Electrical question

Can you connect an outlet to a 20A (12/2) circuit using 14/2 wire, if the load is ok?
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No, you will be overprotecting the circuit which is bad. Change breakers to 15A for 14/2 wire

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The circuit will function "ok", but as soon as you look the other way, the load will not be "ok" and the house will come down. Don't do it. -B

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Only if it is a short run, seems like 6 feet or less. Theoretically you could put 19.99 amps load on the wire and 14 gauge would heat up without tripping the breaker. Really ought to use 12 with a 20 amp breaker then if you have a fire there is less explaining to the fire marshal and the insurance company.
Phreak wrote:

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WRONG!
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On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 11:36:49 GMT, someone wrote:

Just do it right.
-v.
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No, you can't mix wire sizes. Not safe!
Also keep in mind that you may sell your house some day. The new owner may not know that they should not overload that outlet.
Electrical codes protect life and property. May want to keep in mind that your wiring to code will protect the life and property of your family as well as future owners of your house.
"Phreak" wrote in message

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I guess I should re-explain - the breaker and the main circuit are 20A. I want to run some outlets off that circuit for small appliances - lights, etc. If the total circuit load is ok, and the breaker is 20A, is this ok?

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Also, the wire coming from the breaker is 12/2. I just want to add some outlets onto it using 14/2.

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Wait a minute, there is a big difference between, a outlet, and several outlets. If you are doing several outlets use 12 AWG for the 20 amp breaker and make sure you wire the receptacles so they are polarized properly when you are done.
Phreak wrote:

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Right, I am using a 20A breaker, 12/2 wire from the breaker to an outlet, and connecting several small appliance outlets to that circuit. Can I use 14/2 for these additional outlets, or do I need to use 12/2?
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Phreak wrote:

The unequivocal answer is: No, you must use #12 conductors.
See Art. 240-3 which says that conductors must be protected according to the Tables and #14 only has a rating of 15 Amps. (there are a bunch of exceptions given for tap conductors and other situations, none of which apply to you.)
Jim
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No 14/2. If you do, you must reduce to a 15a circuit breaker.

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use 12-gauge.
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No, don't do it. Adding receptacles is the worst possible scenario for using undersized wire. You have no control of the load that can be plugged in. That is why 240.4(D) exists in the first place (the rule that says 14ga is 15a, 12ga is 20a, 10ga is 30a) They know if you have receptacles someone can keep plugging things in until the breaker trips and then unplug the clock, running at 99.9% of capacity from then on.
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"Phreak" wrote in message

No. What you are doing is placing a 20 amp breaker on a 15 amp line. This is the same as replacing a fuse in a fuse box with a higher amperage fuse or placing a penny behind the fuse.
Breakers are designed to protect the wiring. Use appropriate wiring along with appropriate breakers at all times.
Electrical codes are there because of the misfortune of other people. These codes are saying to YOU that you can follow them and prevent misfortune. I chose to follow the electrical codes and get my work inspected. I sleep better at night....
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12/2 wire is cheap. Fire insurance that doesn't pay out is not.
Running 20 amps through 14/2 is asking for trouble. Running 20 amps through more than about 2 feet of 14/2 is asking for a lot of trouble.
If the load is going to draw less than 12 amps continuous or 15 amps peak, you can replace the breaker with a 15-amp. But putting the whole circuit on an undersized breaker just so you can use 14/2 wire is pound-foolish.
But if the load is going to draw more than 16 amps continuous, it doesn't even belong on a 20 amp circuit.
--
Chris Green

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Actually 240.4(D) makes running small conductors safe at 100% of the breaker size. The 80% number is built into the acceptable breaker size. Check out 310.16 to see what I mean.
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