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Old 02-16-2009, 11:34 PM   #1
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wire & breaker size


Does a circuit with 15amp recepticles require a 15 amp or 20 amp breaker? Do you have to use #14 wire for 15 amp recepticles or can you use #12?

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Old 02-16-2009, 11:37 PM   #2
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As long as you use a duplex outlet you can put 15A receptacles on a 20A breaker which requires 12ga wire. You can use 12ga wire on a 15A circuit if you wanted to but you can't put 14ga wire on a 20A circuit.

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Last edited by Plumbvoltage; 02-16-2009 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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I use #12 if there is any chance I may want to upgrade the circuit to a 20a breaker down the road
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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OK, thanks...
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:39 AM   #5
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Or you could just use #12 on a 20A breaker right off the bat.


rcassidy, just remember, you CAN use 15A receptacles on a 20A circuit in the US as Plumb stated.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:49 PM   #6
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Awesome, thanks, thats what i thought....
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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Also, keep in mind that it's often a good idea to install 20 amp circuits in some situations in which a 15 amp circuit is allowed, a very typical situation I see is a "McMansion" type property with a 15 amp circuit running to a "guest" bedroom at the other end of the house from the panel, into which somebody then attempts to plug a plasma TV,a home theater sound system, a floor lamp or two, a computer - and then attempts to fire up the treadmill.

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Old 02-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #8
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I have very few 15a outlet circuits
Fridge is one, then maybe 2 pre-existing circuits
Breakers are about the same $$ for 15a or 20a - so I buy the 20a
I figure with a outlet circuit run more power is better

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 02-17-2009 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:37 PM   #9
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yes, I agree, thanks again.... Great website..

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