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 01-19-2012, 08:46 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 45
Share |
Default

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.

Red Truck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
retired elect/hvac/plumb
 
plummen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: south east of omaha/The island of misfit contractors
Posts: 2,895
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


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

plummen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,744
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


#14 wire can only be installed on a 15 amp circuit.
Don't bother running #12 and install a 15 amp breaker.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jbfan For This Useful Post:
plummen (01-19-2012)
Old 01-19-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
Member
 
jproffer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chester, IL
Posts: 1,270
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Truck View Post
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.
jproffer is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jproffer For This Useful Post:
plummen (01-19-2012)
Old 01-19-2012, 09:08 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 45
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


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 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 45
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
#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?
Red Truck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2012, 09:25 PM   #7
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,744
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Truck View Post
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.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 12:22 AM   #8
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


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
__________________
The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 09:00 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 45
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
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.
Red Truck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Truck View Post
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.
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 02:32 PM   #11
retired elect/hvac/plumb
 
plummen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: south east of omaha/The island of misfit contractors
Posts: 2,895
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


If its just an office i personally wouldnt worry about an afci,unless you use it as a bedroom
plummen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 02:45 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 219
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


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?
psilva8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 02:55 PM   #13
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,515
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


The NEC only has limits on non-residential installs as far as number of receptacles on a circuit.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
retired elect/hvac/plumb
 
plummen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: south east of omaha/The island of misfit contractors
Posts: 2,895
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


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
plummen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #15
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,515
Default

Wire Gauge and Circuit Breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
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?

__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   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
14 gauge wire 20 amp circuit DIYGST Electrical 24 03-05-2013 04:15 PM
10 Gauge wire with 30amp circuit and Baseboard Heat? RocketManZ Electrical 4 12-17-2011 12:19 PM
12 and 14 gauge wire on one circuit whatrymes Electrical 4 04-17-2011 09:32 AM
240v conduit with different gauge wires... Biospot Electrical 7 12-14-2010 07:07 PM
mixed gauge wire on 15 amp circuit GretaDIY Electrical 4 07-03-2010 03:20 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

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