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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My house currently only use 12 gauge line coming out of service panel.
including for lighting and other receptacles.

is this a violation of code?
personally I don't think this will cause fire hazard. but what other negative effect it will have?

I have 100Amp coming into my house, will that be the reason that my light dimmers when I switch on my garbage disposer?

:whistling2:
 

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Residential wiring is either 12 gauge or 14 gauge, except for things like the water heater and stuff. That will require larger wire, usually 10 gauge for a water heater and larger still for the range and such.

wire gauge sizes go backwards, so 12 gauge is bigger than 14 gauge and can carry more power safely.

14 gauge is used mostly for smaller loads, like lighting and such because it's a smaller load and the wire is less expensive.

Someone actually did a really good job in your case, running all 12 gauge is more expensive and usually not done.

So, your wiring actually exceeds the norm!

Do you have 15 or 20 amp circuit breakers?

As for the garbage disposal, is there a plug under the sink where it plugs in, or is it wired in without a plug?

Also do you know if it has it's own circuit breaker with nothing else on that breaker ?

How old is the house?

Please put your location in your profile, as electric code varies widely by area.
 

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12 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker is fine and to code. You have nothing to be concerned about. It could even be on a 15 amp breaker and not be a concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks TTW.

yes, I use 20A circuit breaker on my panel cross the board, except for my central AC.

the garbage disposer i hooked it w/o a plug, and it shared a 12 gauge line with another receptacle, which is not plugged in now. but still the light dimmers. similar situation happened when I first moved into the house, when my wife switched on her hair dryer, light in the master bedroom dimmers, we fixed this by changing the 15A circuit breaker to 20A and put a dedicated line to the master bathroom.
I tightened my wire to my garbage disposer but it didn't solve the problem. do I need to tighten everything from the panel outwards?

this is a 53 yrs old house in chester county, PA

thanks

Residential wiring is either 12 gauge or 14 gauge, except for things like the water heater and stuff. That will require larger wire, usually 10 gauge for a water heater and larger still for the range and such.

wire gauge sizes go backwards, so 12 gauge is bigger than 14 gauge and can carry more power safely.

14 gauge is used mostly for smaller loads, like lighting and such because it's a smaller load and the wire is less expensive.

Someone actually did a really good job in your case, running all 12 gauge is more expensive and usually not done.

So, your wiring actually exceeds the norm!

Do you have 15 or 20 amp circuit breakers?

As for the garbage disposal, is there a plug under the sink where it plugs in, or is it wired in without a plug?

Also do you know if it has it's own circuit breaker with nothing else on that breaker ?

How old is the house?

Please put your location in your profile, as electric code varies widely by area.
 

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OK, so it sounds like the GD is not sharing any thing else on it's circuit, correct?

So, when the GD comes on where do the lights dim? Only in the kitchen or everywhere in the house? I know, you may only notice it in the kitchen because that is where you are when you use the GD, so please do some checking to see and we will take it from there.
 

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12 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker is fine and to code. You have nothing to be concerned about. It could even be on a 15 amp breaker and not be a concern.
Unless it is a SABC (small appliance branch circuit), or laundry or bathroom receptacle circuit.
 

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From what I've seen over a lot of years, a house wired with only #12 is usually done so out of either ignorance of reality or to an even greater degree, because someone wants to be a big-shot.

Receptacles with #12 is usually a good idea, lights on #12 is almost always unnecessary.

Ever tried to connect a cheap bathroom fan with #12s? Dumb idea......

Rob
 

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From what I've seen over a lot of years, a house wired with only #12 is usually done so out of either ignorance of reality or to an even greater degree, because someone wants to be a big-shot.

Receptacles with #12 is usually a good idea, lights on #12 is almost always unnecessary.

Ever tried to connect a cheap bathroom fan with #12s? Dumb idea......

Rob

When I was wiring a lot of McMansions back in the 80's and 90's the architects were specifying minimum wire size shall be #12 on their plans. We had no choice.
 
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When I was wiring a lot of McMansions back in the 80's and 90's the architects were specifying minimum wire size shall be #12 on their plans. We had no choice.
I've seen that a few times as well. Mostly, the architect was trying to impress the client with his exceedingly superior product, but the reality of it is that said architect possesses very little actual knowledge, and even worse, the client ends up paying for a product that is no better than the industry standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, so it sounds like the GD is not sharing any thing else on it's circuit, correct?

So, when the GD comes on where do the lights dim? Only in the kitchen or everywhere in the house? I know, you may only notice it in the kitchen because that is where you are when you use the GD, so please do some checking to see and we will take it from there.
Hi TTW
now i noticed that not only the light in the kitchen dimmers when GD is on, some light in my hallway also dimmers, but not all of them, just some of them.
same thing happen when my washing machine start to work and my fridge start its cycle. ( i got a pretty old fridge which takes a lot of power, but I guess it's not relevant to this issue ).
so does it mean somewhere in my service panel is loss? what kind of loss connection is that and how tight it needs to be?
 

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Been very busy, just started a new job.

The type of problem you are having with various appliances causing dimming here and there could be caused by a number of things. Simply tightening connections might help, but the problem may be more extensive.

It is possible that there is a problem with the neutral connection at the power pole or transformer on the utility side.

To really get to the bottom of it, your best bet is to have an electrician take voltage readings at the panel under differing load conditions.
 

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A garbage disposal is a motor. It can draw six times the RLA (running load current) when it starts. If the disposal normally draws 9.6 amps while running, starting current will be around 57.6 amps. I suspect the reason your lights are dimming could be from voltage drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Been very busy, just started a new job.

The type of problem you are having with various appliances causing dimming here and there could be caused by a number of things. Simply tightening connections might help, but the problem may be more extensive.

It is possible that there is a problem with the neutral connection at the power pole or transformer on the utility side.

To really get to the bottom of it, your best bet is to have an electrician take voltage readings at the panel under differing load conditions.
cool TTW you are back.
I have a multimeter and can take that reading myself.
so what are the readings that I can help in identifying the culprits?
Do I take a reading with nothing on and see if it's perfect 120v difference and with only lights on ( i assume no capacitors/inductors, so this case has a load of no phase )?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A garbage disposal is a motor. It can draw six times the RLA (running load current) when it starts. If the disposal normally draws 9.6 amps while running, starting current will be around 57.6 amps. I suspect the reason your lights are dimming could be from voltage drop.
i believe you are right electures. so tighten up the panel board will help with this? or I have to upgrade my board to 200Amp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Been very busy, just started a new job.

The type of problem you are having with various appliances causing dimming here and there could be caused by a number of things. Simply tightening connections might help, but the problem may be more extensive.

It is possible that there is a problem with the neutral connection at the power pole or transformer on the utility side.

To really get to the bottom of it, your best bet is to have an electrician take voltage readings at the panel under differing load conditions.
oh btw, the neutral connection problem, do you refer to loose neutral line connection in the panel?
 

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i believe you are right electures. so tighten up the panel board will help with this? or I have to upgrade my board to 200Amp?
Upgrading the service is not the answer. Is there anything else on the circuit with the GD such as the lights? ANy JB's? CHeck the panel for loose terminations. Have an electrical contractor check the service entrance connections including the service neutral. Have the POCO check the connections in the meter and at the pole. CHeck the entire circuit that the GD is on for loose connections.
 

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From what I've seen over a lot of years, a house wired with only #12 is usually done so out of either ignorance of reality or to an even greater degree, because someone wants to be a big-shot.

Receptacles with #12 is usually a good idea, lights on #12 is almost always unnecessary.
My house is wired with all #12 simply so they could run the same circuit for lights and receptacles in the same room. :(
 

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My house is wired with all #12 simply so they could run the same circuit for lights and receptacles in the same room. :(
I HIGHLY doubt that was the sole reason. Some guys just run all #12 as standard practice. Many times it's so they don't have to worry about stocking lots of different wire and breakers.

Also, why the frowny face? When was the last time you tripped a breaker?
 
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