14 gauge wires all over but no 15 amp breakers
I'm not a pro electrician, just a 50-year+ DIYer, but no 14g circuit wiring should be on anything larger than a 15 amp breaker, as you apparently know.
It has to be 12g or larger to be on 20 amp or anything higher. The 30 amp breaker is probably for your electric water heater (which should have at least 10g wiring) and the 50 amp is probably for your range or HVAC unit, etc.
Sounds like you may just need to change out some breakers to 15 amp for any and all 14g wiring, which should be fine for most residential lighting and receptacle circuits.
I have no 14g, but ALL wiring in my house is no smaller than 12g by choice when I built it...some on 15 amp (lighting) circuits, but most on 20 amp (receptacle) circuits.
It's easy to change a circuit breaker IF you're an experienced DIYer with electrical knowledge. (CALL A PRO ELECTRICIAN, IF NOT.)
Turn OFF the MAIN panel breaker to do it of course, but remember that the two legs above the main are still HOT (120V each) even with the main breaker off and either can kill you if you touch them. TEST the panel with a voltage meter before touching anything, because sometimes a main breaker may be faulty. Just exchange the black (hot) wire on the 20 amp breakers to the 15 amp breakers. The 14g white (neutral) and grounds should be O.K. where they're already connected in the panel, but double-check them anyway.
Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 05-16-2007 at 04:28 AM.