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Old 04-18-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


I'm wiring my basement and have a run for 20 amp service and have 20 amp outlets all ready to go. However, at the end of the run I was planning on pulling service to feed a light and switch ... Do I need anything special? Can I do that?

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Old 04-18-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


I would think it is fine. That's what I did on a circuit in my basement and it passed inspection. 12g, 20a circuit with 20a outlets. Then a switch, supplying an overhead light bulb. Just make sure to keep using 12g for that whole circuit. Your switch may also need to be rated for 20a.

I'm sure one of the electricians will be by to say yes or no though.

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Old 04-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #3
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


Actually all your switches and receptacles in the described circuit only need be 15 amp. 20 amp is OK but it is more money. If the basement is not finished you need GFCI protection, if finished you need AFCI in most jurisdictions. Check with the inspector before you get too deep.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


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Originally Posted by rjniles
Actually all your switches and receptacles in the described circuit only need be 15 amp. 20 amp is OK but it is more money. If the basement is not finished you need GFCI protection, if finished you need AFCI in most jurisdictions. Check with the inspector before you get too deep.
Actually, I'm sitting at about 12 amps right now on the circuit, so was going to go 20 amp just to make sure I was clear for the receptacles but wasn't sure about tying in a light an switch.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


A 100 watt light will add less than 1 amp. 12 amps is a heavy load for a few receptacles, what is (or planned) to be plugged in?
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:42 PM   #6
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


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Originally Posted by rjniles
A 100 watt light will add less than 1 amp. 12 amps is a heavy load for a few receptacles, what is (or planned) to be plugged in?
This is the bar area and yes ... The additional light isn't the concern, I was more concerned about the switch and such ... If I had to get anything special to run it on a 20A circuit.

Current plans are 3 refrigerator units, blender, microwave, plus accessories. The blender is the big hog at nearly 6 amps ... Add up the keg fridge, wine cooler unit, and beverage cooler and I could see it coming in high.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


You need two 20 amp circuits for the equipment you are describing. Maybe a third if you have other things such as audio and video equipment in mind.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:13 PM   #8
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


If there is a counter behind the bar, that would require countertop outlets, which are required to be 20a if they count like they do in the kitchen.

You will be fine running a light on the circuit, just make sure you get a 20a switch. They are $2.49 at Lowes (single pole) and probably similarly priced elsewhere.

You're going to run 3 refrigerators on the same circuit? Like AllanJ says - it's time to add in additional circuits to split up those fridges.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


it is a violation to install 20a receptacles on a 15a circuit(but not the other way around). However a switch does not have to be rated for the circuit it is rated for the load. NEC 2008 210.21 (B) & 404.14
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #10
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


Ah. That is good to know. 20a switches are hard to come by in decora styles.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:10 PM   #11
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20 amp 12 guage and a light


Had you given a better description in the first post, you would have gotten better answers. You need 2 20 amp GFCI protected circuits in the bar area. You need an additional circuit for any other baseman receptacles and the lighting. The receptacle and lighting circuit may have to be AFCI depending on your NEC code cycle year.

20 amp circuits do not require 20 amp receptacles and switches as long as there are more than 1 receptacle on a circuit (a duplex receptacle counts as 2).

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