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Old 02-01-2010, 05:06 PM   #1
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electric wire size


What size wire did most homes in the 70s use for light circuits-15A (12 or 14?),and just how many can be on this circuit(65 wat low energy)? I have 6 but would like to add 2 and 1 or 2 outlets to circuit.
Any info is appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:16 PM   #2
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A 15a circuit requires 14g but 12g can be used
15a circuit is good for up to 1800w Max

A 20a circuit requires 12g (10g is used for long runs)
20a is good for 2400w Max
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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My house was built in 1965 and as far as wire size goes it is pretty much the same as now. 14 awg. I think they did cheat in a few places and use 14 where they should of used 12 but in general it's pretty much up to code. This is old wire (looks like a snake!) so I'm pretty sure it's original.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #4
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What size wire did most homes in the 70s use for light circuits-15A (12 or 14?)
The answer to this is yes.
Both were used, although #14 was MUCH more prevalent.

Bottom line is use the same wire that is on the circuit.



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,and just how many can be on this circuit(65 wat low energy)? I have 6 but would like to add 2 and 1 or 2 outlets to circuit.
The old how much to put on a circuit is one of the most asked questions, yet one of the most misunderstood.

Bottom line is you can put literally as much as you want. Both lighting and receptacles are already taken into account in the load calculations for the branch circuits of the house.

Of course we know this does not make much sense. We just figure circuits using common sense. Typically, 8-12 receptacles on a circuit is what most folks do. Depends on usage of the circuit. Most times kitchens are kept to 2-3 on a circuit.

Lighting is different. You do not have to count up all the lights and add up the wattage, but you DO have to figure what will be used at the same time. So if you have a circuit with 20 fixtures with a 75 watt maximum it would not make sense to add 10 more lights.

What you propose sounds fine.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:57 PM   #5
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electric wire size


Thanks for the info.It all sounds good.
I also wondered if i can install my 20 amp gfci (installed at beginning) -since this extension will be to a garage- or if i will have to purchase a 15 amp gfci..i have run the underground type/-12/2 to the light circuit(probably a 14)..I also have leftover 12/2 to run through garage .
It will only have 3 outlets and 2 lights..
Thank you for the great responses!
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #6
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You can't put a 20a breaker on 14g wire if that is what you are asking
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:38 AM   #7
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What is the max plug outlets i can add to a 15 amp light circuit that has 6 lights ,i fan- all together- 13 65watt efficient.?..
I was going to add 4 outlets and 2 single light outlets with 65 watt.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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I keep my lights seperate from my outlet circuits
As stated,there isn't any restriction

Where are you located ? -update your profile
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
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What is the max plug outlets i can add to a 15 amp light circuit that has 6 lights ,i fan- all together- 13 65watt efficient.?..
I was going to add 4 outlets and 2 single light outlets with 65 watt.
I know here in Canada it's 12, but I think some places don't have such code. guess it depends on the state/municipality.

If it's new construction I would put the receptacles on a seperate circuit as the lights though. If you trip a breaker at night at least the lights wont go off too.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:40 PM   #10
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Im in Tn..
It will trip the gfi 1st ,main breaker 2nd..and as i come inside for the nite the switch will be turned off to that anyway.

Thanks for the info
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Im in Tn..
It will trip the gfi 1st ,main breaker 2nd..and as i come inside for the nite the switch will be turned off to that anyway
A GFI does not trip if there is an overload, the main breaker will trip
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