House wiring different?

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Old 01-12-05, 07:40 AM
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Question House wiring different?

Hi! I am having a new house built. The one I live in now was built in the 70's. The conductors in the wiring in the new house look much smaller than the ones in my current house. Has the code changed over the years? I assume 14/2 for 15 amp circuits, but my old house has visibly larger wiring. My old house looks as if it was wired with 12/2. something change or was my old builder over the standards?
 
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Old 01-12-05, 07:58 AM
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Your old house probably had 20AMP circuits, hence 12-2 wire. If the builder is using 14-2, they must be running 15AMP circuits. Code allows either, so long as the appropriate breakers are used.

As a homeowner I'd sure rather have 20AMP circuits and 12 guage wire. Some builders, on the other hand, would rather save the extra cost of the wire...
 
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Old 01-12-05, 09:34 AM
rlrct
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Actually, I've noticed that the conductors are getting smaller, although part of that is the insulation. I used some 12/2 NM from my Dad's basement that was 20 years old and the insulation on the older conductors is thicker. I haven't mic'd the copper to see if those have changed too.
 
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Old 01-12-05, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rlrct
Actually, I've noticed that the conductors are getting smaller, although part of that is the insulation. I used some 12/2 NM from my Dad's basement that was 20 years old and the insulation on the older conductors is thicker. I haven't mic'd the copper to see if those have changed too.

The copper should be the same. 12 guage is still 12 guage. At least, I hope.

I can tell a *dramatic* difference in the overall size of the Romex I have added in my 1975 house versus the original. Especially dramatic is the 12-3 wire that is just over half the size it was back then. The old wire had "strings" of cardboardish material in the romex, and the old insulation itself was thicker.

I definately prefer working with the newer Romex.
 
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Old 01-12-05, 11:46 AM
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Also, insulation has had some changes over the past few years. You'll find the outer cover on the cable is thinner on the new wiring so the overall cable is smaller. The wire inside hasn't changed #12 is still #12 and #14 is still #14... I was amazed more at the size difference on the larger gage wires - The wiring to the 220 dryer plug in our current house resembles the #14 wiring in house I owned that was built in 1977.

Doug M.
 
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Old 01-12-05, 11:48 AM
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Hate it when I start a reply and have to go to a meeting and don't check back to see if others have replied while I was gone...

Doug M.
 
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