Wiring overkill?


I have a very small house and have begun wiring rooms with 12/2 with 20 amp breakers. I realize this is overkill especially for overhead lighting (of which I have only 2 lights). But the increased cost doesn't bother me and it makes my circuits and wiring job much simpler.
Also most of the lights and switches are rated for 15 amps with the exception of outlets which actually need to support appliances requiring a 20 amp circuit. The overhead lighting shares the circuits with other lights and outlets.
Are there any problems wiring this way with regard to safety or code violations?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There's nothing wrong with overkill. You never know when you might need to simultaneously run two table saws, eight stereos, a couple of refrigerators and a particle accelerator in your bedroom.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yea, I got caught short on that one. Just sitting there thinking "Damn I wish I had 12/2 in here.".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 01:40:09 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

The particle accelerator should be on its own circuit.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I accelerate particles by chucking them out the window.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope. There's nothing wrong with with going with 20A and 12/2 instead of 15A and 14/2. I just built a new garage, and did it all with 20A and 12/2. I was like you, yes, it cost more, but I wanted the heavy-duty stuff. Besides, the only extra cost is really in the wire.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
20 amp on light ONLY circuits are probably a bad idea.
most light fixtures have very small wires, 14 or even 16 gauge.
lets say a partial short occurs.........
a 15 amp breaker will likely trip a 20 amp will continue to happily supply the short:(
I had a overhead light above my bed do this one time in middle of night, walking out of bedroom for bathroom i turned on light and heard arcing saw sparks reflected off wall......
i had lost pillow and need light to find it.........
turned off switch fast and didnt get back to sleep. talk about instant wake up:(
arc fault breakers didnt exist at the time about 10 years ago. i replaced every fixture in the house...
pure lighting circuits have no need for 20 amps!!!
volts times amps is roughly watts. on what home application would you need over 6120 watts of lighting on a single circuit?
no 20 amp light only circuits I am not lighting a ballfield......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't know if code supports this...but I personally agree with you. In my new house, all outlets and dedicated circuits (fridge, microwave/vent) are 20 amps on 12/2 (yellow PVC jacket), and all lighting circuits are 15 amps 14/2 (white PVC jacket).
Speaking of over kill, I'm probably adding nearly twice as many circuits as required...lots of outlets.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You'd need 306V to get 6120W on a 20A circuit (that's 382.5V if you limit current to 80%).
306x20a20 382.5x16a20 120x20$00 120x1620

--
83 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Well the 12/2 wiring is already in and would be a PITA to remove. Nothing wrong with a 15 amp circuit with 12/2 wiring for lights....right? Also, I could easily extend the circuit to additional outlets.
The 20 amp circuit in the dining room stays. We run an air conditioning unit in there. The lights used to dim when we turned it on. Not any more.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In practical terms, fitting a mess of 14/2 wires into a box is a whole lot easier and safer than the same number of 12/2 wires. Infact, code says how many more 14/2 you are allowed.
There is nothing "easier" about going all 12/2, unless you can't tell the difference between a "2" and a "4". Hell, here the 14 is even yellow coated instead of white, so you don't even have that. Buy one or two rolls of each, and replenish as needed.
And unless you have some wierd applience plug, then everything you have is 15A or less, as are all the switches, lamps, outlets, etc.
-Kevin
jimbob wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
many switches and outlets have easy wire connectors for 14 gauge wire, 12 gauge probably wouldnt fit, of course you can always wrap the wire around the screws but sometimes its helpful to use the back install connectors where the screw holds the wire
the backstap connections are poor quality i dont recommend them
try a little piece of romex in your planned outlets and switches.
of course you can pay big bucks for 20 amp rated outlets
keep the light circuits seperate from the outlets and dont foget GFCIs
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Outlets that have easy wire connectors will work for both 12ga and 14ga - US market would demand it. These tend to be spec-grade (like Hubble), and they're not going to skimp on something like that.

Indeed.

US "T" style 120V outlets with both 15A and 20A interchangeability aren't very expensive.
They may be in Canada, where 120V/20A general purpose circuits are just being permitted, but that won't be for long.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frankly I use 12/2 exclusively. I'd use 10/2 but it is too hard to work with. I sleep better knowing overkill is awake. When everything is new 14 may be sufficient, but as time takes its toll, 12 will stay safer longer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eric in North TX wrote:

#8 wire is *much* easier to work with than 10 or 12 (it's stranded, with small strands.) HTH :-)
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just my 2 centavos worth, but ...
If you need 12/2 it's not overkill. If you don't, it is, b/c 12/2 is harder to work with, costs more, and could cause more trouble if you have a short.
The real issue for po' me would be circuit design. If one designs a circuit with reasonable expectation that it'll draw max amps of 15 in any normal usage, then 14/2 is indicated. If max 20 a. then 12/2.
And if circuit design hasn't been fully considered, it's time to bone up on it.
I realize that there may be a circuit or 2 in some situations where it's difficult to predict usage, amp draws, etc. Fudge factor could be called for. To wire *everything* well above expected usage (i.e. nickel/dime light circuits) is quite another thing.
Cheers, Puddin'

Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold, Pease pudding in the pot Nine days old.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
keep existing lightning only circuit just that but protect 12 gauge romex with 15 amp breaker.
i have a couple circuits like that around here one is 10 gauge 20 amp feeding shed, its a long run i didnt want line losses if someone ever used a circular saw back there....
i use shed for styorage only but someone else is all set
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.