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Old 02-24-2008, 02:45 AM   #1
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14 guage for 20 amps


In doing my reading I have learned that 14 ga is good for 15 amps and 12 ga is needed for 20.

I have a enclosed 6x12 trailer that has two 13,500 btu AC's on the roof. The tags on them say they should be put on a 20 amp circuit. When I got the trailer each of these was connected to its own 20 amp breaker, but with 14 guage wire. The runs are really short though. I know this trailer was used in this configuration for 3 years.

I am completely redoing the electrical in this trailer and am using 12 ga for everything. I can run 12ga to one of the AC's but the other the has about a 4' run of 14 ga to it that will not budge. The wire must be ran through holes drilled in the tubing on the frame, which is covered by plywood and siding. Long story short I can't move the wire a half inch in either direction and there is no way to run a new one without some major destruction.

What are everyones thoughts on this? Can 20 amps be ran through 4 foot of 14 guage, or am I asking for trouble?

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Old 02-24-2008, 05:37 AM   #2
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14 guage for 20 amps


What's the a/c rated for? In amperage .... Just put the 14gauge on a 15 amp breaker

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Last edited by idoelectric; 02-24-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #3
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14 guage for 20 amps


You know it's trouble....that's a foolish question.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
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14 guage for 20 amps


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Originally Posted by bdog1234 View Post
In doing my reading I have learned that 14 ga is good for 15 amps and 12 ga is needed for 20.

I have a enclosed 6x12 trailer that has two 13,500 btu AC's on the roof. The tags on them say they should be put on a 20 amp circuit. When I got the trailer each of these was connected to its own 20 amp breaker, but with 14 guage wire. The runs are really short though. I know this trailer was used in this configuration for 3 years.

I am completely redoing the electrical in this trailer and am using 12 ga for everything. I can run 12ga to one of the AC's but the other the has about a 4' run of 14 ga to it that will not budge. The wire must be ran through holes drilled in the tubing on the frame, which is covered by plywood and siding. Long story short I can't move the wire a half inch in either direction and there is no way to run a new one without some major destruction.

What are everyones thoughts on this? Can 20 amps be ran through 4 foot of 14 guage, or am I asking for trouble?
In this case, yes. But not because you have no choice, but because the code allows for, and it is common practice to, put A/C equipment on smaller conductors than the breaker would normally allow.

In this case, the breaker is only for short circuit protection. The conductors are protected from overload by the unit itself.

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
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14 guage for 20 amps


Travel trailers are not covered by the NEC. So you can do whatever you want to do. Hook it up as is. If these are AC units that came new (with) the trailer you have no issue. Go ahead and use the #12 where you can.
This is a travel trailer right? (assuming do to size)?

Note: For practical purposes wires can carry much more current than is allowed by the NEC.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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14 guage for 20 amps


Actually, travel trailers are covered by the NEC--see Article 551.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:34 PM   #7
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14 guage for 20 amps


Quote:
Originally Posted by bdog1234 View Post
In doing my reading I have learned that 14 ga is good for 15 amps and 12 ga is needed for 20.
What are everyones thoughts on this? Can 20 amps be ran through 4 foot of 14 guage, or am I asking for trouble?
If you look at 310.16, the actual ampacity of #14 wire is 20 amps. Long story made short, on motor circuits we can use 14 wire on a 20 amp load. You will not burn the house down by leaving it alone. In this case.

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