12/2 into 14/2 pre-exisitng

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  #1  
Old 07-25-06, 01:14 PM
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Question 12/2 into 14/2 pre-exisitng

I have found several locations on our house where a 12/2 wire coming from the source box is later connected to a 14/2 wire. I am not sure of the amperage of the circuit breakers, will have to check. One of the 12/2 wires leads to a celing fixture which is then linked to a three way switch which is all 14/2 and 14/3 wire. Yet the fixture also acts as a junction box for 2 other 12/2 wires to continue out of, one of which later connects to another light fixture and has a 14/2 wire down to the switch. I have heard that you should only go from 14 to 12 wire, and not 12 to 14 b/c it can cause a fire hazard. I guess what I am wondering is if it is safe for these 14 wires to be leading off of these 12 wires as long as they are switches?

Thank you for any help!
 
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Old 07-25-06, 01:33 PM
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mixed and matched wiring

There's nothing you can do short of the onerous task of rewiring that arrangement. I've seen this sort of wiring many times before. Assumedly all is working as intended. The only thing you can do sensibly is to ensure that this mish-mosh wiring is protected for no more than 15a. The guy that installed this probably had some surplus 12awg stuff he wanted to use up.
 
  #3  
Old 07-25-06, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by vero
I have found several locations on our house where a 12/2 wire coming from the source box is later connected to a 14/2 wire. I am not sure of the amperage of the circuit breakers, will have to check. One of the 12/2 wires leads to a celing fixture which is then linked to a three way switch which is all 14/2 and 14/3 wire. Yet the fixture also acts as a junction box for 2 other 12/2 wires to continue out of, one of which later connects to another light fixture and has a 14/2 wire down to the switch. I have heard that you should only go from 14 to 12 wire, and not 12 to 14 b/c it can cause a fire hazard. I guess what I am wondering is if it is safe for these 14 wires to be leading off of these 12 wires as long as they are switches?

Thank you for any help!
So long as you're not exceeding the ampacity of the 14 gauge wire, (15A) it's OK. However, mixing wire sizes in the same circuit is usually not recommended because it can lead to confusion. Check and make sure the circuit is on a 15A breaker and not a 20A.

Joe Michel
 
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