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Old 02-25-2011, 03:55 AM   #1
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Hey guys,

I am getting ready to wire up my can lights and I was wondering I have the switch already hot with 12/2 wire up to it. Can I run 14/2 from that point on up to each can? 14/2 is just so much easier to use and feed into the boxes on the can lights? Just wondering as I plan on hooking up the electrical within the next few days. I bought 20 amp breaker but not sure if I need it or 15? It will only be running 6 can lights so nothing to major. Thank you

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Old 02-25-2011, 04:29 AM   #2
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Your breaker must be sized for the smallest wire in the circuit, if you install 14 gauge to the cans you must use a 15 amp breaker.

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Old 02-25-2011, 04:58 AM   #3
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Ok so i can do that though use 14/2 but I just need a 15 amp breaker? That is easy enough to do. Thanks
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:43 AM   #4
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


It's fine as long as the 12/2 in question doesn't come from an outlet where 20 amps is needed.
If it runs straight from the panel to the switch, you're good.
I'd take it one step further and label the wire "feeds 15amp wiring" in the panel, so in the future,
someone won't be tempted to put that 12 on a 20a breaker.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:12 AM   #5
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


I wouls finish with #12, but you can do it if you replace the breaker with a 15a.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:50 AM   #6
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Okay well riddle me this here is what I am proposing. I would like to have 12/2 coming out of a 15A breaker then leading to a pair of switches which will provide power to both circuits. One switch will control 6 recessed lights and the other switch will control (9) 3" recessed lights that will be mounted in my bulkheads. I would like to use 14/2 for all of the lighting. I am looking at a total of 450 watts for the 9 lights as they are 50 max and the recessed would be around 500ish. Will a 15 amp breaker service those? I think it would but I am not sure. I am also putting in cfl's in the (6) recessed lights if that matters. If all that will be too much for the 15 amp then i will just run 12/2 and a 20 amp breaker for the whole project. Tell me your thoughts
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:50 AM   #7
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Just do it right and use #12. Changing to #14 and downgrading the breaker is hack work IMO.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:54 AM   #8
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


ah speedy you are right I will just suck it up and use the 12 for the whole project. i think my whole house is wired with #12 why change it now huh.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:26 AM   #9
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


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Originally Posted by ryan5068 View Post
Okay well riddle me this here is what I am proposing. I would like to have 12/2 coming out of a 15A breaker then leading to a pair of switches which will provide power to both circuits. One switch will control 6 recessed lights and the other switch will control (9) 3" recessed lights that will be mounted in my bulkheads. I would like to use 14/2 for all of the lighting. I am looking at a total of 450 watts for the 9 lights as they are 50 max and the recessed would be around 500ish. Will a 15 amp breaker service those? I think it would but I am not sure. I am also putting in cfl's in the (6) recessed lights if that matters. If all that will be too much for the 15 amp then i will just run 12/2 and a 20 amp breaker for the whole project. Tell me your thoughts
I agree with petey.
The answer to the question is simple.
Use the max wattage allowed per fixture to find the wattage of the circuit.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Amps is calculate by dividing the power or watts by the voltage so at 450 watts divided by 120 volts you have 3.75 amps. A 15 amp breaker at 80% is good for 12 amps. So a 15 amp and 14-2 are more than enough to handle the load.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:15 AM   #11
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


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A 15 amp breaker at 80% is good for 12 amps.
This is not a continuous load. A 15A breaker is good for 15A.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:26 AM   #12
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


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ah speedy you are right I will just suck it up and use the 12 for the whole project. i think my whole house is wired with #12 why change it now huh.
You will be glad you did it later. When have people ever wanted less power and capacity in the future than they have now?
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:54 PM   #13
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Well I got all the recessed lights done and I just ran 12/2 to all the lights but now I have another question! I have the bar area and 4 outlets that I am going to run. Here is the plan on the remaining electrical in this room.

1 hanging light that will be approximately 300 watts
1 GFCI outlet for a wetbar pump
1 outlet for a small fridge
1 GFCI outlet for a vitamix blender
3 additional outlets that will probably never have anything plugged into them or if they do they will take very little power.

wetbar pump that says it uses 2.2 Amps.
Not sure about the fridge.

What I thought of doing is running a dedicated 20 Amp circuit for the wetbar pump and the fridge then running another 20 Amp circuit for the rest of the lights and outlets.

Could i do all this on one 20 amp circuit or should I stick to the plan and run two circuits.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:36 AM   #14
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


as long as you don't exceed the power supply with demands this is mainly a design issue. It sounds like there wouldn't be much power draw but experience tells me that you will find something somewhere sometime and wish you had more capacity.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:21 AM   #15
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14/2 and 12/2 together????


Yeah, think of a blender, or other small appliance, that might be there occasionally... 20A for everything might be an issue.

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