I have a fluorescent lamp that need to be rewired. Can I use a 16AWG
wire for this application with an inline switch? I also have another
fluorescent fixture I plan to use in my garage and want to run it off
the light switch. There is a single bulb fixture near where I want to
put it and was going to direct wire the fluorescent in that box.
Should I use romex 14AWG? Thanks!
Within any fluorescent fixture I have ever seen, wire of any size no
thinner than the line leads of the ballast should be OK as long as the
breaker/fuse is 20 amps or less. Presumably a fixture malfunction is not
an overcurrent in such range as to burn such wiring before tripping a 15
or 20 amp breaker. If the fixture has more than one ballast, then I would
check out what isbusual practice in such fixtures.
As for romex to the fixture - better have it same size as other romex in
the circuit. I do remember seeing a site saying it was "not code" (my
words) for a "branch circuit" to have wiring (I presume
outside-of-light-fixture) varying in maximum allowable overcurrent
I don't know whether this is NEC or some local building code of some
locality in Colorado.
I do suspect reasoning for such code is to avoid having someone use a
fuse or breaker of size that allowably protects some but not all of the
branch circuit on basis of seeing only "heavier duty" portions of the
branch circuit. If you have a branch circuit that has wiring with
different maximum allowable overcurrent protections, then *at minimum*
your breaker box needs to have a note written by that breaker saying
maximum allowable overcurrent protection for that circuit and maybe
indicating presence of mixed size wiring.
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
I would put it this way:
For a plug connected device, #16 is okay, because that's often
what's used in fully approved devices. I wouldn't _quite_ go as
small as the wiring inside the fixture, because that wire is
higher temperature rating, and is in a fireproof box ;-)
It is probably best to avoid real cheap wire, because you
prefer a higher temperature rating in a standard box fluorescent
As for devices direct wired, you can't use a wire smaller than
that required for the circuit. Eg: #14 on 15A, #12 on 20A. There
are a few exceptions where you can use smaller wire, but _not_
in this situation. Make sure it's 90C wire if it's inside
the fixture can.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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