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ChrisDIY 01-25-2011 10:30 AM

My 12 gauge wire fiasco, overkill needing removal
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As I had posted in my project showcase, our house has been ran almost exclusively in 12 gauge wire. The current panel is a 200 amp panel and only has two lines of 14 gauge wire running into it. Since my last post it dawned on me that the new hydronic air-handler is one of these 14 gauge lines. This means that only one line is 14 gauge 15A.

Although there's no limit to the number of lighting and/or receptacle outlets on dwelling general-purpose branch circuits, can I realistically combine 4 of these lines into 2 using an appropriate junction box? I will need to pull all but the one 15A breaker that remains for a total of two in panel.

It just seems like even more overkill having to have a sub-panel installed when even if my wife and I have 5 kids we can't consume enough power to warrant these 20A circuits (non-appliances)

I will being spending some time tomorrow trying to determine what is on the sole 14 gauge (15A) circuit.

I cannot go by wire in the branches since the previous owner did a lot of what's pictured. This has got me annoyed as I am am forced to rewire entire bathroom using 12 gauge wire. Cost and Writer's Cramp :furious:

ChrisDIY 01-25-2011 10:47 AM

Does NEC Article 300.13 and 314.16 allow to make the 12 gauge connection for the branch to be tied in back of a deep box but not supply power to the switches? Instead bring up a new 14 gauge line if I can combine at least two of the 12 gauge using a junction box? Maybe do the latter but have the ugly box with a cover plate at 24" from floor?

Total electrical load for this bathroom will be 1,086 W at 120V, so should be 14 gauge 15A, dedicated.

This half of house is only 1,920 sq. ft. over estimated

jbfan 01-25-2011 11:53 AM

Bath rooms require 20 amp circuits!

AllanJ 01-25-2011 02:18 PM

When bending Romex cables, the radius of the bend should be no less than 4 times the thickness of the cable.

Get a cable tie, and fasten the Romex cable that loops up and back down to itself, more or less like making a ribbon bow for a Christmas present, so the distance from the staple to the cable tie plus from the cable tie to the box is less than 8 inches.

A 14 gauge cable and circuit can feed the lights and fan in a bathroom (no bathroom receptacles) along with electrical needs in adjoining rooms. One 12 gauge cable can feed just receptacles in one or more bathrooms, or everything in just one bathroom.

ChrisDIY 01-25-2011 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 577663)
Bath rooms require 20 amp circuits!

I understand I'm stuck with a 20A circuit for GFCI can I bring a new 14 gauge line up from circuit panel for lights and fan? I believe I may have an empty breaker, since old furnace was 220V and new air-handler is 120V. I need to check with my circuit interrupter but I believe both the hall and master bath are all on same GFCI.

My question now is about the 12 gauge splice in the back of 14 gauge 4 gang box.

brric 01-25-2011 04:26 PM

I don't see a four gang box. Having said that, yes, you may splice mor than one circuitin a box provided the box is large enough.

Bath receps on 20 amp, lghts ok on 15amp.

ChrisDIY 01-25-2011 05:59 PM

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Originally Posted by brric (Post 577819)
I don't see a four gang box. Having said that, yes, you may splice mor than one circuitin a box provided the box is large enough.

Bath receps on 20 amp, lghts ok on 15amp.

The four gang box is the plan. I am trying to identify every issue as I repair this house.

OK, I checked GFCI circuit and yes, both bathrooms are on a single 20A GFCI. Problem is as identified in this new photo. As the 12 gauge comes into hall bath it changes over to 14 gauge to supply power to all the receptacles in the hall bathroom. I must change this wire to 12 gauge.

I also do have a spot for a new breaker. So will install 15A AFCI, and bring up entire new line. I will spend some time tomorrow making sure I can tie the splice in the planned 4 gang box. Photo in OP shows 12 going in and out. Hopefully this isn't two hots???

Are there any instances where you can mix wire? I only have one 14 gauge romex line coming out of panel but I have 4 15A breakers. Two are accounted for. Two that have 12 gauge coming out I am sure switch to 14 somewhere...:mad:

brric 01-25-2011 06:04 PM

You can mix wire. 12 gauge on a 15 amp breaker is ok.

ChrisDIY 01-25-2011 06:47 PM

Good news the two 12 gauge running into this 2 gang box are tied together one supplying power to the lights. The breaker is a 20A. So will convert to a splice in the future 4 gang box. Will bring up a new 14 gauge line to be dedicated to this bathroom only!

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