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Old 03-19-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


if im tryin to turn my basement into a finish basement do I use 14 amp wire for the rooms or 12 amps ?

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Old 03-19-2011, 09:07 PM   #2
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


I assume you mean 14 gauge wire and 12 gauge wire. #14 is good for 15A and #12 is good for 20A.

Which should you use, depends on who you ask. If it was me I would wire it with #14 on 15A breakers.

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Old 03-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


I would take the opposite approach. For a few cents more you can add 1/3 more capacity to the circuit by running the #12 wire with a 20 amp breaker.

Lighting I would leave at 15 amps.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


could end up with a freezer on it, id use 12
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


shoud all lights be on 14 gauge and outlets on 12 gauge or just use either 14 for everything or 12 for everything
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #6
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


Think about it for a second. Lighting is becoming more efficient over time. With incandescent light bulbs gone and everything moving to LED in the future, lighting circuits won't draw what they did just a couple of years ago. So, 14 ga wire and 15 amp breakers should be more than sufficient.

But, appliances are becoming larger (tv's, stereos, computers) tend to draw even more than a few years ago. So, it actually makes sense to have 12 gauge wire and 20 amp breakers for wall outlets. You may even want to think through your loading of each circuit to make sure over time it will be sufficient.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:33 AM   #7
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


12 wire is more expensive than 14, almost $30 more for 100' of 14. You dont need to run a whole basement in 12 wire, when you make out a layout figure where youre going to put your tv/elec. And run a dedicated circuit to the location. Youll save tons of money this way.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:40 AM   #8
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


12 gauge to outlets, 14 to lights - unless the size of the job makes it more economical to just buy 12 for everything. Things change - you'll never be sorry to have the extra capacity to your outlets.

IMHO...
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:41 AM   #9
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


I'd rather someone discuss loads and circuitry. He should use 15A/14ga wire unless he is using 20A/12ga wire on a 20A breaker and installs 20A rated t-slot plugs.

It's a violation to install a 15A receptacle on a 20A rated circuit with a 20A breaker. If he puts in a 15A breaker with 15A plugs, he's fine - but then it's also a waste of wire unless he plans on replacing the breaker and plugs someday. Don't forget TR plugs and AFCI breakers if they are required in your area for finished living spaces.

I would break the plugs into groups of 12 or less (code here) and feed them with 15A circuits. If you're going to install a fridge... Dedicate a circuit - that is the way an electrician would run it usually.

Also, buy a homeowner codebook from Lowes/HD/other. Given your question, I just want to see everything go smoothly and to code.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:52 AM   #10
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


"It's a violation to install a 15A receptacle on a 20A rated circuit with a 20A breaker"


It is not a violation to install 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit. You only need to use a twenty amp receptacle with the t-slot if you have a single receptacle. Duplex receptacles count as two so 15's are fine for those. I used to use the 20's for every one of my 20 amp circuits but I got away from that because unless it is a high draw appliance or tool they usually all come with the regular blades on the cord.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:19 AM   #11
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty1Mc View Post

But, appliances are becoming larger (tv's, stereos, computers) tend to draw even more than a few years ago.
Actually the opposite is true. Even though things are getting bigger, they are also getting more and more efficient. A similar appliance from 20 years ago will draw significantly more than one from today.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:20 AM   #12
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


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Originally Posted by cschwehr View Post
I'd rather someone discuss loads and circuitry. He should use 15A/14ga wire unless he is using 20A/12ga wire on a 20A breaker and installs 20A rated t-slot plugs.

It's a violation to install a 15A receptacle on a 20A rated circuit with a 20A breaker.
Unless you are in Canada this is not true.
Where are you getting your facts from???
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:22 AM   #13
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


Thank to every one who gave me their opinion I think im going with 14/15amps for lights and 12 / 20 amps for outlets
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:27 AM   #14
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Actually the opposite is true. Even though things are getting bigger, they are also getting more and more efficient. A similar appliance from 20 years ago will draw significantly more than one from today.
Appliances are becoming more efficient, but the average draw is higher for many items. Microwaves are efficient, but 20 yrs ago a large microwave was 250 Watts (I had one), now a small one is rated at over 700w and many are 1100 watts. If you look at computers, the average power supply required went from under 200w a few years ago to over 500 now. Even TV's while getting more efficient, are becoming bigger, screens while more efficient draw more as well. California is actually looking at limits due to draw and how many.

I understand they are more efficient, but it doesn't mean they draw less current than before. Like to like, yes. But we have many items that increase in both efficiency and power.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:30 AM   #15
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14 amp or 12 amp wiring


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Originally Posted by Marty1Mc View Post
I understand they are more efficient, but it doesn't mean they draw less current than before.
For many things it certainly does. Just look at refrigerators, A/C's and old CRT type TV's.

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