14 gauge wire on 20 amp circuit breaker

Old 12-07-02, 08:03 PM
john wer
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Question 14 gauge wire on 20 amp circuit breaker

while preparing to add a few outlets onto a 20 amp circuit in my basement i notice that all the existing wiring to the existing lights and outlets is 14/2 on this circuit, there is also at least one other 20 amp circuit with 14/2 wiring(the furnace which as has a 15 amp fuse at its switch box). i wonder how all this original wiring was approved in the first place- was code previously more lenient with respect to wire size? without completely rewiring can i just replace 20 amp circuit breaker with 15 amp breaker? thanks john
Old 12-07-02, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
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As far as I know, 14 gauge wire has never been approved for use on a 20-amp circuit. Yes, you should definitely replace that 20-amp breaker with a 15-amp breaker. But be prepared to find out why it was changed to a 20-amp breaker in the first place.

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