protect run in bedroom areas (gfci maybe too?) Their neutrals go into the breaker and then to the busbar. No way of sharing it.
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Greetings,
I am not using AFCI or GFCI circuit breakers in either case.
Thank you, William
PS: The cost savings come from using wire which is already run instead of having to run new wire in difficult places.
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[Your other posting made it clear that the 14/2 is on the 15A side, and the 12/2 on the 20A side, and the common neutral is 12ga as it needs to be.]
AFAIK, according to NEC rules this isn't illegal.
In CEC rules, the 12/3 in a box/shared neutral means that the breakers must be tied. You can't get a 15A/20A pair, tied or otherwise. You can tiebar singles, but that's frowned upon.
However, why bother? You're saving a few pennies at the expense of possible future confusion, and some risk (from untied breakers). By the time you factor in overshoot in having to buy two kinds of wire versus one, and a dual 20A versus singleton 15A and 20A breakers, chances are your approach costs you _more_.
I'd personally use a dual-tied 20A breaker (even if, strictly speaking, you don't have to), and 12ga throughout.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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His other posting also indicated that the 14/2 was buried UF, already in place, and a PITA to change out.
As I see it, he has several options.
1. use the existing wiring as is, with existing breakers, and no handle ties     (legal under current NEC??, but not legal under CEC).
2. replace the single 20A breaker with a dual 20A breaker to match the     dual 15A in the next slot, and tie the adjacent 15 and 20 together.     (this will leave the extra 20 unused for future use)     unsure about availability of handle ties, as breaker type is     unspecified.
3. run a piece of 12/2 (or 14/2) from the panel to the utility box, and     move the 15A circuit off the 12/3, thus avoiding the shared neutral.     You may want to move the entire circuit into a new utility box.
4. replace the buried 14/2 UF with 12/2 UF, and the breaker with a 20A,     using the existing 12/3 w/shared neutral configuration.
5. options 3 and 4 combined.

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I should have said:
5. options 3 and 4 combined, without the shared neutral.
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Bob Vaughan | techie @ tantivy.net |
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Thank you very much for your input Bob. I went with option One (see other posts) because it was easy and code compliant.
Also, I actually like the shared neutral when possible. Less holes to drill / wires to run / voltage drop / fewer or smaller boxes to install / neutral bar holes used* / grounds to come lose / etc etc. These are general benefits, not specific benefits of this job.
*Believe it or not I had one subpanel with all mini-breakers that ran out of neutrals bar holes but still had slots for breakers. Inspectors here will only allow one neutral under a terminal on the neutral bar but grounds can be twisted.
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