Wiring question-mixing gages

I had some extra 10awg copper wiring from a hot tub hearter wiring (no 12awg sitting around). I am adding an outlet in a closet (exisitng wiring is 12awg) in between the source and an outlet. I was wondering if I could use the 10awg at the end, to run from the new outlet to the existing one. So 12awg source to the new outlet, and then 10awg (about 4 ft) to the exisitng wall outlet from the new outlet. Nothing heavy (TV, fountain pump) will be drawing through the 10 awg, but one never knows what the future holds, I suppose. Problem? Thx
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GK wrote:

No technical reason that won't work perfectly well electrically as long as you can securely attach the thicker No.10 wire to the outlet screw connections, you may have to pigtail some short lengths of No.12 wire to the ends of the No.10 wire inside the outlet boxes to keep things "legal" if the outlets themselves are marked for use only with No.12 and No.14 wire.
Might be a bit of a bitch to stuff that No.10 wire into the existing outlet boxes though. If it wuz me I'd spring for the 5 feet of No.12 wire, you're not talking big bux there. Hell, if you're in Red Sox country I'll give it to you if you want to come get it at 01803.
Jeff
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Thanks. I probably will eventually replace it with 12awg. I am sure i can ger some forma friend. It's the point really. I had a bunch of scraps that I finally got rid of, and now I need some. But I have 20ft of 10awg that I will certainly never use otheriwse. My concern was that I didn't want to create a hazard by mixing gages. It is true that the outlets are rated for #12 and #14 only, so... I guess I will feel complelled to replace the wiring eventually. I like to keep everything as "code" as I can, especially since it is a DIY.
Which leads me to atoehr general quesiton. I just read through a rather humerous exchange regarding wiring in this newsgroup, on google. Probably some time ago. Anyway, the discussion degenerated due to some dude named Tom, and eventually it got to insurance coverage issues when wirng is done illegally/not to code. I am curious about something. I did a "no permit" rennovation a few years back, and did pretty much everything myself, including the wiring. I did all of the wiring to code (as I could best determine), and photographed everything too. So I was wondering, if there was a fire, BUT I did everything to code, then is there a problem, even though I didn't get a permit. I realize this is a rather nebulous issue, and that if I did do everything to code, it is very unlikely that there will ever be a problem, but just curious to see what the prevailing opinion is. Thx
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

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The prevailing opinion will probably be the same.
An insurance company doesn't get out of paying a clain simply because they find non-permitted work. They must also have reason to believe that the non-permitted work was the cause, or contributed to the destruction.
Finding #10 ga. wire to a standard 15 or 20a outlet might certianly raise a few eyebrows.
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gk wrote:

Well, if everything *was* done to code, there wouldn't be anything for a fire inspector to find wrong about it, would there?
I suppose if you were the original owner of the place and there was an "as built" record of every inch of wiring available to the inspector, he/she might just be able to stick the thin edge of a wedge in by asking, "When did *this outlet* get added and who dunnit?"
If that fire thing happened to me, I'd probably suffer a complete memory loss about ever doing any DIY wiring on the place; why wake a sleeping giant?
And now that I've told you all that I'm going to have to kill you! <G>
Jeff

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> I suppose if you were the original owner of the place and there was an > "as built" record of every inch of wiring available to the inspector, > he/she might just be able to stick the thin edge of a wedge in by > asking, "When did *this outlet* get added and who dunnit?"
Well exactly. There has been a lot of DIY in this house prior to me moving in, and all of it was done really horribly. I was rewiring in the attic for a bathroom, and went downstairs to check my work, and a bunch of lights/outlets didn't work all of a sudden. I was consternated because I mentally (and physically) went through my work, and could not figure out what the hell I did wrong. Eventually I went back to tracing every wire, and found a "junction" in the attic, setting down in the insulation. This "junction was just wire splices with twist caps placed on them, setting open without a junction box. The kicker was the lazy ass never bothered to twist the wires-they were connected by the caps only. So when I went crawling around in the attic, I easily disconnected the shoddy "junction" when I passed over it. I was relieved (at finding the problem), then angry (at the dumbass who did the shoddy work), and then very scared (at what other surprises the house held). Bottom line: I am much happier with my DIY work (what DIY wiring, inspector?) than the existing 60 yr old wiring (complete with crumbling insulation) or any of the crappy work the previous idiots have done.
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

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gk wrote:

Using a larger size wire than required is NOT a hazard. Hell, use #1 if you want to and can get it to bend. Mixing gages is not a hazard if you use the correct couplers, and certainly 14 to 10 is not a problem. Outlets often say the maximum size you can use on them and that is only because the hole for stab coupling is a certain size or the room under a screw limits the size wire. You can use any size wire you want on any outlet if it fits. I've got some outlets that say 10-12 gage, others say 12 gage maximum. If you use wire larger than 12 gage, you surely want to use pigtails of a smaller size (and probably stranded wire) just because it is harder than hell bending 10 gage wire. If you have an outlet that says the maximum wire size is 14 gage, I would think about getting a more modern outlet.
((snipped))
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From an electron point of view, it's no big deal to put a larger wire at the end of the run. The problem is when you've got the larger gage into the box. Someone is likely to come along later and say "Hey, wh at's the 10 wire going in to a 20 amp breaker? We could use a 30 on that" and then you have a 30 breaker on a line which includes a bunch of 12 wire. Better to have some 12 wire feeding the 10.
Know what I'm saying?
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good point
Stormin Mormon wrote:

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I was about to quote the NEC code that this is not against-code, but this common sense point really hits it on the head. Sometimes I spend more time trying to figure out the previous owner's bass-ackwards DIY electrical work than actually doing the work in my 40 yr old home.
Just go to an electrical supply house and ask for a good deal on some romex. They may have some half reels laying around. I used to work at one. Buddy up with the guy at the counter and you'll be surprised how much more service you'll get than at the home centers.

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Why is it there's never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it twice?
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It is not a good practice to mix wire gauges. The obvious danger is a larger gauge wire at the breaker panel and someone changes the breaker to a larger amperage for that wire, yet down the line the gauge is smaller. (Fire hazard).
Also outlets may be designed for 12/14 ga. wire and #10 might not fit around the screws as it should.
So I think in general it is a good idea to say to *not* mix gauges.
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Probably legal but much harder to work with. You'd probably do a better quality job sticking with 12.
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