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Old 07-13-2006, 08:48 PM   #16
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So wire size is never dropped huh? Ever compensated for voltage drop? Meaning running #10 that are intentionally connected to a 20 amp circuit? hell even running #6 on a 20 amp breaker is not uncommon. Read a 20 amp breaker next time you install one and you'll notice that the largest size wire allowed under it's screw is not #12. Wonder why the manufacturers did this?

And also 12/2x250'=$110 whereas 14/2x250'=$65. Minimal?

Ivory, I know how to read the code book, know why they have that asterisk? because 15, 20 and 30 amp circuits are the most common, which means these are the ones that the idiots work on, that's why the code has over compensated due to the dipsh!t factor.


Last edited by Sparky Joe; 07-13-2006 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:59 AM   #17
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Joe, I'm pretty sure you know we aren't talking about upsizing (for voltage drop, fill, ambient temp or any other reason). Your point is taken that there are times when it is perfectly reasonable to use a larger conductor than the breaker is sized to protect. And I do get where you are going with that... that your #6 on a 20A breaker may very well have a segment of #12 at the end... but a #14 segment at the end?

Having said that... (aside from a tap, or in an appliance or cord) when would you suggest downsizing (using a conductor with a breaker larger than is allowed by code) in a branch circuit (that may have any number of outlets on it, that may be extended at any point)? For cost? for 18 cents a foot (by your numbers), you are happy to violate NEC?

To take it another way... lets say you were doing this job for the OP.. would you run it with 14 because it saves the homeowner a bit of money (even at the risk of later stupid mistakes [assuming the whole thing is 12 when only part of it is] by someone else)? If it was your house, would you do it with 14 or 12?

To me there is a big difference between 'wire size is never dropped' and 'using an undersized conductor because 310.16 says it will work fine even though 240.4(D) says don't do it'.

Joe, I understand that you know how to read the code book... but look at where we are - if this was Mike Holt's, I would just say '240.4(D)' and leave it at that - end of story. This is a DIY board - so not everyone reading it or participating should be assumed to have a copy of NEC, so quoting part of the code (310.16) and leaving out the other part (240.4(D)) is misleading in this case.

The OP question implies that the breaker is 15A, and I think it is safe to say that NEC is fine with '12 for part of the circuit and then 14 for the rest, as long as it stays on the 15A breaker'... but... what you then said was 'don't worry about someone swapping to a larger breaker in the future, as 14 is good for 25A anyway (as per 310.16)'.

You may feel that 240.4(D) is there just to protect from 'idiot factor' and you see worse issues all the time - but neither of those points prevent 240.4(D) from coming into play when you are inspected.
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sparky Joe
You can use the 14/3 ONLY if you have the 2 circuits on a 15 amp breaker.
This is the first reply to the original post, read on from there to get the full story.

I don't recall ever saying don't worry about it. Was just curious one day about why the code limits the 3 most common branch circuits, did some research and found what I described above.


Last edited by Sparky Joe; 07-14-2006 at 07:05 PM.
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