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Red Truck 01-19-2012 08:46 PM

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers
 
I'm finishing my basement myself. I plan to run 14/2 or 14/3 wire for lights and 14/2 for receptacles.
Does it matter if I run 14 or 12 gauge wire to a 15 amp circuit breaker or run 14 or 12 gauge wire to a 20 amp circuit breaker?
Basically are 20 amp single pole circuit breakers and 15 amp single pole circuit breakers interchangeable except I guess for the amount of total capacity they can handle?

Thank you for your responses.

plummen 01-19-2012 08:50 PM

Use 12g wire for the 20a breakers and 14g wire for the 15a breakers.
What all are you having for rooms in the basement ?:)

jbfan 01-19-2012 08:51 PM

#14 wire can only be installed on a 15 amp circuit.
Don't bother running #12 and install a 15 amp breaker.

jproffer 01-19-2012 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Truck (Post 828381)
I'm finishing my basement myself. I plan to run 14/2 or 14/3 wire for lights and 14/2 for receptacles.
Does it matter if I run 14 or 12 gauge wire to a 15 amp circuit breaker or run 14 or 12 gauge wire to a 20 amp circuit breaker?
Basically are 20 amp single pole circuit breakers and 15 amp single pole circuit breakers interchangeable except I guess for the amount of total capacity they can handle?

Thank you for your responses.

20A circuit must have at least 12g conductors
15A circuit must have at least 14g conductors

The max breaker size is determined by the smallest conductor on the circuit.

Red Truck 01-19-2012 09:08 PM

Just a Rec room and Office. I am planning on running a separate circuit for the TV and a separate circuit for the computer. There will also be a refrigerator down there (probably another circuit) Other than that nothing else major that will be using electricity.

Red Truck 01-19-2012 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 828388)
#14 wire can only be installed on a 15 amp circuit.
Don't bother running #12 and install a 15 amp breaker.


How many 6 inch recessed lights can I run on the 15 amp breaker?

jbfan 01-19-2012 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Truck (Post 828435)
How many 6 inch recessed lights can I run on the 15 amp breaker?

A 15 amp circuits gives you 1800 watts of power.

You figure the max lighting allowed based on the max lamp the fixture will take.

frenchelectrican 01-20-2012 12:22 AM

Red Truck.,

I am not sure if you are aware with most states will required a AFCI protection due this is a finshed basement room so that will count toward to the AFCI requirment.

Merci,
Marc

Red Truck 01-20-2012 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frenchelectrican (Post 828578)
Red Truck.,

I am not sure if you are aware with most states will required a AFCI protection due this is a finshed basement room so that will count toward to the AFCI requirment.

Merci,
Marc


Thank you Marc! I will look into it. I didn't see any AFCI breakers in my service panel which is all new as of 2008. I guess it's better to be safe then sorry. I assume these breakers are much more costly.

Yoyizit 01-20-2012 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Truck (Post 828731)
I assume these breakers are much more costly.

Yes and you will likely get nuisance trips. To troubleshoot these things your electrician will probably need to rent an Intelli-arc troubleshooting device made by Siemens, or some similar device.

IMHO these AFCI devices give you the least additional safety for the most additional money. Either the NEC has a strong lobby or nobody ever questions their cost/benefit decisions or both.

Search the Web for all the patents on these things - each new patent strives to overcome the shortcomings of the previous designs. :furious:

plummen 01-20-2012 02:32 PM

If its just an office i personally wouldnt worry about an afci,unless you use it as a bedroom:)

psilva8 01-20-2012 02:45 PM

Question:

Does NEC dictate a strict number of fixtures per circuit like Canada does?

Or, as jbfan writes, is it just calcing the loads per max wattage of each fixture?

Jim Port 01-20-2012 02:55 PM

The NEC only has limits on non-residential installs as far as number of receptacles on a circuit.

plummen 01-20-2012 03:00 PM

I normally figure 1 circuit for each bedroom,makes life much easier if you ever need to work on something down the road.
For your office you might want to figure a couple extra plugs on a seperate 20a circuit if youre running a lot of big stuff.
The living room might also be a good idea to split up on a couple 15a circuits if you have lots of stuff to plug in :)

Jim Port 01-20-2012 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plummen (Post 829085)
If its just an office i personally wouldnt worry about an afci,unless you use it as a bedroom:)

So you feel it is OK to pick and choose which parts of the code to comply with?


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