COMMUNITY FORUM

zackivan

09:03AM | 10/19/05
Member Since: 10/02/05
26 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have heard that lighting circuits have to be on 15 amp breakers using 14 gauge wire. is this true? I would like to run 20 amp circuits, but no I am worried that it won't pass code.

Zack

househelper

09:21AM | 10/19/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
There is no rule that states lighting circuits have to be on 15A circuits, unless it is a local rule. Check with your local inspectors on that. Ususally it is the other way around: only 20A circuits or higher allowed.

It is much easier to work with 14ga wire in multigang switch setups which is why many electricians prefer to use 14ga for lighting circuits.

MistressEll

03:35AM | 11/16/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Most luminaires you'll find in the stores are designed to run 15 amp circuits max (16 g and 18 g wire within) and the more simple of design (average incandescent uncomplicated fixtures) have no internal fuses to protect said wiring...

If your reasoning for desiring a 20 amp circuit is that perhaps you have an exaust fan on the circuit..or that your lights dim when other motorized loads "kick in" and/or your entire length of this lighting circuit is long...the 20 amp circuit is not going to solve your problem.

In that case...using 12 awg wire but protecting the lighting only circuit with 15 amp circuit breaker would resolve your troubles. Be sure that your switches are rated for 20 amp thru/15 amp use. This will help to accomodate for those "brown out" conditons caused by voltage drops if that's your issue and nothing in the code prohibits your using the 12 awg to wire your 15 amp circuit.

If it is a combination receptacal/luminaire circuit then you are restricted to a 15 amp circuit with calculated demand load to a max of 1480 va. This reference by application of the rest of the code means that the circuit wiring must be protected by fuse/breaker to open in the event current in excess of 125% of the 1480 occurs, hence 1800 va - hence 15 amps. In the residence, UNLESS its a dedicated single bathroom circuit that's the 20 amp GFCI protected exception that allows for an overhead fixture/fan combo but again that lighting/fan load is limited to only the bathroom -- and by its load in the code.

Billhart

04:20PM | 11/16/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
"If it is a combination receptacal/luminaire circuit then you are restricted to a 15 amp circuit with calculated demand load to a max of 1480 va. This reference by application of the rest of the code means that the circuit wiring must be protected by fuse/breaker to open in the event current in excess of 125% of the 1480 occurs, hence 1800 va - hence 15 amps."

The National Electrical Code, NEC has no such limitations.

Lighting fixtures can be put on any 20 amp circuit except those that are required by code not to have lighting fixtures (washer, kitchen small applicance, and dedicated equipment circuits).


bink

02:01AM | 11/17/05
Member Since: 01/18/99
47 lifetime posts
I agree with you Billhart. I have never heard of such a thing.

Let us know how it works out.

MistressEll

04:30AM | 11/17/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
We've been here before and you'll find all the citations elsewhere in this forum.

Combination lighting (now luminaire) and cord & plug receptacle loads, residential

The "combo" requires demand calculations as does lighting only....sigh...the reference in the code (old and current) is 1480 VA as a limit....

Do your freaking math bill...if you're required to limit your design calculation to 1480 va...and protect for a demand, that's times 125% (converse of 80%)...that's 1800 va and have to PROTECT the branch circuit at 1800...thats 15 amps.

Get over yourself bill...you are as thick headed as a mule. I pity you.


househelper

05:16AM | 11/17/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
MistressEl: Please cite the specific code reference for your claims.

And get the math right - 80% of 1800 is 1440 not 1480. You discredit yourself by your own mistakes!
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