I used 12 gauge and 20A breakers for every general purpose circuit in my
house. The extra cost is minimal and you can never have too much
electrical capacity. And even if a few circuits are underutilized, that
will bother you a lot less than the one or two that keep tripping the
Building more capacity than is required is a waste of resources. Same
mentality as driving a vehicle with bad mileage for no compelling
reason. There is so little conservation in most houses. With
fluoresant lighting, 10 amp breakers would be overkill. When people
start paying 25 cents and up a KWH maybe there will be some forced
Not at all. It is all a matter of your time horizon. Most houses will
last at least 100 years if properly maintained. The electrical wiring
will likely last at least 50 years before needing replacement. You have
no way to know what the load requirements will be in 10 years, let alone
50 years. Kitchens built 50 years ago had plenty of ampacity for the
needs then, but their wiring is now woefully inadequate for a modern
suite of appliances. It is almost certain that electrical needs will
increase rather than decrease, even with more efficient appliances and
lighting. Providing more than just the bare minimum capacity for
today's needs is not at all wasteful as it costs a lot more resources to
retrofit later. And, as another poster already pointed out, the lower
IsquaredR loss in the heavier wire actually saves energy and money over
the long haul.
I think the technology is going toward lower current, not higher The HVAC
system will probably be drawing half of what it did in 1980 for the same house
right now. People are warming up to flourecents, TVs are a big lamp now..
"Data" is the 21st century "power".
If I was building for 50 years from now I would be running a lot of "smurf" and
keeping my options open.
Exactly. The real loads are in the kitchen, laundry and bathroom. NFPA has
dealt with that by adding 12 ga circuits. The rest of the house is basically
running light bulbs and transistors. If a person builds a shop, it is really up
to them to come up with a plan for the extra power. You can't expect a builder
to anticipate that need in advance unless it was spec'ed in the house.
And what kind of cord are you going to plug into your beefed up 20 amp
circuit? What happens when you set a chair on your 18 gauge lamp cord?
Will your 20 amp trip like a 15 amp?, I think not. I would guess few fires
are caused by the wiring in the walls, rather more likely, a damaged lamp
cord on a breaker that won't trip.
On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 00:19:19 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeffrey
J. Kosowsky) wrote:
Go with 15A. The wire is much easier to work with...especially if yer
chaining from one recpt to the next. And you can back wire them with
standard recepts...which you can do with #12 wire. Its easier to get
all that wire in a duplex box if its 14 wire.
You might consider getting Arc breakers...which might already be code
in your area.
No. If you need to upgrade, it'll simply be because yer tripping a
breaker...which will logically usually require an additional circuit
instead of a larger breaker.
Breakers are usually the same price...wire is a little more for 12.
Working with the larger wire is the real pain.
Make sure you check yer code to see what size is needed for specific
Have a nice one...
Budweiser: Helping ugly people have sex since 1876!
Yes, everytime you use an outlet you are heating your home with
electric heat. The heaver the wiring the less heat. Codes do not
factor in effeciency in any way so you should. The heaver guage pays
for its self very quickly. In 18 years my company has never run a 15A
line to anything.
So at say 15 cents per killowatt hour you might save 50, 60, or
maybe 80 cents this year. Sorry but this does not even make sense for
a solar powered house. Don't even want to go there with the heating
part. Ya can get it all here
We use #12 wire everywhere for both 15A and 20A circuits.
For those loads which truly require a 20A circuit, they get a 20A breaker
and most of the time these wiring runs are reasonably short.
For all other non-specialized wiring we install #20 / 15A combo as a safety
All bedrooms get 15A arc-fault type breakers.
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.