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Old 05-14-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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switch, wiring question


I have an existing switch that was wired with 12-2 and feeds an exterior flood light. I was planning on eliminating this one light and add two new ones in better locations. I was planning on using 14-2 until I got into the switch and saw it used 12-2. Do I need 12-2 for flood lights? If not, how can I wire the new lights with 14-2 and utilize the existing switch and 12-2?

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:08 PM   #2
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switch, wiring question


you only need the #12 wire if its protected by a 20A OCPD

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Old 05-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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If the breaker or fuse for the circuit is 20 amps then you must use 12/2 cable. 14/2 is only permitted on 15 amp circuits.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Pro's or the men who are well code versed.....

Relative to code, am I dreaming or isn't there a code reference that you can splice larger AWG downstream of the panel, just not (understandably) visa-versa.

I thought the NEC logic was the smallest wire had to be in the panel (breakered correctly) such that no one would come along and put a 20A breaker on a circut containing 14AWG downstraem, that appeared to be 12AWG 20A in the panel.

Or to say it another way, you can always go larger downstream, as long as it's breakered correct in the panel (relative to the wire in the panel.)

And consequently I thought this would preclude the OP (for his situation) of splicing in 14AWG downstream, EVEN if he breakered it at 15A.

I am a GC and not a pro sparky....and not all that code up to date. I do understand the safety principals, better than the code refernces.
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Last edited by MTN REMODEL LLC; 05-14-2013 at 10:16 PM. Reason: explain better
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 AM   #5
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You can change wiresize where ever you want, the OCPD has to be sized for the smallest conductor.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:23 AM   #6
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switch, wiring question


Pete, the smaller wire can be anywhere in the circuit. The potential issue is if someone saw the larger conductors in the panel and installed a larger breaker thinking all was good to go not knowing about the smaller portion. However the NEC does not directly address this. The only thing it says is that the conductors need to be protected at their ampacity.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #7
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Pete, the smaller wire can be anywhere in the circuit. The potential issue is if someone saw the larger conductors in the panel and installed a larger breaker thinking all was good to go not knowing about the smaller portion. However the NEC does not directly address this. The only thing it says is that the conductors need to be protected at their ampacity.
Thanks Jim..... I must have dreamed it (my code reference/thought).... or just thought it was so logical that it must be. (Otherwise on rework, you are never sure the panel wire represents the entire run.... but I guess you're never sure what someone may have done downstream anyway)

Peter
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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switch, wiring question


Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Pro's or the men who are well code versed.....

Relative to code, am I dreaming or isn't there a code reference that you can splice larger AWG downstream of the panel, just not (understandably) visa-versa.

I thought the NEC logic was the smallest wire had to be in the panel (breakered correctly) such that no one would come along and put a 20A breaker on a circut containing 14AWG downstraem, that appeared to be 12AWG 20A in the panel.

Or to say it another way, you can always go larger downstream, as long as it's breakered correct in the panel (relative to the wire in the panel.)

And consequently I thought this would preclude the OP (for his situation) of splicing in 14AWG downstream, EVEN if he breakered it at 15A.

I am a GC and not a pro sparky....and not all that code up to date. I do understand the safety principals, better than the code refernces.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Thanks Jim..... I must have dreamed it (my code reference/thought).... or just thought it was so logical that it must be. (Otherwise on rework, you are never sure the panel wire represents the entire run.... but I guess you're never sure what someone may have done downstream anyway)

Peter
I think what your reffering to is the actual lighting fixtures connections ...ie lots are 16 gage .. and say you have a run of 12/2 ... but those are the manufactures wires ...
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:02 AM   #9
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And consequently I thought this would preclude the OP (for his situation) of splicing in 14AWG downstream, EVEN if he breakered it at 15A.
What you can do in this case is make a small 6" 14ga pigtail, connect the pigtail to the breaker, then nut the 12ga wire to the pigtail. Anybody who knows what they're doing will see that as a big red "there's some 14ga wire somewhere downstream" flag.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:07 AM   #10
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switch, wiring question


Before anything is done .. FIRST ..

someone needs to find out what is on the CIRCUIT FIRST .... add them all up then make a discission with all the facts ..

outside lights usually have 2 90 watt bulbs .. or 180 watts per fixture .. now there are ways around that in todays world .. ie the new LED bulbs are awesome ...

I would bet that its tapped from the outside GFI circuit

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