COMMUNITY FORUM

brfran

03:32AM | 11/29/05
Member Since: 11/26/05
2 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I seem to have a little too much load on one circuit that has 6 outlets on it (including a GFI) and it triggers the breaker. Can I upgrade to a 20 amp from a 15 amp?

Thanks


househelper

04:04AM | 11/29/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Assuming the 15A was installed because the associated wiring is 14ga, then no, you cannot replace the 15A breaker with a 20A.

AllVenom

02:58AM | 12/08/05
Member Since: 12/07/05
3 lifetime posts
To be a little more specific, open up one of the outlets and check the color of wiring to them. If you have yellow colored sheathing then you have 20A wiring, or 12 guage. If it's white, then you have 14 guage. I would tend to agree with the above comment, the 15A breaker was used because the circuit was wired with 14 ga wire.

Billhart

04:14AM | 12/08/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
Color coding the sheathing of NM cables in fairly new. In most likely hood that cable does not have it.

Also it might have been wired with conduit or BX.

In any case the only reliable method is to check the wire guage.

But most cases if it was had a 15 amp breaker then the wiring is 14 guage.

Another problem with older wiring you never know what changes someone might have made. A circuit could have been extended with #12 wire because that is what he had handy, but that the orginal run was done with #14.

Or #12 run becuase it was a long run.

You need to be able to show that the WHOLE CIRCUIT is rated for 20 amps before changing the breaker.


househelper

04:14AM | 12/08/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
The colored cable is a relatively new feature (last 3-4 years), so chances are all the 14, 12, and 10 will be white.

Palsgraf

01:51PM | 12/08/05
Member Since: 10/31/05
4 lifetime posts
From my limited knowledge of wiring ...

Wider/thicker wire (smaller gauge number) is used with higher amperage circuits because it helps carry the heat from the movement of electricity.

If you run too many amps through a wire it will heat up - just like the filament in a lightbulb - and either melt or start a fire.

Consider adding a second circuit, or plugging some of your appliances into receptacles on a different circuit.
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