14 gauge garbage disposal??

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  #1  
Old 10-17-12, 12:09 PM
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14 gauge garbage disposal??

I was looking to replace my garbage disposal and noticed that the wire under the sink is 14g armored cable to the outlet the garbage disposal plugs into. When I traced cable to j-box in basement it was connected to 12-2. The breaker that feeds that is a 20 amp breaker.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-17-12, 12:14 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You need 12 ga wire on this circuit, can't use 14 ga on a 20 amp circuit.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:15 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

It sounds like you've figured out that you need to replace that cable with 12-2/G cable. All conductors on a 20A circuit must be at least 12AWG.

Two questions: How did you determine that the existing conductors are 14AWG? And, are you required to run conduit where you are, or can you use Type NM (commonly referred to as "Romex")?

[Mitch typed faster than I did ]
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:22 PM
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I doubt your disposal needs a 20 amp circuit. You could replace the breaker with a 15 amp one.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:25 PM
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Is this a dedicated circuit that only supplies the garbage disposal, or are there other loads connected to it?
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:30 PM
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The front washing machine is also on this load.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:35 PM
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It was installed before I bought the house. Doesn't seem like anything is bad nor is there anything wrong with the wire. Whats the drawback of having this size wire on a 20 amp breaker
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:39 PM
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So you have 12 ga wire from the panel to the washing machine and 14 ga from there to the disposal?
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:43 PM
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Yes, 12 ga runs from the panel to j-box/outlet where the washing machine plugs into, from there 12 ga runs to another j/box where it meets the 14 ga armored cable right underneath the sink in the basement. The armored cable runs up through the floor to the outlet where the disposal plugs into and there another short piece of armored cable runs from that outlet to the switch that turns on the outlet/disposal
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:48 PM
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The smaller cable could overheat and cause a fire before the breaker tripped.

Your circuit would not meet the current codes.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 01:02 PM
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Replace the 14 ga section with 12 ga and you're good to go.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 03:21 PM
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easier said then done, looks like i'll just run a home run to the panel and put it on a 15 amp breaker. Thanks for all the advice
 
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Old 10-17-12, 05:23 PM
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Are you going to split the disposal off from the washer?
 
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Old 10-17-12, 06:35 PM
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looks like i'll just run a home run to the panel and put it on a 15 amp breaker.
If I understand your plan, you'll run a new 14-2/G cable from the panel to the J-box where the armored cable starts, remove the jumper from the washing machine outlet, and use the new circuit to feed the disposal. And by doing that, you won't have to work up through the wall to replace the armored cables. If so, that sounds like a good way to make everything safe and to avoid making a mess that might require some effort to repair.

Normally, we advise that someone can just leave a cable they're no longer using in a box and cap the wires. That's certainly allowable in this case, but if it were mine I would pull the 12/2 out of the J-box for the disposal and either run it into a separate (new) box to dead-end, or find a place to use it to feed a new outlet or load, or strip it out altogether, back to the washing machine outlet, so that it couldn't be easily re-connected to the 14 AWG wire in the future.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 06:33 AM
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Yep, you're on site and we're not, I can see adding a new circuit being the easier choice.

You are aware this requires a permit, right?
 
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Old 10-19-12, 04:36 AM
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I thought in the state of MA you are allowed to do your own electrical in your own home?
 
  #17  
Old 10-19-12, 06:56 AM
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AFAIK, you need a permit pretty much everywhere if you add a new circuit to the panel.
 
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Old 10-19-12, 01:39 PM
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I thought in the state of MA you are allowed to do your own electrical in your own home?
I think that's allowed in most jurisdictions. But is that the same as being "allowed to do your own electrical in your own home without a permit?"
 
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Old 10-19-12, 01:44 PM
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Yeah, great clarification, Nash - just because you can do the work yourself does not mean a permit is not required, just that a hired electrician is not.
 
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