I am planning to have an isolated ceiling fan switch as an end run of a 20
I ran 14-2 wire from the fan...to the new switch...to the receptacle that
was 15 amp. As I was preparing to tie this all together I noticed that the
receptacle was fed by 12-2 wire and...sure enough there is a 20 amp breaker.
Since the fan (no lights) hardly pulls any amperage it seems like I should
be able to run the 14-2 anyway.
I would do it over with 12 gauge wire. If you have some kind of short,
the breaker won't shut off without 20 amps of current, overloading the wire
and possibly setting you up for a fire. Or maybe liability to the future,
long after you sell the place. Part of the satisfaction of doing a job is
doing it correctly, and it will sit with you for years if you made a
mistake. You never know what the future owner will do to that line distal to
the device. I think it is probably against code, the small load
notwithstanding. Alternatively you could change the breaker to a 15 amp
device, if the line draw isn't too high.
A short circuit is many hundreds of amps, in fact, thousands of amps. The
possibility of a short circuit has nothing to do with the reasons why #14 awg.
should not be used.
Future liability isn't a bad reason to not do it, but it still falls way short
of the better answer.
A better way to state this the satisfaction of doing the job to an industry
standard, workmanlike manner.
Guilt works but, there's still a better answer.
It's ironic, the one and only real and true and legal reason, that it is
against code, is the one you seem to give the least weight to.
Electrical work is governed by industry-standard trade practices and electrical
codes. Not guilt, not future screwups that could make a current screwup
dangerous, not the satisfaction of a job well done.
That falls under the catagory "not in a workmanlike manner."
This is Turtle.
No Happy, A home owner can do as he pleases if he does it and never sells the
house without disclosing the problem before the sale. If he discloses it on the
sale. he has no problem.
So Happy it's not illegal for a home owner to do it but only to a Electrician it
is illegal. Let me ask you one here. Have you ever seen a home owner in court
because he wired his own house wrong. The NEC is for professional and it is not
for home owners to be made to follow. the Home owner should follow the NEC but
there is no law that says they have to.
Happy your going to have to get out more and check on jobs and codes More.
OK so, installing non-code compliant electrical work is not a violation if it's
done by a homeowner and it's disclosed upon the sale.
You're repeating yourself. It's legal for homeowners to install electrical
wiring that does not meet the electrical code.
I suppose if this was being inspected, no violation could be issued either.
Yes. Although not literally because I wasn't actually in the courtroom while
the homeowner was testfying. But I do know of a homeowner whose home burned
down due which killed his tenant, his wife, and a number of family pets.
His home, an older Cape with a 2-car garage connected by breezeway had an
apartment built over the garage and wired by the homeowner. He ran out of oil
one night and gave the tenant electric heaters until the oil company could fill
the tank the next day.
Because of his work, the wiring from the apartment through the breezeway, which
was undersized for the breakers, heated up and started a fire which destroyed 2
lives and prompted his insurer to NOT pay for the loss of the dwelling as
neither the additional uninspected wiring or the finished space above the
garage were ever inspected.
For over a year his story was on the web, and he displayed a large sign on the
now-vacant lot criticizing his homeowner's insurance company in an attempt to
warn others, and direct passers-by to his website. The website unfortunately is
You are absolutely out of your freakin' mind. And if you really believed this
crap, your reply to any homeowner with an electrical question would be "do
whatever you want, homeowners don't have to comply with the NEC -only
professional licensed electricians do."
This from a man who thinks a heat pump with a 40a 220v feed and it's backup
duct heater requiring 60a 220v is a more efficient means of heating a home in
the Northeast with a .14 KWH rate than natural gas or home heating oil.
I think you should stick to knocking tin. After you've read 90.2 a, paragraph
(Assuming the OP's AHJ has adopted the NEC...)
ARTICLE 90 -- Introduction
(a) Practical Safeguarding. The purpose of this Code is the practical
safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of
(b) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for
safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance will result in an
installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily
efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of
FPN: Hazards often occur because of overloading of wiring systems by methods or
usage not in conformity with this Code. This occurs because initial wiring did
not provide for increases in the use of electricity. An initial adequate
installation and reasonable provisions for system changes will provide for
future increases in the use of electricity.
(c) Intention. This Code is not intended as a design specification nor an
instruction manual for untrained persons.
1. Installations of electric conductors and equipment within or on public and
private buildings or other structures, <<<(continued below)
Notice Turtle, it doesn't specify installation by WHOM. It covers and is
applicable to the installation *of*, not the installer...
including mobile homes, recreational vehicles, and floating buildings; and
other premises such as yards, carnival, parking, and other lots, and industrial
Snipping Bull !
Your again confussing a illegal act WITH a insurance company and the home owner
defending off a law suite filed by the tenant's Family . It was not a Criminal
trial but a law suite to collect money for damages. The Home owner never spent a
day in jail but spent court time defending hiself.
If a electrician did it he would come under criminal charges. He is suppose to
You mean, this "bull?"
(a) Covered. This Code covers the following.
public and private buildings or other structures, including mobile homes,
recreational vehicles, and floating buildings; and other premises such as
yards, carnival, parking, and other lots, and industrial substations."
You see Turtle, the code, adopted by the AHJ is the LAW. It does not apply to
homeowners or contractors or licensed electricians or handymen. If it did, each
article would be followed by a fine/imprisonment schedule.
It applies to "the installation."
In the example I cited, there was no criminal trial because there was no intent
to harm anyone or harm property. I have to imagine that even if a licensed
contractor made the installation, and the inspector missed the violation, there
would still be no criminal prosecution.
But to tell the OP ot's OK to install a violation because you cannot imagine
how doing so could cause any harm to anyone, is just plain wrong, bad, jackleg
When you're willing to "let this one go" where does it stop?
Can we feed a bank of 4 switches, each feeding a row of 4 150 watt recessed
cans, with #12 awg. on a 20a circuit, but run each switched leg out with 14/2,
because there's no way any of the switched legs could possibly draw more than
Or how about, we feed the 1st countertop outlet with #12, and then use #14 to
that one lone outlet in the pantry because, heck... whose gonna do any cooking
in a pantry?
This is Turtle.
Still you rant but a home owner can do as he pleases and do no illegal wrong.
It's just again the code or code violation.
There is illegal and then there is a code violation. Two different horse you can
Turtle, you don't seem to understand. In any jurisdiction that has adopted the
NEC, the Code *is* the law, and a violation of the Code *is* a violation of
the law. You're trying to make a distinction that doesn't exist, except in
those jurisdictions that haven't adopted the Code (or a substitute).
One question here. Why is the original circuit on 20 amp breaker in
the first place? If it is part of an appliance circuit in a kitchen or
dinning area?If so than changing the breaker is not an option.
Now for those of you who were quoting code and for those of you who
think the code can be ignored (Turtle) I submit the following.
(4) Police, Fire,
and other enforcement agencies shall have authority to render necessary
assistance in the enforcement of this Code when requested to do so by
the authority having jurisdiction.
(2) Any order or notice issued pursuant to this code shall be served
upon the owner ,operator,occupant,or other person responsible for the
condition or violation,either by personal service or mail..............
(1) Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this Code or
who fail to carry out an order made pursuant to this code or violates
any condition attached to a permit ,approval,or certificate shall be
subject to the penalties established by this jurisdiction.
Now for those of you (Turtle) who think the code is a joke , I
suggest you (Turtle) go pick up a copy and read further . If you read
the above or read the code itself you will notice words like owner ,
occupant , person or persons. There very few places were the Code
spcifically states Electrician. So yes the home owner is responsible.
Lastly Turtle do the group a favor and pull your head in your shell
and stop giving out bogus information.
In some areas I've found that when the remainder sq. ft. of a dwelling works
out to just over 1800 watts, that some electricians just up one of the circuits
to a 20a circuit instead of adding one more 15a circuit to cover the
The code is a minimum standard. There is no code that says bedrooms/livingrooms
can't be 20a circuits.
This is Turtle.
There is no right and wrong here.
You need to explain what is wrong here before you can say there is or something
In Louisiana the NEC code is Appliable but Home owner can do as they please as
long as they do the work by theirself and not get anybody '' for hire '' to work
on the job. Other states have different regulation that may let the NEC code be
inforced by a homeowner doing the work but Louisiana has no such ability of law
enforcement, fire dept. , or any inspection dept. of any thing to enforce a home
owner to wire his house a different way.
When you don't know the laws in a different state like Louisiana, you make
mistakes like you just did by speaking out or being a band wagon member. Knowing
what NEC code say has nothing to do with what the state laws are on appling the
NEC code. State laws can over ride NEC if they see fit to do so for NEC is a
Code and not a law of any kind.
Please tell me about the Louisiana State laws are on Home Owner doing their own
work and Jail terms that Apply. Here is you a little secret here. There is none.
This is Turtle.
You need to follow the conversation better and you will see my responce was not
to the O.P. er. Too small of wire is in it'self WRONG to do but there is no
wrong when a home owner does it for in Louisiana No inspector or government
agency can say a word to him if he does it hisself and does not have a FOR HIRE
person do it. FOR HIRE people get burned at the stake for this.
And Yes, Hap your still a troll.
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