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Greetings,
I had an electrical inspector try to tell me that I couldn't put my lights on a 20 A breaker. NO, IT WAS NOT BECAUSE WIRING TO THE LIGHTS WAS ONLY 14 AWG. What do I do about this incorrect information?
Thanks, Deans
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

Ask the inspector to cite the code reference. Keep in mind that it may be a local code. Also, you may have misunderstood what the inspector said. For example, required 20 amp SMALL APPLIANCE circuits that feed the kitchen and the dining room or breakfast nook receptacles are _not_ permitted to have lights connected to those circuits.
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No. I didn't misunderstand. No. It isn't a small appliance circuit. This guy wants overhead lights on 15 A breakers.
volts500 wrote:

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I thought he was considering a lights-only circuit.
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If you were an electrical contractor or someone who has to work with this inspector, you'd change the breaker to 15 amps and walk away!!

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Theres no use in having a 20 amp breaker on a dedicated light only circuit. If theres fluroscents your better off on a 15 amp circuit.
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The reason you'd use a 20 amp circuit over a 15 amp circuit is that it allows you 4 more useable amps

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On Mon, 4 Sep 2006 19:27:01 -0400, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

There aren't all THAT many people who have in excess of 1400 watts of lighting that can conveniently be put on one circut. I'd do it with 12-GA and a 20-Amp breaker just because I might want to add some outlets off that circut later, and I have a religious objection to putting a 20A breaker where a 15A one used to be.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The circuits in question are combined lights and plugs for the bedrooms. I already purchased a bunch of 20A AFCI's for them (5 @ $35 each) which cannot be returned and now I would have to purchase 5 more 15 A AFCI's.
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I can tell you from experience, it's hard to fight with these guys. You have every right to ask him what code violation he's referencing, but keep in mind, especially if he works for the local building dept, their rules supercede the NEC. If they do have a local code regarding this, it should be documented somewhere and not just pulled out of his head
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RBM wrote:

Local rules only "supersede the NEC" if they are adopted pursuant to enabling legislation at both the state and local level. The locality must have authority that only the state can give them before they can write a local code and the local legislative body, such as a city council, must adopt legislation that adopts the electrical code as written. In the absence of enabling legislation the local building inspector cannot make up rules based on his/her personal standards. There is always an appeals process but it is often more trouble to pursue then the trouble to make the change that the inspector is demanding. The fact that most people find it easier to give in does not make the inspector right.
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There is also the problem for those of us in the business who have to work with these same inspectors for our livelihoods, if and when we correctly challenge them on a violation, you can count on any "gray" area decisions going against you.
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

Well you could put JUST the lights on a 15 amp breaker and leave all the other now all outlets oin 20 amp.
Perhaps his issue is your combing lights with outlets?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The gospel according to who?
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

Ask for the specific reason why and if it is a code issue, ask for a code reference.
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On 4 Sep 2006 14:00:52 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com"

If there are no local amendments I think your inspector should look at 240.5(B)(1)(2) Fixture Wire. Fixture wire shall be permitted to be tapped to the branch circuit conductor of a branch circuit of Article 210 in accordance with the following: (1)    20-ampere circuits 18 AWG, up to 15 m (50 ft) of run length
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Thank you very much. I am going to try to catch another inspector and get a copy of any local changes. Then I am going to ask the other inspector about using 20 A breakers on circuits including lights and may sight your reference. Hopefully if one says yes I can proceed.
Thanks you again. The reference is helpful. I assume this is a 2005 reference .. or would the reference be the same for the 2002 NEC anyway?
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How did it turn out??
FYI: I have heard inspectors declare that the use of a 15A receptacle requires a 15 breaker. Many recepts are rated for 20A "pass through" wiring but some are not. Their argument is a 17A draw through a single plug will NOT trip the breaker but cause lots of melting/fire/lawsuits and other general trouble.
RickR
snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

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>>> >>>> Greetings, >>>> >>>> I had an electrical inspector try to tell me that I couldn't put my >>>> lights on a 20 A breaker. NO, IT WAS NOT BECAUSE WIRING TO THE LIGHTS >>>> WAS ONLY 14 AWG. What do I do about this incorrect information? >>>> >>>> Thanks, >>>> Deans

> snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote: >> Thank you very much. I am going to try to catch another inspector >> and get a copy of any local changes. Then I am going to ask the >> other inspector about using 20 A breakers on circuits including >> lights and may sight your reference. Hopefully if one says yes I can >> proceed. >> Thanks you again. The reference is helpful. I assume this is a 2005 >> reference .. or would the reference be the same for the 2002 NEC >> anyway? >> RickR wrote: > How did it turn out?? > > FYI: I have heard inspectors declare that the use of a 15A receptacle > requires a 15 breaker. Many recepts are rated for 20A "pass through" > wiring but some are not. > Their argument is a 17A draw through a single plug will NOT trip the > breaker but cause lots of melting/fire/lawsuits and other general > trouble. > > RickR >
Well those inspectors are incompetent. The fifteen ampere rating of a duplex receptacle is it's configuration rather than what it will carry. Duplex fifteen ampere receptacles are inherently able to carry thirty amperes because they are manufactured with break off tabs that allow them to be wired to two separate circuits. In order to be listed by UL they must be able to carry safely all the current that can be drawn through them in any proper configuration of use.
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They are certainly not competant inspectors. U/L listing says all duplex receptacles will "pass through" 20a. If they are not listed that is it's own problem.
BTW there really isn't any real internal difference between the contacts in a 15 and 20a receptacle of a similar quality. A brand name spec grade 15a will have better contacts than a no name 20a. All U/L says is it won't start a fire when it fails, not that it will actually work for any length of time.
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