15 or 20 Amp circuit?

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  #1  
Old 09-24-05, 08:46 AM
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Question 15 or 20 Amp circuit?

If I'm adding a new 120V circuit - could be for outlets, lights, or a combination, etc. why would I choose a 15A circuit and not a 20A? I understand how to calculate load and know to use an 80% safety factor and have plenty of service capacity, but my point is: even if there's say only an expected 1100 Watts on the circuit, why not build in room for future expansion while walls are open for renovation? It can't be the cost of material...

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  #2  
Old 09-24-05, 08:57 AM
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Hi, with a 15A you can use #12 or #14 wire (I would use #12) but with a 20A you MUST use #12. Personally, with the room opened up, I'd put the 20A. Hope it helped.
 
  #3  
Old 09-24-05, 09:12 AM
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When dealing with complex lighting circuits #14 is a lot easier to use over #12. You can put more #14 wires in a box than #12.
 
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Old 09-24-05, 10:50 AM
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14 gage wire is easier to work with and you can have more of those wires in a junction box. However, with the walls open and with careful planning, those points can be mediated. Go with 20 amp circuits.
 
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Old 09-24-05, 06:06 PM
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I'm not a pro, but I say definitely go for the 12 AWG 20 A circuit. You never know what you'll need to do in the future, and that circuit may be handy to tap later on.
 
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Old 09-24-05, 08:06 PM
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Go with 12-2
Who knows what the future hols for that circuit.
buy deep boxes, and the wire will be easy to handle.
For now put it on a 15amp breaker, and down the road you can always move up to 20 amps without having to revisit the wiring.
 
  #7  
Old 09-24-05, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Stevetra
Go with 12-2
Who knows what the future hols for that circuit.
buy deep boxes, and the wire will be easy to handle.
For now put it on a 15amp breaker, and down the road you can always move up to 20 amps without having to revisit the wiring.
15A breakers cost the same as 20A breakers. Why waste the money on a 15A just to replace it later with a 20. Buy a 20 to begin with and run #12.
 
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Old 09-25-05, 07:20 AM
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I could never see the logic behind recommending putting #12 on a 15, even "for now". This makes no sense. It is absolutely NO safer to use a 15.

I agree with Scott.

Racraft and Garou are totally correct about #14 and lighting circuits. I never use #12 for lighting in a residence. No reason to. Unless the load on the circuit planned demands #12, which only happens rarely.
 
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