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-   -   15 Amp or 20 Amp Circuit (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/15-amp-20-amp-circuit-85258/)

suboveryde 10-29-2010 09:02 PM

15 Amp or 20 Amp Circuit
 
I am rewiring my lighting for 2 bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and front porch (it sounds like a lot) a total of 8 light fixtures four of which are ceiling fans. Is it ok to run all that on one 15 amp circuit using 14/2 or does it need to be 20 amp on 12/2?

1910NE 10-29-2010 09:24 PM

it does sound like a lot. you are going to want to calculate the circuit load in order to see if one circuit will cover all of it. a quick Google search will give you examples of how this is done, using the number and types of lighting that you want to run off the circuit.

personally, i would give each major living space its own circuit, although some might consider that overkill.

oleguy74 10-29-2010 09:29 PM

20 amp #12.arc-fault.

secutanudu 10-29-2010 09:39 PM

I'd do 20-amp. A pain to work with, but a tripping circuit breaker down the road is more annoying. Especially since you have 4 motors on that circuit. You might want to split this off to at least two circuits. If the breaker ever trips, that's a lot of darkness :)

jbfan 10-29-2010 09:50 PM

Why do people worry about tripping breakers?????

This can be installed on a 15 amp breaker.
Most light fixtures are limited to 60 watts per socket, and most have 2 sockets.
If you have different lights in mind, then use the 20 amp circuit.

Location comes into play also, as local codes may not allow 20 amp lighting circuits.

Scuba_Dave 10-29-2010 09:52 PM

8 light fixtures...usually max load is 100a each = 800w
But some fixtures take (2) 60w bulbs...or more

4 ceiling fans ...56" fan uses ~100w = 400w
So you could be around 1200w

If that was it I'd do #14 & 15a circuit capable of 1800w
Most of my light circuits are 15a

darren 10-30-2010 06:11 AM

If you happen to be in Canada you are not allowed to have lights on a 20A circuit, maxium is 15A circuit for lights.

PastTense 10-31-2010 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darren (Post 525310)
If you happen to be in Canada you are not allowed to have lights on a 20A circuit, maxium is 15A circuit for lights.

I don't understand this at all. What is the rationale?

darren 10-31-2010 12:32 PM

I have no idea begind the reason of that one, its up there with the 12 outlets on a circuit.

I personally don't see why you would need to put lights on a 20A circuit, save the money and use a 15A circuit. I also don't get why people wire there house with 12/2 and put 20A circuits for convencience outlets. 99% if the time those won't be loaded anywheres near 15A let alone 20A. I rather save the money and use 15A circuits.

toolmandave 10-31-2010 04:47 PM

Sounds like way too much of a amp draw for one 15 amp circut. I would try to add up ALL lights, fans, and electrical devices ( clocks radios tv's) if the amperage adds up to more than 15 amps, add another circut etc.

Red Squirrel 10-31-2010 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 525189)
Why do people worry about tripping breakers?????

This can be installed on a 15 amp breaker.
Most light fixtures are limited to 60 watts per socket, and most have 2 sockets.
If you have different lights in mind, then use the 20 amp circuit.

Location comes into play also, as local codes may not allow 20 amp lighting circuits.


There's always the chance of plugging in something temporary such as a carpet cleaner, vacuum, or maybe even a big space heater. When you start putting too much stuff around the house on a single circuit you also increase the odds that two big appliances are plugged at same time. I prefer to split things up.

Also if you go 20 amps then I'm pretty sure everything on that circuit needs to be rated for 20 amps, that means the receptacles, light switches, light fixtures etc... So that gets a bit more complicated. I prefer to only run 20 amps for specialized plugs like if an AC is going to be plugged there.

That said, I can't say I've ever tripped a breaker in my house. I even had the shop vac and air compressor running off a 15 amp circuit at one point while I was cleaning a PC.

jbfan 11-01-2010 07:01 AM

Maybe in Canada, but the OP doesn't state his location.
In the US you can use #12 and 15 amp devices.

Scuba_Dave 11-01-2010 07:51 AM

Wife's vacuum is rated at 12a
I haven't tested it to see how much it uses at startup VS running
I have several electric heaters for emergency heat in case oil burner fails
I've only had to use them once in 7 years
But very nice to be able to plug in 1500w heaters & not worry about tripping a 15a breaker

15a & 20a breakers cost the same here
And the outlets I use are the same for 15a & 20a
So you are down to the cost of the wire
That' an extra $20 for 250' of wire
Enough to do multiple circuits
So well worth the small cost to do 20a VS only a 15a
Especially in a kitchen
Or in a bedroom in case you ever want to plug in an AC

I do not have any 20a lighting circuits
Easier to use #14


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