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Old 09-13-2009, 02:29 AM   #1
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


In the process of installing recessed lighting in our kitchen and had a question. Circuit which we are adding the lights to is a 15 amp circuit and the lighting load is definately within spec for a 15 amp circuit (8 light fixtures at 50 watts max a pop). The trouble I'm having is the recessed light fixtures are only rated to allow 6 conductors at 14 AWG or higher enter the splice box. I'd love to daisy chain the lights and save myself the trouble of running everything out of 2 or 3 splice boxes, but the original wiring from the breaker panel is 12/2 wire. A guy I talked to at Lowes said why not just splice in 14/2 into the 12/2 and go from there. I know 14/2 wire is typically good for a 15 amp circuit but I wouldn't think that being the originating run is 12/2 this would be allowed being somebody might come behind you some day and install a 20 amp breaker not knowing that there is only 14/2 on part of the circuit. Can somebody help me out with this so I know I have this done right. I know I could just splice in the 14/2 and go with it but I want to do it right so if splicing in 14/2 can be done per code anything particular that I have to mark? Thanks. Jason

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:41 AM   #2
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


Provided it's on a 15A breaker, splicing 14Ga into 12Ga is allowed. Whether or not it's "good form" is another question. I will say that I have done it in the past. I did mark the 12Ga at the box as having 14ga downstream precisely to prevent someone (or forgetful old me) from "upgrading" the circuit to 20A.

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Old 09-13-2009, 08:39 AM   #3
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


You said the box allows 6 #14 or higher conductors. No. 12 is higher than #14.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:26 AM   #4
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


Doing it right IMO is continuing with #12g wire
I do have an older circuit with mixed 12g/14g on a 15a circuit
The difference is that mine is 14g at the panel
It's clearly marked
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #5
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


Thanks guys so basically just making sure it's marked somewhere inside the panel is AOK. Thanks again.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:44 AM   #6
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


No. Just daisy chain 12/2. Why transition to 14/2 when you do not have too.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:15 PM   #7
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


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No. Just daisy chain 12/2. Why transition to 14/2 when you do not have too.
The splice box on the lighting fixture isn't rated for daisy chaining 12/2. Not enough space inside it to abide by the NEC according to the manufacture
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


If the box allows 6 #14 conductors, then it is big enough for 5 #12 conductors. Assuming 12/2 NM, one cable in, one cable out, that's 5 (ground only counts once for box fill). Stay with the 12/2.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
You said the box allows 6 #14 or higher conductors. No. 12 is higher than #14.
He (probably) meant, a "Higher AWG Number"!!! But then again, #16 is NG to use in wiring! Bottom line. Ideally. a circuit should NEVER be used with two different sizes of wire, even if the breaker is compatible with the lower size!(Eliminate Confusion)through Education!Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:08 PM   #10
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


Now how do the two 16 gauge or 18 gauge taps in the box and going to the lamp socket figure into the box fill conductor count?

If the two of them count the same as one #14, then the 14-2 power in counts as two, 14-2 daisy chaining out counts as two, all the grounds count as one point and we reach the maximum of six conductors.

Still I'd be mighty tempted to daisy chain with 12-2. At least I think it would be less noticed than mixing 12 gauge and 14 gauge wire and using a 20 amp breaker.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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I don't think this is ok to do but I'll ask


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At least I think it would be less noticed than mixing 12 gauge and 14 gauge wire and using a 20 amp breaker.
Mixing 12ga and 14ga wire and using a 20A breaker is not allowed! Then you have 14ga on a circuit that can carry 20 amps and that's too much. If you mix 12ga and 14ga you must stay with a 15A breaker.

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