#14 Romex To Light From #12/20-amp?

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I've got an outlet box that is fed by #12 Romex backed by a 20-amp breaker.
If I were to tap that box to feed a ceiling light, would #14 wire be code-legal for box-to-ceiling-light?
If I were to pick nits, I might say "No" because conceivably somebody might plug a load into the ceiling light that exceeded 15 amps.... OTOH.... ?
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 1/25/2014 9:55 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

The way I was taught it, many years ago, if you have a 20A circuit then every item on the circuit needs to be able to handle 20A -- wires, outlets, switches, etc. Really, what is the difference in cost between #14 and #12 wire? Yeah, it is a bit stiffer and harder to work with but you aren't going to be doing it too often. I always remind myself that if a fire occurs and the insurance inspector shows up I don't want him finding anything stupid that would let the company wriggle out of paying up.
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On Saturday, January 25, 2014 9:55:33 AM UTC-5, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

No, unless you change the breaker to 15 amps.

Yes, you're on the right track.
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On Saturday, January 25, 2014 7:07:01 AM UTC-8, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That also should not be code compliant as someone could see the 12 guage wire coming off the breaker and change it back to 20amp.
Harry K
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On Saturday, January 25, 2014 1:06:13 PM UTC-5, Harry K wrote:

Maybe, and I see your point, but AFAIK, it's not a code violation, unless you have a cite that says otherwise. Anyone changing a breaker to a higher rating should only do so after checking everything on it and not just by making assumptions.
In the case in question, I don't see all the fuss. I'd just use 12 gauge because it looks like it's about 15 ft of Romex in a garage and as someone pointed out, the cost difference isn't much.
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On 1/25/2014 10:35 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That attitude is exactly why we have one-size-fits-all requirements in the code. People are stupid. Maybe you don't care if the next owner of the house burns it down.
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On Saturday, January 25, 2014 4:23:53 PM UTC-5, mike wrote:

What "attitude"? And what "one size fits all" requirement in the NEC are you referring to? Please cite. AFAIK, it's perfectly code compliant to use either 12 gauge wire or 14 gauge wire on a 15 amp breaker. And IDK of any requriement that says if you want to use 12 gauge for a very long run to reduce voltage drop, then install some 15 amp receptacles on the end or some lights, using 14 gauge, that it's not allowed. If you have the section to cite, I'm sure we'd all like to see it.
And I'd say that people who are stupid and unqualifed should not be changing breakers in a panel. Because if you operate on that premise, then they could put a 50 amp breaker in and hook 12, 14, or 18 gauge wire to it.
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wrote:

What code is that? The NEC does not address what an unqualified person might do later.
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On Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:46:53 AM UTC-8, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

NEC code does not even address anything about WHO wires it. Ever hear about getting wiring inspected when selling a house? Violations don't pass no matter who screwed it up.
Harry K
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wrote:

Not exactly true.
90.1(C) (C) Intention. This Code is not intended as a design specification or an instruction manual for untrained persons. The NEC is intended for use by capable engineers and electrical contractors in the design and/or installation of electrical equipment; by inspection authorities exercising legal jurisdiction over electrical installations; by property insurance inspectors; by qualified industrial, commercial, and residential electricians; and by instructors of electrical apprentices or students.
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On Sun, 26 Jan 2014 11:32:20 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'm not in that list so I guess I should stop reading all the quotatoins from it and citations to it given here. That will save me some time.
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wrote:

Maybe you should be calling someone who is on that list ;-)
Seriously, there are other books that interpret the arcane language of the code. In fact the first sentence of my cite is from the NEC, the rest is from the NEC handbook, one of those interpretations. That is what most mortals should be buying anyway. It gives you the code, then explains what they are saying.
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The Handbook is almost required to understand the Code Book. Especially the drawings. I have not looked at a Code Book in a long time, but don't recall any drawings in it to explain the language.
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On Sun, 26 Jan 2014 11:32:20 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That just says who it ( the code) is intended to be used by - and does not say anything about who does the work. ( as long as the installation is inspected by " inspection authorities exercising legal jurisdiction over electrical installations")
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On Sun, 26 Jan 2014 16:03:51 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I always wondered why they don't make a residential version of the code. There is so much stuff in the NEC that doesn't pertain to residential. I think they could sell them to many people that find the NEC too confusing. (Isn't that everyone?)
I had a workbook when I was studying electricity (1978) that was only for house wiring. It showed pictures of a house and had sections that were broken up as parts of the home. It has stuff like service, kitchen, bath even CATV. A book like that could sell to a lot of home owners that DIY.
I just tried to Google for it and didn't find anything similar.
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wrote:

It probably hasn't been done for liability reasons.
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On 1/26/2014 3:37 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

Both from the publisher of the NEC:
http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product.asp?title=&category_name=National+Electrical+Code+%28NEC%29&pid=PGNECRES14&target_pid=PGNECRES14&src_pid=&link_typetegory&icid=&Page=2 2014 NEC® Pocket Guide to Residential Electrical Installations
http://www.constructionbook.com/nfpa-70a-national-electrical-code-requirements-for-one-and-two-family-dwellings-2005-edition-ea-70a05/nfpa-code/ National Electrical Code Requirements for One-and Two-Family Dwellings, 2005 Edition

Unless things have changed drastically there are a lot of books on residential electrical wiring.
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On Sunday, January 26, 2014 11:06:37 AM UTC-5, Harry K wrote:

The point wasn't what NEC says about who wires it. The point was that NEC doesn't prohibit what you and another poster claim. Give us a cite to where the NEC says that you can't install 12 gauge wire on a 15 amp breaker, then use 14 gauge to extend the run to some lights. AFAIK, there is no such restriction and Gfre apparently agrees.
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On 1/26/2014 10:44 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Interesting implication was that someone who changes the breaker to 20A if the wire is #12 (without investigating) is unqualified.

So do I. The NEC is interested in minimum wire size.
You might increase the wire size for a long run to decrease voltage drop.
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As a matter of fact, at other places in the code you will find that under certain circumstances e.g. long runs from the breaker box, it REQUIRES that 12 gauge wire be used on 15 amp circuits...
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