Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


07:52AM | 06/03/03
Member Since: 06/02/03
1 lifetime posts

I'm currently having a new home built and was wondering what the requirements are as far as wire sizes to use, 12 or 14 gauge?

I can physically see 12 gauge wire going to high current draw items such as the refrigerator, washer/dryer, oven, disposal, etc. but 14 gauge is connecting all the receptacles. I would prefer using 12 on the whole house but they've already started using th 14.

Is it worthwhile to have them stop using 14 and go to 12? What does the electrical code call out?

I have a 200amp main breaker.

Please advise. Thanks in advance!!



03:38PM | 06/03/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Electrical code says
#14 wire on a 15 amp max breaker
#12 wire on a 20 amp max breaker
Bathroom receptacles 20 amp required
Kitchen counter receptacles 20 amp required.
Some cities have code requiring #12 minimum size wire.

[This message has been edited by joed (edited June 03, 2003).]


10:46AM | 06/09/03
Member Since: 02/13/03
90 lifetime posts
12 gauge would be better, but it is not required as previous post states. One thing you'll look at is the rating on the outlets. Alot of people use $0.59 cent outlets everywhere in the house. But those outlets are only rated for 15 amps.

I ran electric into my garage for a shop and wanted all 20amp 12 gauge circuits, the outlets rated for 20 amps were $2.20 each. That adds up when you put 20 outlets in.

The circuit is only as good as the weakest link.


04:06PM | 06/10/03
Member Since: 08/30/02
32 lifetime posts
just as a FYI - 15A duplex receps are allowed on 20A circuits - Section 210-21(b)(3) [1999 NEC].


07:43PM | 06/20/03
Member Since: 05/11/03
62 lifetime posts
In my opinion the #14 is fine where allowed by code as long as the electrician keeps the circuits light. The biggest problem we see are elctricians (and home owners) putting to much on a circuit. There is another issue with changing to #12 for lighting circuits. The wire is larger and becomes difficult to get the box fill room where 3 way switching is installed. As a compromise we sometimes wire the outlets on #12 because that is where the load can fluctuate the most, although this method would increase the price for wiring the home. Mr. Electric

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