Which breaker can I use?


  #1  
Old 10-29-03, 09:37 AM
tuffer
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Which breaker can I use?

I am in the process of wiring my basement, I have 10 outlets wired together with 14/2 wire and wanted to now if this wire can handle a 20a breaker, or should I use a 15a breaker and hope it can handle the outlets?? any info would be greatly appreciated
 
  #2  
Old 10-29-03, 10:01 AM
charlie b
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I donít know anything about the codes that apply in Canada. But Article 240.4(D) of the National Electrical Code requires that a #14 be protected by a breaker no larger than 15 amps. There are exceptions, but they would not apply to the case you have described. As to handling the outlets, that is not the question you need to ask. Rather, you need to consider how much load you intend to have plugged in at a time. The code has you calculate the load on branch circuits in terms that equate to approximately 1.5 amps per receptacle. So you could add 10 receptacles to a 15 amp circuit and not exceed the value of calculated load. That notwithstanding, if you plan on connecting a 1200 watt space heater to each of the 10 receptacles, you need to rethink your plan.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 10:47 AM
tuffer
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so, in this case, If I just had the regulars plugged in (TV, Computer, light, telephone, etc.) a 15a breaker would be suffice then?
 
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Old 10-29-03, 11:05 AM
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Wired with 14 it is the only breaker you can use.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 12:05 PM
J
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10 outlets on a 15-amp circuit is generally discouraged (and prohibited in some places). However, it is sometimes okay if most of the outlets are unused. It would be better to split this up into two 15-amp circuits, or rewire with 12-gauge wire all the way to the panel and use a 20-amp circuit. The problem might be that if that other stuff is on and somebody decides to vacuum, it might trip the breaker.

You're the one that has to live there. So it's up to you to decide whether to rewire or just hope for the best. If it was me, I'd rewire with 12 gauge and add another circuit. I don't like unpleasant surprises, and this is a lot easier to do now than after all the drywall is up.

But putting a 20-amp breaker on a circuit with any 14-gauge wire is always wrong. Whatever you decide, don't do that.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 02:33 PM
tuffer
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thanks John,

one additional question then, I'm not gonna rewire with 12 g since the wiring is pretty much finished, so I will go with 2, 15a breakers, so in this case, instead of running 10 on one 15a, my question would be, can 6-8 be ran on one breaker?
 
  #7  
Old 10-29-03, 02:49 PM
T
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How many outlets you have on one breaker is mainly a factor of what you plan to plug into them. I would always wire an entertainment center on its own circuit (20A), and would put at least 4 outlets. I'm not a big fan of power strips, especially behind furniture. In a bedroom where most outlets are unused 8 outlets on one circuit is ok, but in a basement it may not. What is goiing to be plugged into those circuits? 1 15A circuit will give you 1650W (I think 80% is the max you can actually use though).
 
 

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