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I was looking in my circuit breaker box and I noticed that some 14-2 cable used for several overhead lights is connected to a 20 amp switch instead of a 15 amp. It has been this way for a while. Is this something I should fix immediately or can it wait till I have to go into the switch box for something else?
 

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Fix it right away, regardless of how long it has been like that.
 

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Worst case; If it's old wiring, it could overheat and cause a fire.
If it's the newer, 90C wire, then nothing much except that you will get a larger voltage drop on the run, which could cause some appliances to overheat or not perform as well as they should.

Definitely change the breaker to 15A, unless you want to change ALL of the wire on the circuit to #12.

FW
 

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Most likely nothing would happen. It is an NEC code violation but the NEC has a significant safety margin built in. If it's just lighting circuits it's doubtful you would be drawing much more than a couple of amps anyway.
 

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Most likely nothing would happen. It is an NEC code violation but the NEC has a significant safety margin built in. If it's just lighting circuits it's doubtful you would be drawing much more than a couple of amps anyway.
and 14 is technically rated for 20 amps too, but yeah there's that pesky code issue hehe, and the voltage drop over distance.
 

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No, changing to 15A breaker will not change the voltage drop issue, but I was thinking of the situation if more than 15A were being drawn on the branch.

FW
The NEC codification requirements has a significant safety margin built in, even drawing 20 amps on a 14 ga branch is not likely to create enough heat to cause a problem. The breaker should be changed to bring it into code but it is not an emergency situation.
 
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