Going from 14 Gauge wire to 12 gauge wire

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  #1  
Old 03-28-06, 08:38 AM
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Going from 14 Gauge wire to 12 gauge wire

I'm wiring some low-wattage under-cabinet lights, that are going to be hard-wired to a switch. The under-cabinet lights need a length of 3/8" flex conduit (with wires already inside it) sticking out the wall. The flex conduit wires are 12-gauge. I plan to use 14-gauge wires from the light switch to the flex cable conduit.

Is this allowed by code? i.e. going from a 14-gauge wire to a 12-gauge wire, or do the gauges always have to decrease when going from power source to appliance?

Here's what I mean:

SWITCH -----14 gauge-------- BOX -------12 gauge -----light.

-Antun
 
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  #2  
Old 03-28-06, 09:04 AM
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This is allowed by code only if the breaker for the circuit is no greater than 15A; the breaker must protect the smallest gauge wire. Many professionals consider mixing wire gauges on a circuit like this to be sloppy workmanship.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks
This is allowed by code only if the breaker for the circuit is no greater than 15A; the breaker must protect the smallest gauge wire.
Agreed.

The splice between 14 and 12 will be in a junction box, correct? Where is this box going to be?
 
  #4  
Old 03-28-06, 09:53 AM
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Thanks to you both!

I'll use 12-gauge wire.

The splice will be in a metal junction box behind the drywall. The flex conduit will then leave the drywall and be attached under the cabinet with clips.

-Antun

Originally Posted by Rocky Mountain
Agreed.

The splice between 14 and 12 will be in a junction box, correct? Where is this box going to be?
 
  #5  
Old 03-28-06, 10:23 AM
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keep in mind you need to have permanent access to junction boxes at all times...maybe you can put it in a cabinet or on top of the cabinets if possible..
 
  #6  
Old 03-28-06, 10:56 AM
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Oh I didn't realize that

That messes things up a little for me, since I've gone and installed the metal boxes already. I guess I could use the blue new work boxes and put them in the wall behind the cabinet, then cut a hole in teh back of each cabinet and use box extensions so that the cover will be *in* the cabinet.

Thanks for the warning!

-Antun

Originally Posted by lovmy4x4
keep in mind you need to have permanent access to junction boxes at all times...maybe you can put it in a cabinet or on top of the cabinets if possible..
 
  #7  
Old 03-28-06, 11:19 AM
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You don't have to extend the boxes to meet the cabinet face.

You can either attach the old work boxes to the cabinet or simply make the hole in the back of the cabinet and leave the boxes flush with the wall.

Better yet, use surface mount boxes in the cabinet and run the wiring from the lights into the cabinet.
 
  #8  
Old 03-28-06, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for the feedback.

Does the hole in the back of the cabinets need to be big enough to allow someone to remove the box cover though?

Also, if I'm going to have the flex conduit, do I have to use a special kind of cover for the box that's designed for flex conduit? The metal covers I have for the boxes have a knockout, but can I attach these to a plastic box?

-Antun
 
  #9  
Old 03-28-06, 03:29 PM
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Yes, the hole in the back of the cabinet would need to be large enough to allow access to and removal of the junction box cover.

They make covers for junction boxes that are designed to accept flex. You can also get a clamp and use a knockout on a surface mounted box.
 
  #10  
Old 03-29-06, 08:15 PM
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Do *all* wire splices have to be in a junction box that is accessible? How about for recessed lights? I'm planning on using the following lights:

http://www.lampsplus.com/Products/s_...housings/79631

,.. and I will have to splice the wires inside the box that's part of the light, but I don't think that'll be accessible when the drywall is in place.

Is there an exception for recessed lighting?

-Antun


Originally Posted by lovmy4x4
keep in mind you need to have permanent access to junction boxes at all times...maybe you can put it in a cabinet or on top of the cabinets if possible..
 
  #11  
Old 03-30-06, 04:23 AM
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There is no exception for recessed lighting. With recessed lights, the box is accessible when you remove the light.
 
  #12  
Old 03-30-06, 06:47 AM
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OK - thanks. I did not realize that new construction recessed lights were removable.

-Antun

Originally Posted by racraft
There is no exception for recessed lighting. With recessed lights, the box is accessible when you remove the light.
 
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