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15A Switches #76426 01/30/01 07:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
sparky66wv Offline OP
Member
Assuming #12 wire is being used, can one use 15 Amp snap switches on 20 Amp circuits assuming the load is less than 1440 Watts?
(80% of 15A @ 120V)

I don't like using #14 wire and I've always protected lighting circuits at 15A anyway; so can I put 20 Amp breakers in instead and still be code?

380-14a seems to point towards sizing for load rather than circuit protection...

But there's always a paragraph hiding in this book somewhere...


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
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2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Re: 15A Switches #76427 01/30/01 08:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Tom Offline
Member
Yes, you can put 15 amp switches on a 20 amp circuit, provided the load does not exceed 15 amps.

There is no reason that I know, other than controlling a motor, to "Derate" your switch to 80% (12 amps).


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: 15A Switches #76428 01/31/01 12:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,961
Bill Addiss Offline
Member
'66,

Yes you can use 15 amp switches. I am kind of opposite in that I would prefer #14 on these 15 amp switches. It seems to me that getting the screw torque just right on (standard grade) 15 amp switches is tough. It's easy to overtighten and strip out the screws or if it's not tight enough you can watch the screws turn (loosen) as you push the device back into the box. I think 20 amp rated switches are a better match for #12 awg wire.

Bill


Bill
Re: 15A Switches #76429 02/24/01 03:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
sparky66wv Offline OP
Member
Never had that problem with Leviton or Eagle brand devices...except for that time I used my DeWalt screw gun...live and learn!


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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