mixing wire sizes

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Have a bathroom fed by a 20-amp circuit. I replaced the switches from plain toggle to Decora style. The problem is the power feed wire and wires to the lights/fan are #12s.
I found it difficult to properly pigtail and pushing all the #12 wires back into the box due to their stiffness and the increased switch size.
Is it acceptable to run/replace the one feeding the switches and wires to the lights/fan with #14s. The power feed is up in the attic space in a J-box that contains another #12 to the vanity outlet.
thanks richard
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On Thu, 17 Mar 2011 19:42:57 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@altavista.net wrote:

If you are pigtailing, pigtail on stranded wire.
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On Thu, 17 Mar 2011 19:42:57 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@altavista.net wrote:

NO, you can not pigtail with a smaller gauge wire size according to the code (you can go larger). A 20A circuit needs ALL 12 guage in the whole circuit. You could however replace the 20A breaker with a 15A and then you could use #14 wire anywhere on that circuit.
If those wires were in the box, they WILL go back in. Fold them carefully. They're not that stiff.... I have used a wooden stick such as a lath, to help push the wires in the box. Or use a screwdriver handle. Just dont tear the insulation.
Use stranded #12 for the pigtails if nothing else.
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On 03/18/2011 06:45 AM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Actually he can't (at least not in the US) - note that he said bathroom.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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wrote:

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I think there is an exception for baths where 14 is allowed downstream from the gfci outlet even though it is supplied by 12. But I'm not sure. I'm also not sure how the lights are supposed to be handled if they are on the same circuit.
It also occurs to me to wonder if the 20amp requirement only applies to full baths? What about 3/4 and 1/2 baths? Can they use 14 on a 15 amp circuit?
We've got a few members that seem to be very well versed in the code, perhaps we'll hear from them.
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On Fri, 18 Mar 2011 05:26:10 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc

no
no
A bathroom is any area with a basin and a shower, tub or toilet The code does not talk about fractions of a bathroom.
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wrote:

It's probably something I'm doing wrong. I just go to the bottom of the post and make my reply. It could also be the crappy news reader from Optimum online, that I use.
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Smitty Two wrote:

Ditto on both counts from my end. Most recent post was normal, previous one looked like a quote.
Jon
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Jon Danniken wrote:

*Ditto x3. If I remember right, John G. sometimes has the same problem. He starts his responses with a asterisk which makes it clear what he adds.
--
bud--



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wrote in message

That could be the key. John and I use the same ISP. I will try to remember to start my replies with an asterisk as well.

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Try hitting one carrier return to space the reply down one line to get away from the quote.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
[snip]

I always try to add a blank line between my stuff and quotes. It can make it a lot easier to figure out what you're reading.
Many newsreaders use seperate colors, without blank lines they get confused.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us
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wrote:

** I generally go down two spaces before my reply. I'll try to use double asterisks before the reply
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On 3/18/2011 7:26 AM, RBM wrote:

When I split the 12-gauge 20-amp feed for my bathroom to put the light and fan on separate switches, I had to put a box extender on the J box up in the attic, to get enough room. And yes, I used 12 for the new runs. Existing hillbilly wiring was wires up in the air sticking up from an uncovered box, with barely-attached wirenuts. First time I poked at it, several wirenuts fled into the darkness, never to be seen again. What I put back may not meet modern code for new construction (like feeding the counter GFCI from an unswitched outlet in bedroom next door), but it is a hell of a lot safer than what I found. (In this township, inspection is theoretical, as evidenced by the stupid stuff previous owner did, that I keep finding. Floating butt splices in walls, no romex clamps on fixtures, backwards-wired outlets, basement ceiling lights hooked up by shoving ends of romex into outlets above drop ceilings, etc, etc.)
--
aem sends...

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On Mar 17, 8:42 pm, snipped-for-privacy@altavista.net wrote:

Andy comments: If you do this, and use #14, you should change the breaker to a 15 amp breaker.
While it is against code to mix wire sizes, it will at least be a safe fix if the breaker is selected to protect the smallest wire....
I believe the reason that mixing wire sizes is a no-no is that , in the future, someone may want to add a circuit and will see the larger wire is #12, and ASSUME it is a 20 amp circuit, and continue on with that assumption.... I can see no other reason for this rule, but keeping a "standard method" is always a good idea. However, purely from a safety standpoint, the breaker size should govern.....
Andy
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snipped-for-privacy@altavista.net wrote:

No. If the wires are too stiff to fold back into the box, use stranded wire for the pigtails. (the box is probably undersized.)
-Bob
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Thank you all for the suggestions and input. I am trying NOT to downsize on the breaker size. I was using scrap solid #12 to pigtail. Will definitely give #12 stranded a shot.
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On Mar 18, 4:07pm, snipped-for-privacy@altavista.net wrote:

== Stranded is not the best either...use solid #12 if at all possible. Some inspectors really frown on stranded in any box. I was told this by one electrician but he himself bent the rules when he didn't have enough solid with him. ==
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Roy wrote:

There should be no problem using stranded wire. It is often used when wires are fished into conduits.
It can be harder to use with a wirenut. I usually leave the stranded a little longer, and pull on the wires to make sure there are good connections.
Also harder to keep the wire under screws on devices. I usually split the stranded wire into 2 bunches (end of the wire looks like a Y) and tightly twist the bunches together.
--
bud--

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