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12 and 14 gauge wire on one circuit

27763 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  whatrymes

We have a 20 amp dedicated circuit upstairs that only serves a small A/C unit (4.2 amps) and is really overkill. The cable is in a perfect location for me to tap into for an outside motion light and switch. I really prefer using #14 cable for several reasons.

Is it OK to splice into this #12 cable provided of course I switch out the breaker to a 15 amp breaker?

Thank you
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Yes you can mix 12 and 14 gauge wire with a 15 amp breaker on the circuit.

But it is not recommended because the next homeowner or electrician may be confused and put a 20 amp breaker on it again.

Confusion can be reduced if, down in the panel, you splice on a short length (pigtail) of 14 gauge wire to the incoming 12 gague wire in order to attach to the breaker. Also put a label on that circuit wire.

It would be much better to add on using 12 gague wire since there is no telling whether more electricity won't be used on that circuit in the future.
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