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Old 11-06-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
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Wire Gauges, Amps and Small Fixtures


Based on a previous post, I take it that one should NOT use 14 gauge wire even for a small stretch of wire on a 20 amp circuit.

[What I had wanted to do was use 12 gauge wire from the switch to the breaker box and 14 gauge wire from the switch to the fixture (because I have to use a 8 cubic inch fan pancake box, which only seems to fit a 14 gauge wire).]

When I look at the wires of my fixture (a wall sconce) the wires affixed to the sconce seem really thin. They seem to be much thinner than 12 gauge wire. Nothing in the instructions of the sconce indicate a limit to the amp circuit that can power the fixture.

So, my question is: Can I still use a 20 amp circuit to power this fixture even though the wire of the fixture seems to be a thinner gauge?

If so, why is it that I should NOT use a 14 gauge wire from the switch to the fixture? Is it because that is a longer run of wire?

Thanks in advance for your expertise,

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Old 11-06-2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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Tap conductor rules allow for the smaller leads of a fixture to be connected to a larger circuit conductor without the need to adjust the overcurrent protection values.

The installation of permanent wiring to feed a fixture does not qualify for that exception, however.

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