Another Basic Question on Breakers

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Old 09-12-05, 07:03 AM
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Another Basic Question on Breakers

I have read several times that #14 wire is for a 15 amp breaker and #12 wire is for a 20 amp breaker. Is it code compliant to use #12 wire with 15 amp breakers. I already have several of these in the panel box (used panel box) but I am doing all my wiring with #12 wire. Thanks in advance
 
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Old 09-12-05, 07:18 AM
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Yes. 12 AWG is protected by a 15 Amp breaker.
 
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Old 09-12-05, 07:27 AM
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Yes, you can protect 12 gage wire with a 15 amp breaker. But why?

You would be wasting capacity by limiting these circuits to 15 amps and wasting money on more expensive 12 gage wire.

My suggestion is to use 20 amp breakers on these circuits, unless you have a specific and compelling reason to use 15 amp breakers.
 
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Old 09-12-05, 08:18 AM
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Another Basic Question on Breakers

I have no reason to use 15 amp other than the fact I already some in the box. They are relative inexpensive, so it would be better just to replace the 15's with 20's Thanks
 
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Old 09-12-05, 08:42 AM
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If this were my project, I would install 20 amp breakers. You will appreciate the extra capacity of the circuits and it is easier to make change now, rather than later.

Another consideration and reason to use 20 amp breakers is to avoid confusion later on. Someone else (or even yourself later on) may want or need to work on or extend the circuit. Seeing a 15 amp breaker they may think they need 14 gage wire, only to find 12 gage wire once they remove the covers.

If you do stay with the 15 amp breakers, I recommend making a note on the panel that the circuit is all 12 gage wire, so that someone will know this in the future and not be surprised.
 
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Old 09-12-05, 10:15 AM
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Another Basic Question on Breakers

Thanks Bob
 
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