15A vs 20A

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Old 07-05-08, 03:11 PM
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15A vs 20A

I have a 15A circuit that trips frequently, especially if ironing clothes. There is also a two ceilng fans, a small refrigerator and a few lamps and receptacles on the circuit. Most are never in use at the same time. The iron usually trips the circuit and sometimes when the refrigerator kicks on, it dims the lights.

I think I have 14/2 wiring but I be sure of what is in the walls or used on the long run. I know 20A should have 14/2, but would it be a problem to upgrade the breaker to 20A, if there is some 12.2 wiring along the way?

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Old 07-05-08, 04:21 PM
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no you can't do this. The breaker is tripping is because the circuit is overloaded. Increasing the breaker size will just burn your house down. If the breaker is tripping. it's for a reason and you need to investigate such. Hell, just put a 30 amp in it like they used to do with fuses, it'll stop tripping. A little saying is that a chain is as strong as it's weakest link. You could have #6 on your breaker but, if any wire is smaller than that, you need to protect that "link"
 
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Old 07-05-08, 10:57 PM
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The 14 gauge wire size it only can used with 15 amp fuse or breaker only.

The 12 gauge wire size can use either 15 or 20 amp fuse or breaker.

You should trace that circuit fully to make sure you don't miss the hidden spots and with the iron you have it will take much as 1200 watt very easy and add two light and a fan it will get pretty close to the limit of the 15 amp breaker fast.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 07-06-08, 09:14 AM
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Thanks...it's hard to trace because the entire run is in the wall and it's upstairs and farthest from the panel. Is there a way to test for the smallest gauge in a circuit or is it strictly by looking? Would a sub panel make sense?
 
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Old 07-06-08, 09:47 AM
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If any of the wire is # 14 it can't be used. Best to assume it is and just run a new circuit for the iron or find a different place to iron. No reason to install a subpanel unless you need a new circuit and the breaker box is full. One less likely probability is that age has weakened the breaker. Short of having a Amprobe on the circuit there is no way to know. Given the amperage of an iron and the temporary amp draw of a refrigerator when starting probably just to much for the circuit,
 
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Old 07-06-08, 08:00 PM
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You need a new circuit (or two). Why not ask an electrician for an estimate for putting in a new circuit? It shouldn't be that expensive (in most cases).

I know that this is a DIY forum, so I'm not really trying to push you to an electrician. You can do it yourself, but you have a lot to learn before you are ready. So if you don't need a solution soon, and you like to learn and are willing to study, then get started by reading some books.
 
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Old 07-06-08, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wirenut1110 View Post
Hell, just put a 30 amp in it like they used to do with fuses, it'll stop tripping. "


Wirenut I hope you understand that statement kinda bother me and it is not a wise advise in here for safety situation.

Someone may misunderstood your statement and do that and it really can cause alot of issue come up fast.

For the readers Please don't do anything dangerous at all we do take safety very serious in here.

Merci,Marc
 
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