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Old 02-20-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


Hi Everybody!

I have a 3-way switch that controls a light; all of the current wiring is 14/2 (and 14/3 for the 3-way part).

I plan on replacing the single light with multiple recessed lighting cans... my question is:

Can I use 12/2 from the switch to the new lights even though the power source to the switch is 14 gauge wire?


Thanks,

Ed

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Old 02-20-2011, 09:26 PM   #2
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


Yes. The circuit must be protected by 15 amp breaker or fuse since you have #14 on the circuit.

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Old 02-20-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


Maybe in Canada its ok to mix wire, but not in the US. If a part of a circuit is 14 gauge the whole circuit should be 14 gauge. 15 amp is an appropriate size breaker for 14 gauge
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:37 PM   #4
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


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Originally Posted by bluebird5 View Post
Maybe in Canada its ok to mix wire, but not in the US. If a part of a circuit is 14 gauge the whole circuit should be 14 gauge. 15 amp is an appropriate size breaker for 14 gauge
It is perfectly OK and to code to use #12 wire on a 15 amp circuit under the NEC.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:50 AM   #5
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


you can always over size a wire for a given breaker size, but never under size.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:25 AM   #6
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


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Originally Posted by bluebird5 View Post
Maybe in Canada its ok to mix wire, but not in the US. If a part of a circuit is 14 gauge the whole circuit should be 14 gauge. 15 amp is an appropriate size breaker for 14 gauge
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


As far as 12 ga on a 15A circuit...sure you can. One suggestion is to put a tag on the 12ga wire stating "15 amp circuit" where the wire is accessible...just to let others know in the future.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:42 PM   #8
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


it is not about whether you can put 12 gauge wire on a 15 amp breaker. sure its ok if the whole circuit is 12. the fact is that you have a 14 gauge coming in and a 12 gauge going out. why would you have a small wire feeding the curcuit and a large wire pulling from hte smaller wire?
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:15 PM   #9
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


Have some left over 12 around?
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:31 PM   #10
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


I just think it sounds like the work of a hack. No professional electrican would just put whatever they wanted
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:57 PM   #11
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


It may not be the ideal situation but it is legal and to code to do it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:12 PM   #12
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebird5 View Post
I just think it sounds like the work of a hack. No professional electrican would just put whatever they wanted
Go on a service call, you only have the larger wire on the truck, you make it work.
I have used 12/3 for a 12/2 circuit, and in a pinch used a 3 way switch for a single pole.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:17 AM   #13
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12/2 on 15 amp circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebird5 View Post
I just think it sounds like the work of a hack. No professional electrican would just put whatever they wanted
often done for voltage drop.

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