14 gauge wire

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  #1  
Old 10-19-04, 06:42 PM
ker
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14 gauge wire

I have a 20 amp breaker and all the wiring that is on the circuit is 12 gauge. My bathroom fan/light is on this circuit. The power is being fed to a single swithch with two buttons(one for the light and the other for the fan)by a #12 wire. The hot is going to the switch and on the other side of the switch is #14-3 wire where the black supplies the light and the red supplies the fan. The two neutrals are together in the back of the box. I know it is not good to have a 14 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit but I thought since the 12 was feeding the switch it may be okay. Any thoughts?
Thanks Again!
 
  #2  
Old 10-19-04, 07:04 PM
J
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It is not okay. Fix it.
 
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Old 10-19-04, 07:38 PM
ker
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Man, I was hoping not to here that. Okay, here is my possible solution. I have 2 fan/lights, 2 recessed small spot lights and 2 porch lights (all in a newly constructed livingroom) on a single 20 amp circuit and that is it. I need to run a new supply line to this circuit from the panel anyway. Would it be possible to run a #14 wire from the box and take the bathroom fan/light off the circuit that it is currently on and put it on the same circuit as the living room lights. This new circuit would be fed by the new wire coming out of the the panel box. I, of course, would replace the breaker with a 15 amp breaker. My question: Is this okay and would it be okay to feed #12 wire with #14 wire since there is already 12 wire in place for the living room lights. I would run 14 wire out of the panel so any new owners would know not to replace the breaker with a 20 amp.
Is there a better solution. It would be very difficult to fish 12 wire to the switch in question.
Thanks for all your responses!
 
  #4  
Old 10-19-04, 07:57 PM
R
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While your proposed solution sounds like it would make things legal, I still would not do it.

Fix your problem in the bathroom the right way. That is the best solution.
 
  #5  
Old 10-19-04, 08:10 PM
J
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ker, I understand (sort of) why Bob recommends against your proposed solution, but it is legal and safe, so I say okay to it.
 
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Old 10-20-04, 05:31 AM
ker
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Thanks for the help and the fast replies. I'll be back with more questions later.
 
  #7  
Old 10-20-04, 09:30 AM
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Unless I missed something the only problem I see is that you have 14 guage wire on a 20 amp circuit. However it doesn't sound like it needs to be a 20 amp circuit, if you just swaped the breaker for a 15 amp you should be fine and there is no problem with running 15 amp breaker on 14 guage or 12 guage wire.
Unless the circuit will be overloaded on a 15 amp breaker but by the sounds of it the circuit is well within the limits of 15 amps.
 
  #8  
Old 10-20-04, 10:19 AM
J
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Agreed, as long as there are no bathroom receptacles on that circuit.
 
  #9  
Old 10-20-04, 10:36 AM
ker
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Just making sure but it is okay to #12 wire with #14 wire as long as the breaker is 15 amp, correct? Thanks for the replies and I will go with that.
 
  #10  
Old 10-20-04, 12:19 PM
ker
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it is okay to feed #12 with #14 is what I meant to say.
 
  #11  
Old 10-20-04, 12:57 PM
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In most but not all cities, you may use a mixture of #12 and #14 on a circuit protected by 15 amp breaker. I would never encourage you to do this on purpose, but sometimes when working with existing wiring, you can't always do exactly what you would prefer.
 
 

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