20A vs 15A ??

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-14-05, 10:02 PM
Carnaby
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
20A vs 15A ??

I am rewiring a section of my house and I'm wondering if there is any advantage to making it a 20A circuit vs a 15A. Is it safe to use the existing 15A recepticals and switches on a 20A circuit? How about the existing ceiling fans and lights?

Another question is, is there any benefit to using #12 on a 15A circuit?

Thanks in advance.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-15-05, 06:11 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
The benefit to having 20 amp circuits is that they can handle a larger load before tripping. For example, a 20 amp might be able to handle to hair dryers on the same circuit (mother and daughter, each in their own bedroom), while a 15 amp circuit might trip.

Assuming you are talking about a general purpose circuit and assuming that you are in the US, then yes you can use existing 15 amp receptacles and switches on this 20 amp circuit, provided that they are grounded. However, receptacles do wear out, especially heavily used ones. My practice is to replace all with new.

Existing fans and lights can certainly be used with new wiring.

The only benefit to using 12 gage wire on a 15 amp circuit is to limit voltage drop. Voltage drop occurs when the run from the panel is long and the current is high. Voltage drop is typically not an issue within a normal house. Some large houses and runs to detached structures, yes, but normal runs are usually not an issue.
 

Last edited by racraft; 10-15-05 at 06:45 AM.
  #3  
Old 10-15-05, 10:56 PM
Carnaby
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the info. I'm in Canada though, and now you've got me wondering if this is one of the differences in our Code. I hope it's alright though.
 
  #4  
Old 10-16-05, 08:54 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
In Canada you MUST use 20 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits. I am not sure about switches.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'