Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-19-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Share |
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


My house currently only use 12 gauge line coming out of service panel.
including for lighting and other receptacles.

is this a violation of code?
personally I don't think this will cause fire hazard. but what other negative effect it will have?

I have 100Amp coming into my house, will that be the reason that my light dimmers when I switch on my garbage disposer?


quanpenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
TTW
Member
 
TTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 350
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Residential wiring is either 12 gauge or 14 gauge, except for things like the water heater and stuff. That will require larger wire, usually 10 gauge for a water heater and larger still for the range and such.

wire gauge sizes go backwards, so 12 gauge is bigger than 14 gauge and can carry more power safely.

14 gauge is used mostly for smaller loads, like lighting and such because it's a smaller load and the wire is less expensive.

Someone actually did a really good job in your case, running all 12 gauge is more expensive and usually not done.

So, your wiring actually exceeds the norm!

Do you have 15 or 20 amp circuit breakers?

As for the garbage disposal, is there a plug under the sink where it plugs in, or is it wired in without a plug?

Also do you know if it has it's own circuit breaker with nothing else on that breaker ?

How old is the house?

Please put your location in your profile, as electric code varies widely by area.

__________________
#1 - If you don't know what you're doing - get a licensed electrician!
#2 - If you follow my advice and something bad happens see # 1
Electricity bites hard, and it could be the last thing you feel... Good Luck!
TTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,466
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


12 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker is fine and to code. You have nothing to be concerned about. It could even be on a 15 amp breaker and not be a concern.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Thanks TTW.

yes, I use 20A circuit breaker on my panel cross the board, except for my central AC.

the garbage disposer i hooked it w/o a plug, and it shared a 12 gauge line with another receptacle, which is not plugged in now. but still the light dimmers. similar situation happened when I first moved into the house, when my wife switched on her hair dryer, light in the master bedroom dimmers, we fixed this by changing the 15A circuit breaker to 20A and put a dedicated line to the master bathroom.
I tightened my wire to my garbage disposer but it didn't solve the problem. do I need to tighten everything from the panel outwards?

this is a 53 yrs old house in chester county, PA

thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTW View Post
Residential wiring is either 12 gauge or 14 gauge, except for things like the water heater and stuff. That will require larger wire, usually 10 gauge for a water heater and larger still for the range and such.

wire gauge sizes go backwards, so 12 gauge is bigger than 14 gauge and can carry more power safely.

14 gauge is used mostly for smaller loads, like lighting and such because it's a smaller load and the wire is less expensive.

Someone actually did a really good job in your case, running all 12 gauge is more expensive and usually not done.

So, your wiring actually exceeds the norm!

Do you have 15 or 20 amp circuit breakers?

As for the garbage disposal, is there a plug under the sink where it plugs in, or is it wired in without a plug?

Also do you know if it has it's own circuit breaker with nothing else on that breaker ?

How old is the house?

Please put your location in your profile, as electric code varies widely by area.

Last edited by quanpenter; 12-19-2012 at 10:25 AM.
quanpenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 10:53 AM   #5
TTW
Member
 
TTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 350
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


OK, so it sounds like the GD is not sharing any thing else on it's circuit, correct?

So, when the GD comes on where do the lights dim? Only in the kitchen or everywhere in the house? I know, you may only notice it in the kitchen because that is where you are when you use the GD, so please do some checking to see and we will take it from there.
__________________
#1 - If you don't know what you're doing - get a licensed electrician!
#2 - If you follow my advice and something bad happens see # 1
Electricity bites hard, and it could be the last thing you feel... Good Luck!
TTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,666
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
12 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker is fine and to code. You have nothing to be concerned about. It could even be on a 15 amp breaker and not be a concern.
Unless it is a SABC (small appliance branch circuit), or laundry or bathroom receptacle circuit.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
Idiot Emeritus
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fernley, Nevada (near Reno)
Posts: 1,596
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


From what I've seen over a lot of years, a house wired with only #12 is usually done so out of either ignorance of reality or to an even greater degree, because someone wants to be a big-shot.

Receptacles with #12 is usually a good idea, lights on #12 is almost always unnecessary.

Ever tried to connect a cheap bathroom fan with #12s? Dumb idea......

Rob
micromind is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 4,985
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Either is fine and acceptable... not worth the debate in either case.
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to stickboy1375 For This Useful Post:
Code05 (01-13-2013), NJMarine (01-15-2013), Speedy Petey (01-04-2013)
Old 12-19-2012, 08:29 PM   #9
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,666
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post
From what I've seen over a lot of years, a house wired with only #12 is usually done so out of either ignorance of reality or to an even greater degree, because someone wants to be a big-shot.

Receptacles with #12 is usually a good idea, lights on #12 is almost always unnecessary.

Ever tried to connect a cheap bathroom fan with #12s? Dumb idea......

Rob

When I was wiring a lot of McMansions back in the 80's and 90's the architects were specifying minimum wire size shall be #12 on their plans. We had no choice.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to electures For This Useful Post:
NJMarine (01-15-2013)
Old 12-19-2012, 09:34 PM   #10
Idiot Emeritus
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fernley, Nevada (near Reno)
Posts: 1,596
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by electures View Post
When I was wiring a lot of McMansions back in the 80's and 90's the architects were specifying minimum wire size shall be #12 on their plans. We had no choice.
I've seen that a few times as well. Mostly, the architect was trying to impress the client with his exceedingly superior product, but the reality of it is that said architect possesses very little actual knowledge, and even worse, the client ends up paying for a product that is no better than the industry standard.
micromind is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 09:16 AM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Cool

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by TTW View Post
OK, so it sounds like the GD is not sharing any thing else on it's circuit, correct?

So, when the GD comes on where do the lights dim? Only in the kitchen or everywhere in the house? I know, you may only notice it in the kitchen because that is where you are when you use the GD, so please do some checking to see and we will take it from there.
Hi TTW
now i noticed that not only the light in the kitchen dimmers when GD is on, some light in my hallway also dimmers, but not all of them, just some of them.
same thing happen when my washing machine start to work and my fridge start its cycle. ( i got a pretty old fridge which takes a lot of power, but I guess it's not relevant to this issue ).
so does it mean somewhere in my service panel is loss? what kind of loss connection is that and how tight it needs to be?
quanpenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2013, 01:18 PM   #12
TTW
Member
 
TTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 350
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Been very busy, just started a new job.

The type of problem you are having with various appliances causing dimming here and there could be caused by a number of things. Simply tightening connections might help, but the problem may be more extensive.

It is possible that there is a problem with the neutral connection at the power pole or transformer on the utility side.

To really get to the bottom of it, your best bet is to have an electrician take voltage readings at the panel under differing load conditions.
__________________
#1 - If you don't know what you're doing - get a licensed electrician!
#2 - If you follow my advice and something bad happens see # 1
Electricity bites hard, and it could be the last thing you feel... Good Luck!
TTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2013, 02:14 PM   #13
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,666
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


A garbage disposal is a motor. It can draw six times the RLA (running load current) when it starts. If the disposal normally draws 9.6 amps while running, starting current will be around 57.6 amps. I suspect the reason your lights are dimming could be from voltage drop.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to electures For This Useful Post:
brric (01-13-2013), Code05 (01-13-2013), micromind (01-13-2013), NJMarine (01-15-2013)
Old 01-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #14
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by TTW View Post
Been very busy, just started a new job.

The type of problem you are having with various appliances causing dimming here and there could be caused by a number of things. Simply tightening connections might help, but the problem may be more extensive.

It is possible that there is a problem with the neutral connection at the power pole or transformer on the utility side.

To really get to the bottom of it, your best bet is to have an electrician take voltage readings at the panel under differing load conditions.
cool TTW you are back.
I have a multimeter and can take that reading myself.
so what are the readings that I can help in identifying the culprits?
Do I take a reading with nothing on and see if it's perfect 120v difference and with only lights on ( i assume no capacitors/inductors, so this case has a load of no phase )?
quanpenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2013, 03:23 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Default

use only 12 gauge 20Amp line for all wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by electures View Post
A garbage disposal is a motor. It can draw six times the RLA (running load current) when it starts. If the disposal normally draws 9.6 amps while running, starting current will be around 57.6 amps. I suspect the reason your lights are dimming could be from voltage drop.
i believe you are right electures. so tighten up the panel board will help with this? or I have to upgrade my board to 200Amp?

quanpenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wire gauge for 80 amp continues load diyguy41 Electrical 20 11-28-2012 12:30 PM
10 Gauge wire with 30amp circuit and Baseboard Heat? RocketManZ Electrical 4 12-17-2011 12:19 PM
transfer switch - wire gauge soma Electrical 14 12-03-2011 09:53 PM
Correct gauge wire on wall heater?? Master Brian Electrical 4 11-16-2010 01:48 PM
10 gauge vs 12 gauge wire for 30 amp line hsdude1992 Electrical 5 06-30-2007 01:36 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.