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#21473 - 02/03/03 07:38 PM undersized wire  
rpny11080  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
While replacing an outlet in the bedroom, I noticed that the breaker was 20 amp. The wires in the box looked small to me, so I traced the wire to the basement, and the wire is clearly marked 14 awg. It is a pretty extensive run of wire, and it would be very time consuming to replace the wire with 12 awg. The circuit only serves some lights and a tv, so I think that the best solution would be to replace the 20 amp breaker with a 15 amp breaker. Do you agree? Input greatly appreciated.

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#21474 - 02/03/03 08:23 PM Re: undersized wire  
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
You MUST change the breaker to 15 amp if you are not going to change all the wire on the circuit to 12.

#21475 - 02/03/03 08:24 PM Re: undersized wire  
The_Lightman  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 49
Orlando, Fl, USA
I absolutely agree !

#21476 - 02/03/03 09:16 PM Re: undersized wire  
rpny11080  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
Thanks, i will change the breaker to 15 amp right away. As i always say, better safe than sorry.

#21477 - 02/03/03 11:11 PM Re: undersized wire  
NJwirenut  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Bergen County, NJ
In addition to changing out the breaker, an inspection of the insulation on that circuit would be in order.

If it has been overloaded in the past, the insulation could be brittle and deteriorated.

#21478 - 02/09/03 09:27 PM Re: undersized wire  
OSHA Professor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 48
Would an AFCI be in order?

#21479 - 02/09/03 09:54 PM Re: undersized wire  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Would an AFCI be in order?

Nooooooo... Not the "A" word again!! [Linked Image]

That is a good question though.Would 210.12(B) apply for a replacement breaker in an existing dwelling?


#21480 - 02/09/03 10:23 PM Re: undersized wire  
ga.sparky56  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
young harris georgia usa
I have enoungh problems explaining and justifying them to homeowners and GC's for new construction,much less a retrofit.

#21481 - 02/10/03 10:08 AM Re: undersized wire  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.

If it's a code requirement,why would you have to jusyify it to a GC or a homeowner?Just include it your bid.Don't you bid everyyhing else to meet code without having to justify what you need?


#21482 - 02/10/03 04:57 PM Re: undersized wire  
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Donnie, in my area we have to justify everything the owner/GC/(s)he-who-writes-the-check doesn't think they need, and saying "it's code" usually gets the question "why?".

I've often got the "let's-sit-down-and-talk" thing many times from not only GC's but some folks at the supply house too, usually after the "that's what all the other electricians use/do" speech... the consensus being in a nutshell that if I don't "loosen up" and "be reasonable" then my business won't survive. if I'm blowing things out of proportion by trying to adibe by code...

[Linked Image]

Code is right up there with Speed Limits, child support, and taxes...

Most around here in my parts think they're a good thing for everyone but themselves.

[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 02-10-2003).]

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