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Old 12-19-2009, 07:08 PM   #16
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well if you asking which is worse, it having 14awg on a 20 amp breaker! imo
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:16 PM   #17
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Change both breakers to 15a and call it fixed - then see if the seller and/or electrician agree - and agrue or negotiate it from there if need be - knocking off a bit of money may be the quickest and easiest for you if it comes to that (the buyer probably will not do anything about the issues and just pocket the money so no need to negotiate a full price fix).

IMHO...
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:32 PM   #18
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If I was in your shoes and selling your house I would change it to a 15A breaker. If the buyer came back and say I want changed to a 20A, take 500 bucks off the prices and if he doesn't accept then I would walk away. I know it is not code compliant but I don't see it as a safety issue.

Now if I was the buyer I would accept it as a 15A circuit, I am not sold on useing 20A circuits everywhere for two reasons. Number 1, nothing you buy has a 20A tslot male plug on it to make these plugs useful. I have never had issues of overloading on any of my 15A circuits or have ever heard many complaints of that. This is my opinion, and everyone thinks different on this issue.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:37 PM   #19
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The circuit on question goes to (2) bathrooms
Downgrading is not the way to go



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Old 12-19-2009, 08:42 PM   #20
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Darren, just wondering if someone wanted you to do work that was not up to code would you?
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:02 PM   #21
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If the OP called me and asked me to check it out, I would tell him to change it to a 15A breaker, I wouldn't know how long it has been like that so maybe it could be 20yrs old and some goof put in a bigger breaker. When I moved into my house the bathroom didn't have a fan or plug, I didn't get all worked up and ask for a reduction on things that obviously passed an inspection when it was built. You can't expect a seller to bring everything up to code when your buying a house.

I rather see it safe and not meet code then being unsafe and not meeting code.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #22
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You don't replace one code violation with another code violation



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Old 12-19-2009, 10:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
There is an existing 20a circuit to the bathrooms
To downgrade that to a 15a is a violation of code IMO
Not a matter of meeting current code, it's a matter of fixing the wrong gauge wire on a 20a circuit
I see where your comeing from Dave but how do you know its a 20A circuit, you can't go by the breaker. Maybe it was orginally ran as a 15A circuit but some goof changed the breaker.

If I put a 30A breaker on my 15A plug circuit would you automaticaly assume that the circuit is suppose to be 30A and it all needs to be upgraded to #10?
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
I see where your comeing from Dave but how do you know its a 20A circuit, you can't go by the breaker. Maybe it was orginally ran as a 15A circuit but some goof changed the breaker.

If I put a 30A breaker on my 15A plug circuit would you automaticaly assume that the circuit is suppose to be 30A and it all needs to be upgraded to #10?
Your right those with knowledge would be able to see that the breaker is big, but normal people don't think of that ****. They see 15, 20, 30, 50 amp breaker and assume thats what the wire is rated.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:17 PM   #25
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Actually that's a very good point
I've been assuming (not good) that he has found the only #14 wire that exists on the circuit
In order to keep a 20a he really needs to verify that there isn't any other #14 wire

So I change my vote to Safe w/15a
Different ways of looking at things is good
Thanks



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Old 12-19-2009, 10:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
You don't replace one code violation with another code violation
In 1971, when the house was built, it was not a code requirment to have 20 amps for the bathroom.
change the breakers to 15 amp and call it good!
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:07 PM   #27
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(Assuming you are in the US...)

Without a doubt, the 20A breakers need to be removed and replaced with 15A ASAP - not optional.

The point to remember is that branch circuits are rated depending on the max amps the conductors are allowed to carry, not be the breaker that someone has chosen to install. You have 15A maximum circuits, with breakers that exceed the 15A maximum allowed by the code (your 20A's).


Per NEC

210.3 Rating.
Branch circuits recognized by this article

shall be rated in accordance with the maximum permitted

ampere rating or setting of the overcurrent device.


Now, the second issue is whether your bathroom circuit needs to be one or more 20A circuits.

I agree that if the circuit was installed to code before the code required a 20A circuit, and it was not altered, modified, or added to since it was installed, you really don't have to do anything other than install the proper sized breaker for the circuit, which is 15A, to be code compliant. It's not a question of what needs to be installed NOW under the current cycle, or even what should be done based on knowing that one 15A circuit is too small for two bathrooms.

Keep in mind that many jurisdictions have local codes that address rehab work and mention the position of the AHJ, which might further address whether you might need to change it to 20A.

Some info:
My 1999 code identifies the 20A bathroom circuit requirement as a "change" from the 1996 code, so it's possible it began with the 1999 code, which was after your house was built.

Did the renovation you mentioned from 2002-2005 include the bathroom circuit in question in any way? Interesting enough, the 2002 code included a new section, Article 80, stated as being "for informative use only unless specifically adopted by a local jurisdiction". What does this mean? It's not an enforcable section unless the local authority has specifically included adoption of Article 80 when adopting the code in general. (This is still true with the 2008 code, but it has since been moved to Annex H of the code.)

Anyway, Article 80 includes suggested applications of the Code for:

--new installations, (shall comply with the Code requirements...)
--existing installations, (shall be permitted to be continued in use unless the authority having jurisdiction determines that the lack of conformity with this Code presents an imminent danger to occupants...), and
--additions, alteration, or repairs (shall conform to that required of a new building without requiring the existing building to comply with all the requirements of this Code...)

These three ideas are most often the way local jurisdictions view electrical work.

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Old 12-20-2009, 07:25 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
In 1971, when the house was built, it was not a code requirment to have 20 amps for the bathroom.
change the breakers to 15 amp and call it good!
Yes - but the renovation changed that

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilheldp View Post
The problem is that while this house was built in 1971, it was renovated by the previous owner. I'm not entirely sure when the renovation happened, but I think it was in the 2003-2005 time frame. Does anyone know when the 20A GFI circuit requirement was added to the code? If it was added in the NEC 2005 or 2008, I should be grandfathered in regardless. Otherwise, I might be screwed.
If you (the elecrician) can completely remove all #14 & verify that only #12 is on the circuit I would then leave the 20a

If you can't do this then a 15a needs to be installed
But if the HI is coming back to update what you did you may then get a "notation" that the bathroom does not meet code now

Where is the transformer located ?
Mine is mounted on the breaker panel with the #14 wire leading to a breaker
They don't use much power, can it be moved to a 15a circuit ?
If not what else is on the 20a circuit ?



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Old 12-20-2009, 07:25 AM   #29
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Change the breakers to 15 amp weather they meet code or not at least they are safe until an if a permanent fix is being considered down the road.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:12 AM   #30
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Change the breakers. The HI report says the breakers are oversized for the wire. it doesn't say the wire is undersized for a bathroom circuit.
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