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jfhanson4 04-20-2011 05:51 PM

Mixed Wire Gauges off of a 20A Circuit
Alright... so I am rewiring a basement bathroom where I am making some improvements... it was a mess, hidden junction boxes in the ceiling, no covers, etc..

Anyway, the issue I have now is that I just moved the junction box to an accessible place and rewired everything (light over shower w/ switch, light over vanity w/ switch, fan with switch and then a feed to 3 outdoor outlets).

Here is my problem: After looking in the box and finding that this was a 20A circuit, I ran all new 12-2 romex to all fixtures from the junction box. When going to connect everything, it came to my attention that the wire to the breaker is 14-2 romex as is the wire going to the outdoor outlets, while the wire they had running to the outlet (GFCI) is 12-2. Access to running new 12-2 to the box will not be easy.

Do I:

A: Deal with the aggravation an run new 12-2 from the breaker to the junction box and from the junction box to the outdoor outlets (under a deck)?

B: Replace the 20A breaker with a 15A breaker, leave mixed wire. (Can 15A handle all of this?)

C: Leave it, its fine.(i know i know, but just throwing it out there in case I'm not nuts..)


McSteve 04-20-2011 06:03 PM

You're going to want to change that breaker to a 15A right away, and if it is indeed overloaded and trips often, start replacing wire with 12 gauge. Once you're sure all wire on the circuit is 12 gauge, put the 20A breaker back.

jfhanson4 04-20-2011 06:07 PM

McSteve -

Right now the breaker is off and the area is under construction. Would it be OK to leave it as a 15A breaker (if I were to change it)? Or should I just suck it up and run the 12-2?

Thanks so much for the reply!

Saturday Cowboy 04-20-2011 06:10 PM

A or b are your options.

if you don't mind that the outside plug only has 15a, then B is fine.

jfhanson4 04-20-2011 06:46 PM

That is what I thought. Thanks for the help!! :thumbup:

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