joining 14 wire with 12 in a junction box

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  #1  
Old 01-08-07, 06:46 PM
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joining 14 wire with 12 in a junction box

Hello all,

I'm hanging 2 lamps above my kitchen sink, just 2 small lamps that hold 40watt max lamps. I went into my crawl space and found 2 wires joined together, i found the 15 amp breaker that runs power to them, running my ceiling fan in the kitchen and bathroom vannity lights, and fan, and outtlet in bathroom.
Also a couple lights in the basement...
Anyways, those wires i found is where i want to tap power with a junction box.
I bought 14/2 NM wire, but the wires i would like to tap into i think look like 12/2.
I held a piece of 14/2 next to it and it was tough telling the difference, even though it appeared as if there was...
Is it OK to tap the 14/2 into that for those lamps, or should i run some 12/2 Uf i have...

Thanks a bunch,
Mike
 
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  #2  
Old 01-08-07, 07:04 PM
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I believe your bathroom outlets, along with basement, are going to have to be on dedicated GFCI protected circuits. A pro will correct me if I am wrong.
 
  #3  
Old 01-08-07, 08:01 PM
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You may not tap this circuit, even with the proper size wire.
 
  #4  
Old 01-08-07, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
You may not tap this circuit, even with the proper size wire.
Why do you think i can not tap it?

Hardly anything on the circuit...

Thanks bud,
Mike
 
  #5  
Old 01-09-07, 04:24 AM
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You may not tap the circuit because it serves a receptacle in the bathroom.
 
  #6  
Old 01-09-07, 07:05 AM
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Bob, I'm curious about your reason that this circuit is also feeding a bathroom recepticle. Is it because bathroom rec. are to be on a dedicated circuit by themselves? If this is so what should he do about the basement lights and the kitchen ceiling fan that are already on this circuit ? Just trying to learn a few things here. I do see a problem with attaching a 14 ga. wire to the 12 ga. especially if the the 12 ga. is corectly protected by a 20 amp circuit brkr.
 
  #7  
Old 01-09-07, 07:19 AM
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Because this circuit is existing, and not up to current code, it cannot be extended.

This is an existing circuit. It may or may not have been up to code when installed. If it was up to code when it was installed then it is allowed to remain. The NEC and most jurisdictions do not require that existing installations be brought up to code except when the installation is modified or upgraded. For example, if you replace your main panel with a larger one, you must properly ground your panel to existing code standards, not to the standards when the old panel was installed.

Ideally, this circuit needs to be replaced. The bathroom needs an appropriate bathroom circuit. The basement can share lights, but that may not be a good idea either.

As for the mixing of wire sizes...
If this were a 20 amp circuit then 14 gage wire could never be placed on it unless the breaker were changed to 15 amps. It is not a good idea to change the breaker, as it reduces the available power on the circuit by one fourth.

However, I suspect that this is 14 gage wire and not 12 gage wire. The OP is probably looking at wire with thicker insulation and getting confused.
 
  #8  
Old 01-09-07, 02:26 PM
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Thanks a bunch Bob,

the wires look like cloth, maybe stuff used in the 50's...Maybe thats why it looks slightly a different size. Its funny, i hold a piece of 12/2 next to it then a 14/2 and the old wire looks like its inbetween both, hard to tell...

The breaker is a 15amp breaker, whiich is fine for kitchen lights...

But basiclly your saying that codes says any time something is added the whole circuit should be brought up to existing codes?
Adding a seperate circuit for my bathroom probably would not be a big deal as long there is room in my box... Keep in mind that there is nothing else in my kitchen on that circuit, no outlets or anything. Just the fan, maybe the fan was added through the years by someone... heck maybe that breaker is the bathroom circuit that my fan is on.. My wife and i need to mark the breakers as to what they run.
my stove and microwave are on there own dedicated circuits, not even sure what the outlets in the kitchen are on...

But... since the breaker is 15amp and even if the wire was 12, could the 14 bee joined to it? And is that leagle with codes?

Mike
 
  #9  
Old 01-09-07, 02:35 PM
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"But... since the breaker is 15amp and even if the wire was 12, could the 14 bee joined to it? And is that leagle with codes?"

Yes. Not necessarily a good idea, but legal.

You could just do this, and run a new 20 amp circuit to the bath GFCI recepticle. That would bring the entire circuit up to current code.
 
  #10  
Old 01-09-07, 02:36 PM
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You cannot modify this circuit. It has a bathroom receptacle on it. If you separate out the bathroom receptacle, and if the circuit is properly grounded (which you have not indicated it is or it is not) then you could add to it. But as long as it has the bathroom receptacle on it you cannot modify it.
 
  #11  
Old 01-09-07, 02:53 PM
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Thanks guys,

So let me guess... Any GFI circuit anywhere in the house supposed to be on its own dedicated 20 amp circuit? Like one breaker per GFI? And there is supposed to be a GFI in the bathroom, correct?

I do have a new panel in the house, was here when i bought it... I'd imagine its grounded...
The wires i wanted to tap into are grounded...

I guess i will have to move the GFI, And if i'm not sure what size wire it is, probably better to put 12 in...
Safer to have 12 on a 15amp rather than 14 on a 20.

Mike
 
  #12  
Old 01-09-07, 03:02 PM
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210.11 (C) (3)
(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall
have no other outlets.

"Safer to have 12 on a 15amp rather than 14 on a 20."

14 on a 20 amp breaker would be illegal

240.4 (D)
(D) Small Conductors. Unless specifically permitted in 240.4(E) or 240.4(G), the overcurrent protection shall not exceed 15 amperes for 14 AWG, 20 amperes for 12 AWG, and 30 amperes for 10 AWG copper; or 15 amperes for
12 AWG and 25 amperes for 10 AWG aluminum and copper-clad aluminum after any correction factors for ambient temperature and number of conductors have been applied.

In code speak an "outlet" is anything that uses electricity. So a light fixture or fan IS an outlet.
 
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