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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spend a LONG time trying to figure out what circuit breaker I need to turn off for a kitchen light fixture yesterday. I didn't have my full electric kit with multimeter. I only had a non-contact voltage tester with me. Sometimes those give false signals when there is residual voltage because of lines running next to each other (I'm not an expert on this, this is just my interpretation based on my limited experience.)

Anyway, long story short - the lighting circuit was on a 30 amp breaker. I've never seen this before and I just assumed that couldn't be the breaker I was interested in. Is this allowed by code, or was it at one time? If so, why have I never seen it before in my life?
 

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not allowed by code (i dont think)


the first thing i would do is remove the light to see what guage the wiring is,


if the wiring at the light is 12 or 14 guage, then what you have is very dangerous


all wiring on a 30A circuit must be 10G or larger(wire)
 

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Definitely not. A kitchen light fixture in the USA cannot be on a 30A breaker, must be 15A or 20A. I hear in Canada it must be on 15A.

In fact there isn't really any place in a kitchen for a 30A breaker, unless the house has separate oven/range.

What I rather suspect is the light was on a receptacle circuit. Almost any kitchen heat appliance takes 1500 watts, and a 20A circuit only gives 2400W. Somebody got sick of their breaker tripping when they run two at once, and decided convenience was more important than safety.
 

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Check for a subpanel or (for a very old house) a fuse block with 15 (or 20) amp breakers/fuses for this circuit.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What I rather suspect is the light was on a receptacle circuit. Almost any kitchen heat appliance takes 1500 watts, and a 20A circuit only gives 2400W. Somebody got sick of their breaker tripping when they run two at once, and decided convenience was more important than safety.

It's possible. As a general rule, I don't put too much trust in breaker panels with scribbling all over them in pencil - i.e. which each circuit is supposed to do. I've found way too many mistakes. So I just figure out myself what each circuit does. The circuit in question is labeled simply "lights". But I suspect you might be right. Looking into it.....
 
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