Garage electrical questions

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  #1  
Old 08-24-05, 04:11 PM
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Garage electrical questions

Hi folks...

1. The feed that powers the outlets to my garage is 12 gauge, but they spliced 14 to it and ran it to the garage door opener outlet. They then spliced some more 14 guage to the garage outlet box and ran it to an exterior light. It's a 20 A circuit, but I was wondering if this is ok since these things will never require 20 A.

2. Also, do junction boxes need to have a cover on them? I have junction boxes in the garage that have wires spliced in there, but there is no cover. When does there have to be a cover on the box?

THanks!
 
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Old 08-24-05, 05:09 PM
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1. The feed that powers the outlets to my garage is 12 gauge, but they spliced 14 to it and ran it to the garage door opener outlet. They then spliced some more 14 guage to the garage outlet box and ran it to an exterior light. It's a 20 A circuit, but I was wondering if this is ok since these things will never require 20 A.
Well, it's not legally OK. The breaker protects the wiring in the event of a failure somewhere - not normal or expected loads. A 20A breaker may not prevent a serious issue in such an event with 14ga wiring. You should replace the 14ga with 12ga if possible, or reduce the breaker size to 15A. And remember, it's very likely that if something hasn't occurred with important consequences it wouldn't be mentioned in NEC. That said, I doubt you are in any immediate danger in this situation, but it sounds like these runs were spliced in by someone not familiar with the possible ramifications and without inspection. That's kind of scary.

2. Also, do junction boxes need to have a cover on them? I have junction boxes in the garage that have wires spliced in there, but there is no cover. When does there have to be a cover on the box?
Always - nowadays at least. None of the JB's in my attic had covers, so apparently it was ok at one time. Covers are cheap. Measure the boxes, go to the big orange and get some and put them on. The screws for the covers are probably still in place in the boxes. Mine were.
 
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Old 08-24-05, 05:13 PM
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It is not okay. Being it is on a 20A breaker, all fixed wiring needs to be #12 or larger.

And yes, the junction boxes should have lids.
 
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Old 08-24-05, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rodek01
.... but it sounds like these runs were spliced in by someone not familiar with the possible ramifications and without inspection. That's kind of scary.
I agree. I bought the house in May, and I am finding some very creative wiring in the garage that was added on after the house was built.

Thanks for the help!
 
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