14/2 vs 12/2

Old 08-10-04, 11:09 AM
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14/2 vs 12/2

Wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this site and support from all especially the moderators..John in this case

I read that 12/2 wire is required for a 20amp breaker. I of course went to HD and purchased wire with some help from an associate. He pointed me to 14/2 like it was the obvious choice. My bad. I extended a line to add 2 outlets using 14/2 on a 20amp circuit. I know that I need to replace this line now...that the drywall is all up.

However, my question is how much of a fire risk is there? Do I have to replace now or simply not use these outlets and get to this problem in the next couple of weeks?
Old 08-10-04, 11:38 AM
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If these new recepticles are end of the line, and they don't lead elsewhere then you don't have a problem until/unless they are used.

However, how do you know that the spouse or kids won;t use them?

To be safe you can fairly quickly disconnect the wires in the last correctly wireed junction box, simply capping off the leads. This will ensure that they aren't used until you replace them.
Old 08-10-04, 11:42 AM
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Another method, if the total continuous load on the circuit is less than 12 amps (80% of 15 amps), is to replace the 20 amp breaker with a 15 amp breaker. Doing that, you could use the 2 new receptacles you installed until you replace the #14 with #12.
Old 08-11-04, 09:23 AM
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thanks and next steps

Thanks for the quick response rlct

We've called our electrician and decided to install 15amp breakers for the long term. He believes that they will support the anticipated load. If we have tripping problems, then we'll address the re-wire need.

Thanks again!!!!

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