14ga Fixture Switch Leg On 20A Branch? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-24-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 11
Rewards Points: 10

14ga fixture switch leg on 20A branch?

On a 20A branch circuit, does the NEC permit 14ga wire to be used for the switch loop of a fixed light fixture?

Before anyone gets unhinged - I'm not trying to save a few cents on wire, the question just came up and I *think* I recall being taught "yes" - but that was 30-odd years ago, by an old-timer who'd been sparking for 40 years at that point -- so it could be I'm misremembering, or that it was compliant when dinosaurs walked the earth, but isn't today.


jeffeverde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
a7ecorsair's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,052
Rewards Points: 1,000

You can't use 14 ga wire that is part of the structure wiring on a 20 amp circuit.


a7ecorsair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
Scared Electrician
Saturday Cowboy's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 715
Rewards Points: 500

This is a persistent Notion from the Urban Legend Electrical Code book. Bear in mind that the switch leg carries the entire current of the circuit. While this would be ok with only one light bulb, what would happen if the load exceeded this or during a fault condition it is possible that the 14ga wire would burn before the 20a breaker would clear the line.
Ragged Trousered Philanthropist

Please follow the code - its there for your safety no matter how inconvenient.
Saturday Cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
B&S Generator with Connecticut Electric Xfer Switch Rick5150 Electrical 19 01-20-2011 10:14 PM
Power from Fixture to Switch Not working madjoseph Electrical 5 09-26-2009 02:57 PM
Add new lgt fixture and switch to existing lgts and switch? jwoodnik Electrical 3 09-19-2009 09:29 PM
New Switch / Ceiling Fixture - Help nelrolo3 Electrical 1 03-12-2004 06:11 PM
installing a light fixture on a switch controlled outlet Unregistered Electrical 1 02-24-2004 10:51 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1