Electrical code question

I live in a house that used to belong to a DIY'er. Problem is, there isn't anything he did right. I am in the middle of fixing his mess in the garage. HEre is the situation: The main breaker is in the basement .it is a 20 Amp dual breaker. THere is a subpanel in an upstairs closet (don't ask me why) with 2 20 Amp fuses. One of the fuses runs to the garage. The garage is mixed 14guage and 12 guage wiring. The other fuse runs to the family room where hot and neutral appear to be reversed.
For now I'm doing the garage. First thing: install GFI, Second thing: simplify the rats nest of wiring (the box going to the door opener has 8 pieces of 12 guage romex going to it),
My question: to resolve the mixed guage issue: Can I just replace the fuse in the sub panel with a 15 amp fuse? and leave the 20 Amp breaker in the panel. All that is in the garage is the opener, 2 outlets and 2 lightbulbs.
why would there be a ganged breaker for this circuit? I can only think of a shared neutral unless one leg goes to the garage and the other goes to the family room or the guy was a complete doorknob and just put it in. I probably will get into this when I see why hot and neutral are reversed.
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If it's a clothes closet, or linen closet, that's a Code violation.

That would resolve the Code violation inherent in having 14ga wire on a 20A circuit. But what about the location of the subpanel?

Maybe -- what's the wiring between that breaker and the subpanel? If it's 14ga, that's another problem.

Because that's what you use for feeding a subpanel. Ground, neutral, and two hots attached to a double-pole breaker.

That's the only part of this arrangement that sounds normal.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

Yes its a clothes closet. Chalk another one up to the idiot. I'm not even sure why theres a subpanel, its an attached garage. 50 ft of wire would reach the garage from the basement panel.
arrangement that sounds normal.

A different question. Thru out this whole house, He has taken the ground wire in the romex and bent it so it was under the box termination clamp (not sure of the nomenclature). The assumption is that the romex clamp contacts the ground which than contacts the box by the nut. I'm having a hard time believing that is code. In several spots he has looped the ground wire thru a hole in the box and then nailed the box up with the intent that the ground wire is pinched between the box and the stud. I cringe everytime I fix something.
On several occasions I have had to explain to trades people that the house has been sold and I am the new owner before they would come out. It seems the idiot had a habit of asking for quotes and then asking them lots of questions and doing it himself. The trades people had him pegged alright.
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The ground wires, if more than one, should be connected together under a crimp or wire nut and attached to the metal box by turning under a machine screw or by using a listed green grounding clip. What he's done is incorrect
wrote:

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Incorrect by current code, but I know it was common practice from the late 50's (when romex with the bare ground wire came into comon use) at least until the late 70's. Given how brittle old wire gets, and how seldom there is any usable slack in the walls, is there any good reason to try to re-wire old work to meet current practice? All the outlets in this place were wired that way when I changed them out, and I opted not to disturb the existing clamps beyond giving the screws a turn to make sure the clamps were snug. All outlets show 'green light' on the idiot meter, indicating a good ground. Note that the outlets were not pig-tailed, they were daisy-chained via the side screws (albeit with the polarity reversed on about half of them.)
aem sends....
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The 1962 NEC was the first to require boxes to have a screw for the specific purpose of attaching that ground conductor. Before that, the conductor was often cut off, but usually turned back around the cable body and clamped down by the cable clamp, which actually provided a pretty decent ground

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Specifically prohibited under 2005 National Electrical Code, Article 240.24(D): "Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets."

It's not -- now. Cable clamps, box mounting screws, and the like are not permitted by the 2005 Code (and, I think, by the 2002 Code) to be used for any other purposes, including attachment of ground wires. This hasn't always been the case, though. I'm not sure when these prohibitions entered the Code, but it's entirely possible that this *was* permitted at the time it was installed.

*That* has never been permitted.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sep 1, 4:22 pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Is it legal to put a subpanel in a walk-in closet? How about a subpanel in an attic accessible by pull-down stairs?
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On Sun, 02 Sep 2007 09:30:40 -0700, The Reverend Natural Light
Not if you store flammibles in there (clothes, linens, paint or whatever)

Only if you have 6'6 headroom and the 30x36 working clearance in front of it.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

How about putting the panel in the floor if all your wall space is taken up by pictures? (small pictures).
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