# Help with house wiring, please

• posted on April 4, 2004, 2:31 am
I plan to hook up a pair of outside flood lights on the house and have a question about what size wire to use.
There are two fixtures, for a total of four, 150 watt bulbs and I plan to use three 4-way switches.
How do I describe the wire that I need to use for this when I go into Home Depot?
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Lewis.

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• posted on April 4, 2004, 2:49 am
news.gct21.net wrote:

The answer is entirely dependent on were you will take the power from. The size of the wire is governed by the rating of the over current protective device that protects the circuit. -- Tom H
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• posted on April 4, 2004, 4:01 am
You'll need 14/2 wire cause you're pulling 5 amps at 120 volts (600 watts).
If you're running that wire back to your breaker box, then you'll also need a 15 amp single pole circuit breaker.
If you're tapping into an existing circuit (say at one of the switches) your total amp draw on that circuit should not exceed 12 amp (80% of a 15 amp breaker rating).
Finally, you'll need 2- 3 way and 1 - 4 way switch for your setup. A 4 way must be placed between the two 3 ways in the circuit.
If this doesn't compute, you'd better call an electrician.
Gary
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• posted on April 4, 2004, 4:42 am

You made two mistakes. You responded to Tom instead of the OP, and you contradicted Tom who was correct.
If he is taking it off a 20a circuit, he needs #12; it doesn't matter that the lights only need #14.
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• posted on April 4, 2004, 5:26 am
Toller wrote:

Everything in Curmudgeon's reply is based on using a 15A circuit, so stop trying to invent "mistakes" that aren't there.
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TP / Network Man __________________________________
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• posted on April 4, 2004, 5:31 am

Then he should have said to check that it was a 15a circuit first, since it very possibly isn't.
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• posted on April 4, 2004, 3:30 pm

Why would he need the heavier wire if that line is only supplying the lights with that wire run?
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• posted on April 4, 2004, 3:58 pm

Match the wire to the load limiter (i.e. fuse or circuit breaker) not the demand. If, in the future, some unknowing person attaches a 25A widget to the line, you want the fuse/circuit breaker to blow, not the wire. Design for the possible, not the probable.
Mike
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• posted on April 4, 2004, 5:59 pm
Thanks for the help here gentlemen, I appreciate it.
Sorry if I got a fight started. :-)
Kind regards.
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Lewis.

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