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Old 11-26-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
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15 amp vs 20 amp


My house was built in 2000. I have a 200 amp breaker box. House is wired with 12-2 for the most part with exception to the obvious for dryer, stove etc... My question is: For 12-2 wire, the max breaker is 20 amp..I have 15 amp outlets, so I should use a 15 amp breaker in box correct? Do I also use 15 amp breakers for ceiling lights, fans etc? Can I run a 1500 watt electric heater in a 15 amp outlet? What would be the need for 20 amp outlets?

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Old 11-26-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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15 amp vs 20 amp


yes u can use a 15 amp breaker on 1500 watts, 20 amp recept are usually commercial grade so 15 amp outlets are fine on 20 amp circuit, lights are usually on a 15 amp circuit separate from recept, so jus in case u were to trip the breaker for outlets u still have lights

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Old 11-26-2012, 04:14 PM   #3
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15 amp vs 20 amp


You can install 15 amp duplex outlets on a 20 amp circuit if 12-2 is run. You can't put 20 amp outlets on a 15 amp circuit. The breaker protects the wire so 12-2 gets 20 amp breakers and 14-2 gets 15 amp breakers.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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15 amp vs 20 amp


do u have arc fault breakers
NEC CODE-210.12- required in family, dining, living rooms, parlors, libraary, dens, bedrooms, etc....
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
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15 amp vs 20 amp


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do u have arc fault breakers
NEC CODE-210.12- required in family, dining, living rooms, parlors, libraary, dens, bedrooms, etc....
There is no requirement to retrofit an existing house unless the circuit is being modified and only then if the jurisdiction uses NEC 2012.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:55 PM   #6
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15 amp vs 20 amp


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There is no requirement to retrofit an existing house unless the circuit is being modified and only then if the jurisdiction uses NEC 2012.
Installing a new circuit in those areas listed needs to be AFCI protected as of 2008.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:00 PM   #7
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15 amp vs 20 amp


Quote:
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There is no requirement to retrofit an existing house unless the circuit is being modified and only then if the jurisdiction uses NEC 2012.
if he wants to change a breaker thats "MODIFYING!
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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15 amp vs 20 amp


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles

There is no requirement to retrofit an existing house unless the circuit is being modified and only then if the jurisdiction uses NEC 2012.
theres no such thing as NEC 2012 there is only 2008,2011 it is changed every three years
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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15 amp vs 20 amp


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if he wants to change a breaker thats "MODIFYING!
He was under the mistaken impression he needed to change the breakers on a 20 amp circuit to 15 amp because he has 15 amp receptacles. He does not have to do anything.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #10
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15 amp vs 20 amp


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles

He was under the mistaken impression he needed to change the breakers on a 20 amp circuit to 15 amp because he has 15 amp receptacles. He does not have to do anything.
if he does change or modify then it 210.12 applies
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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15 amp vs 20 amp


According to the NEC, you don't have to install a AFCI when replacing a breaker. Local amendments may dictate otherwise, but not according to the NEC.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:23 PM   #12
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15 amp vs 20 amp


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theres no such thing as NEC 2012 there is only 2008,2011 it is changed every three years
That was a typo.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:27 PM   #13
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15 amp vs 20 amp


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That was a typo.
oh thought that might of been i was thinking wats this guy talkin about, laughing
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:53 PM   #14
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15 amp vs 20 amp


I have 15 amp outlets, so I should use a 15 amp breaker in box correct?

If the wire is #12 then you can use a 20 amp breaker. Doesn't matter if you use the 15 or 20 amp outlets. Code allows 15 or 20 amp outlets on a 20 amp circuit. Most people use the 15's. You only need the 20 amp outlets if it is a single outlet. A duplex outlet counts as two so unless it is a single you can use the 15's.

yes u can use a 15 amp breaker on 1500 watts

1500 watts on a 15 amp breaker is a little too much. For a general purpose circuit a rule of thumb is 80% of the total circuit capacity for a non continuous load. 15 amps x 120 volts= 1800 watts x .80= 1440 watts. There are exceptions but generally you don't want to load up a circuit like that for a regular branch circuit.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:09 PM   #15
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15 amp vs 20 amp


20 amp circuits are usually used (in canada) for GFI outlets, your kitchen outlets, some Air Conditioners, really depends on the load of whatever you're connecting to it. Residential lighting circuits are always on a 15 amp breaker.

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