14/2 and 20AMP Breaker?


Old 10-11-05, 10:29 AM
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14/2 and 20AMP Breaker?

The prior owner of my house has several mixtures of 14 and 12 guage wire spliced together. Some of these run off 20 AMP breakers. I have been reading that this is a dangerous setup...any reason why? Is a 20 AMP required to run light fixtures and bedroom outlets? OR IS A 15amp sufficient to run 1 desktop and 1 notebook computer, a printer and a 5000BTU A/C? All wiring is 14-2 to these receptacles, but run on a 20AMP breaker...just wondering if I should replace the 20 with a 15.

Anybody have any idea what a Dyson vacuum burns(amps)? That sucker sure gets a hot plug when it runs.
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Old 10-11-05, 10:37 AM
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Yes, this is dangerous. Do it NOW! Yes, change the breaker back to 15 amp. Don;t run that air conditioner until you make this change.

The danger is that the wire will overheat, cause a fire, burn your house down, and kill you. Sorry to be blunt, but it gets the point across.

The previous owner made the change because the air conditioner kept tripping the breaker and he was too ignorant or too cheap or too lazy to fix the problem the correct way.

You need a dedicated circuit for the air conditioner.
Old 10-11-05, 10:44 AM
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Best guess is the vacuum is 12 amps.
Old 10-11-05, 11:04 AM
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A 20-amp breaker allows up to 20 amps to flow before tripping. 20 amps flowing through #14 wire may cause it to get hot, creating a fire risk.

Most light fixtures and receptacles only need a 15-amp circuit, but can also be run on a 20-amp circuit. If you have too many on the same circuit, the breaker may trip. Ill-informed people sometimes change a 15-amp breaker to a 20-amp breaker to solve a tripping problem, but this creates a fire hazard.

Vacuum cleaners can use a lot of power. Anywhere from 5 to 12 amps.

You should immediately change the breaker on any circuit with #14 wire to a 15-amp breaker. If the breaker trips, then you'll have to quit using something (like your A/C), move it to another circuit, or have a new circuit installed. In your case, I'll bet that you need one or more new circuits. Your electrical requirements have outgrown the house.
Old 10-11-05, 11:11 AM
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Any circuit with 14 guage wire must be protected with a 15A breaker. This needs to be fixed immediately to correct the fire hazard the previous owner created. It's a fire hazard because 20A can potentially be pulled over wire that is only designed for 15A, overheating the wire.

15A circuits are commonly used for bedroom recepticals and light fixtures.

You need to replace that 20A with a 15A immediately.

No idea on the vacuum. There should be a plate on it somewhere that indicates its draw. It may give the draw in watts, so you would have to divide by 120 to get the value in amps.
Old 10-11-05, 11:49 AM
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Vacumes do pull some amps...
What is sad, is the company I work for has a division that makes motors for vacumes....
We have a motor that draws 5amps and runs quiet, and delivers about 1/3 more suction that the standard motor....
It was put on the market for testing, and 4 out of 5 houswifes said they didnt like it because they thought the noisier it was, the harder it was working...and it didnt have as many sucking amps as other vacumes.


The project was scrapped

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