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Old 11-09-2009, 09:23 PM   #16
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20A circuit on 14/2


Cost of copper, why use 12g when its not needed?
Making more $$ is the bottom line
Lighting circuits can account for a lot of wire
Have you seen the gauge wire that connects lights to the circuit wire?
Its not 12g or 14g, usually 16g & smaller

2 floodlights burned a house down? What wattage? What else was on the circuit?
Did the fire Inspectors report blame the 14g wire or somethig else?

We had a friends house burn down due to a defective radio
You don't need defective house wiring for that to happen

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Old 11-09-2009, 09:39 PM   #17
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20A circuit on 14/2


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Cost of copper, why use 12g when its not needed?
Making more $$ is the bottom line
Lighting circuits can account for a lot of wire
Have you seen the gauge wire that connects lights to the circuit wire?
Its not 12g or 14g, usually 16g & smaller

2 floodlights burned a house down? What wattage? What else was on the circuit?
Did the fire Inspectors report blame the 14g wire or somethig else?

We had a friends house burn down due to a defective radio
You don't need defective house wiring for that to happen
Thanks Dave, I thought it was a cost thing. I heard everything about the fire second hand. Old farm, they built a new house on a different part of property. What I heard was the fire inspector claimed "IMPROPER WIRING" in the garage, from the newspaper. A different neighbor that makes juice (works at the power plant) said the electrical sub had 14 gauge for the whole garage, including 2 100 W floods that lit the driveway (long, country drive), deep freezer, and whatever else was in the garage. He thought it was on a 20, because it didn't trip. It was really sad to see an older couple with an 80 y.o. farmhouse, build a beautiful log cabin (@2,500 sq. ft.) with 2 story fieldstone fireplace and have it burn down inside of 2 months after compleation. Nice to see that they are now rebuilt again.... very nice home.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:57 PM   #18
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20A circuit on 14/2


I would prefer to buy & run 12g & 20a
Wires more $$, but for lighting runs you can have more lights on a circuit
I have almost 2 full rolls of 14-2 that I need to use
So I'll be using it up on my addition, other then that I'd rather run 12g
I used to run all 12g...when a roll was $29
Then I moved to this house & needed more & went to buy it & a roll was $129

So I switched to using 14g for lights, the 15a breakers were here - I had spares
I had intended to go with 12g & 20a.....but I have enough 15a breakers already installed to cover all my lighting needs
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:15 PM   #19
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20A circuit on 14/2


Hmm how would a fire start on 14awg wire if the amp draw is not even close to what the wire is rated for? Even though it was on the improper breaker it was only drawing a couple amps. Did they just blame it on the wire because it's the only thing they saw that was wrong? I would almost suspect the light itself got too hot and burned or something. OR did it have an arc fault that caused a short and burned the wire before tripping the breaker?
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:21 PM   #20
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20A circuit on 14/2


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Hmm how would a fire start on 14awg wire if the amp draw is not even close to what the wire is rated for? Even though it was on the improper breaker it was only drawing a couple amps. Did they just blame it on the wire because it's the only thing they saw that was wrong? I would almost suspect the light itself got too hot and burned or something. OR did it have an arc fault that caused a short and burned the wire before tripping the breaker?
Yah, I smell BS in that story too. Probably a bad connection.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:33 PM   #21
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20A circuit on 14/2


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I would almost suspect the light itself got too hot and burned or something. OR did it have an arc fault that caused a short and burned the wire before tripping the breaker?
Could very well be true, hard to tell when you only hear second hand and "official speak' from the newspaper. "IMPROPER WIRING" sounds like a catch-all. I could easily see that the lights got overheated. Most of us have telephone poles with a street light along the drieway.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:24 AM   #22
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20A circuit on 14/2


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I have a couple 20A circuits in my house and noticed they're all on 14/2 wire.
You already have the wiring in place.
Run 20A or 25A through it with two hair dryers and several incand. lamps and see if any section of the wire gets hot enough to ignite tissue paper.

Here's the touch test:
no burn ever at 42C(108F)
burned in 30 sec at 54C(129F)
5 sec at 60C(140F)
1 sec at 71C(160F)

The cable may take 15 mins to stabilize at its final high temp.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 11-10-2009 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:30 PM   #23
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20A circuit on 14/2


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
There is no restriction to just industrial settings for HVAC compressors. You treat them the same in residential and commercial.
Yes. I realized that after I posted. If words ran on DC, you could just reverse direction in a sec. But once the "Genie" is out of the bottle you can't (proverbially) put it back "In the Bottle". (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:43 PM   #24
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20A circuit on 14/2


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Yes. I realized that after I posted. If words ran on DC, you could just reverse direction in a sec. But once the "Genie" is out of the bottle you can't (proverbially) put it back "In the Bottle". (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
You CAN edit your own posts.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:29 PM   #25
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20A circuit on 14/2


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
You already have the wiring in place.
Run 20A or 25A through it with two hair dryers and several incand. lamps and see if any section of the wire gets hot enough to ignite tissue paper.

Here's the touch test:
no burn ever at 42C(108F)
burned in 30 sec at 54C(129F)
5 sec at 60C(140F)
1 sec at 71C(160F)

The cable may take 15 mins to stabilize at its final high temp.
Hmm I'll have to try that. I can also test to see if my stab lok breakers actually trip like they should by increasing over 20amps. :p I don't have a blow dryer, but my 550 space heater, shop vac, and air compressor should probably do the job. Can then add smaller items like incad lights. I should get a killawatt, it would come in handy for a test like this.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:53 PM   #26
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20A circuit on 14/2


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Cost of copper, why use 12g when its not needed?
Making more $$ is the bottom line
Lighting circuits can account for a lot of wire
Have you seen the gauge wire that connects lights to the circuit wire?
Its not 12g or 14g, usually 16g & smaller

2 floodlights burned a house down? What wattage? What else was on the circuit?
Did the fire Inspectors report blame the 14g wire or somethig else?

We had a friends house burn down due to a defective radio
You don't need defective house wiring for that to happen
It's doubtful that the floodlights alone (plus some other, relatively small loads) that would take the #14 wire (slightly) beyond its limit, would overheat to the extent of causing a fire. I'm willing to bet that there must have been an improper (loose?) connection that was the culprit, as is the case in 95% of electrical fires!!!
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:09 PM   #27
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20A circuit on 14/2


I just ran a test on a 15 amp circuit, was more a "while I'm doing this" type thing. I had my air compressor going and my shop vac going on a single 15 amp circuit, that circuit has some lights as well. I was cleaning out a PC so I would just empty the compressor in single shots (small tank) and then wait for it to fill up and keep working, all while the shop vac remained on. I decided while I'm waiting for the tank to refill to plug my dewalt drill into the circuit and just keep turning it on/off sometimes leaving it on. I don't recall all the amperates off the top of my head but I totalled it and it came up to around 29 amps total! I touched the wire (before it feeds all 3 items) and it felt slightly warm but very hard to tell. I had to go to the other end of the circuit and touch it to see a difference and even then it was minimal. I did this for maybe about 15 minutes.

Now I'm not sure how much amps these devices actually pull off, maybe the ratings are more or less startup use or max use and maybe they only use half when in normal operation. Could this be? I'm just surprised I never tripped the 15 amp breaker. Then again, it is a stab lok... :o

Should I be worried and maybe test this further? This is kinda going away from the original question, but while I'm testing high loads...

I plan to upgrade this panel eventually though. It's a somewhat newer stab lok so don't think I need to be worried, at least I hope not.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:36 PM   #28
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20A circuit on 14/2


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I just ran a test on a 15 amp circuit, was more a "while I'm doing this" type thing. I had my air compressor going and my shop vac going on a single 15 amp circuit, that circuit has some lights as well. I was cleaning out a PC so I would just empty the compressor in single shots (small tank) and then wait for it to fill up and keep working, all while the shop vac remained on. I decided while I'm waiting for the tank to refill to plug my dewalt drill into the circuit and just keep turning it on/off sometimes leaving it on. I don't recall all the amperates off the top of my head but I totalled it and it came up to around 29 amps total! I touched the wire (before it feeds all 3 items) and it felt slightly warm but very hard to tell. I had to go to the other end of the circuit and touch it to see a difference and even then it was minimal. I did this for maybe about 15 minutes.

Now I'm not sure how much amps these devices actually pull off, maybe the ratings are more or less startup use or max use and maybe they only use half when in normal operation. Could this be? I'm just surprised I never tripped the 15 amp breaker. Then again, it is a stab lok... :o

Should I be worried and maybe test this further? This is kinda going away from the original question, but while I'm testing high loads...

I plan to upgrade this panel eventually though. It's a somewhat newer stab lok so don't think I need to be worried, at least I hope not.
I hesitated whether to reply to your post with repeating your post. (Since I don't (yet) know how to fraction a quote. (Shame on me.)) But since you make some major points about overloading circuits and about "Stab-Lok" panels/breakers, I'm re- quoting you, anyway! As I pointed out in another post (on this thread) that a particular fire that happened wasn't due to the slight, possible overload. Rather, the primary cause must have been a bad connection. IMHO a fairly small (few % of capacity) overload, occasionally, is not dangerous. But another part of your experiment surprises me. Because my experience in the past few years, working with FPE/Stab-lok panels showed just the opposite. They were very sensitive on circuit overloads. Their weak point was on responding to "Ground Faults" (Shorting to ground, a/o to Neutral). Another interesting point is, that the Oooold Federal breakers responded to Ground Faults very quickly, too. But those were "Bolt-ONs. BTW. They were one of the most popular & efficient brand of breakers some time ago. Only when the manufacturer took shortcuts in the production process (i.e. Using low-quality, corrosive materials) and subsequently attempting to fool the UL, is what led to their downfall and demise, after the multiple "Wrongful Death" and injury lawsuits.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:42 PM   #29
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20A circuit on 14/2


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it came up to around 29 amps total!
Which should trip a 15A CB in 10 to 60 seconds, depending on the trip curve.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:10 PM   #30
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20A circuit on 14/2


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I had my air compressor going and my shop vac going on a single 15 amp circuit, that circuit has some lights as well. I was cleaning out a PC so I would just empty the compressor in single shots (small tank) and then wait for it to fill up and keep working, all while the shop vac remained on. I decided while I'm waiting for the tank to refill to plug my dewalt drill into the circuit and just keep turning it on/off sometimes leaving it on. I don't recall all the amperates off the top of my head but I totalled it and it came up to around 29 amps total!

Now I'm not sure how much amps these devices actually pull off, maybe the ratings are more or less startup use or max use and maybe they only use half when in normal operation. Could this be?
My 7a drill pulls 2.5a while running - no load
Under load - wood bit it pulls 2.75a
So if you are going by nameplate or device rating that is probably off
I use a Kill-A-Watt to check actual draw

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