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elshamm

05:10AM | 07/22/06
Member Since: 02/21/05
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Is it okay to replace a 20amp breaker with a 15amp breaker? We have several unused breakers from baseboard heaters that are no longer being used. I want to spread out some of the house wiring to additional 15amp breakers.

So is it okay to replace the 20amp breakers #12 gauge wiring with 15amp breakers?

Tom O

05:53AM | 07/22/06
Member Since: 09/17/02
487 lifetime posts
This question is not quite as simple as it looks.

There are circuits in your house that are required to be 20 amp circuits, such as the laundry circuit, small appliance circuits and possibly bathroom circuits. It is also possible that your general purpose lighting circuits were installed based on them being 20 amp circuits. A lot of this depends on how and when your house was wired.

What do you mean by spreading out some of the house wiring to 15 amp circuits and how will this be accomplished?

Tom


elshamm

03:01PM | 07/22/06
Member Since: 02/21/05
3 lifetime posts
The 20amp breakers that are in the circuit box right now were only used for baseboard heating. No other appliances or lighting are being driven by these breakers.

To answer your last question, here is my situation. In my office, I have a basic computer, tv printer and fax setup. Whenever the printer is turned on the power begins to fluctuate as the printer performs different functions.

What I thought I could do is replace the unused 20amp breaker with 15amp breakers and then take half of the wiring that is feeding my office and re-route them to the new 15 amp breaker.

Or...is there no purpose in doing this. Can I take some of the wiring that is being used in the other 15amp breakers and spread them to some of the 20amp breakers?

Billhart

03:19PM | 07/22/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1918 lifetime posts
What you want to do it fine.

I don't know what access you have to the existing office wiring or where you are going to "break" into it and split the circuit.

But if you can isolate a section and and see that ALL of the wiring for that section is #12 then you can keep it on the 20 amp breaker. Otherwise you will need to change it to a 15 amp breaker.

Another option would be to run the circuit with #12 and then instead of trying to break into the existing circuit just add one or more new receptacles. For inside wall, if you have access to a basement/crawlspace or attic then it is fairly easy to add Old Work boxes and run the wiring to them.


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