Canadian Code

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Old 04-10-13, 07:45 PM
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Canadian Code

For a lighting circuit, Canadian code dictates that the breaker must not exceed 15 amps. I am aware that in the States, you can use 12/2 on a 15 amp circuit but in Canada we must use 14/2 for 15 amp and 12/2 for 20 amp breakers. This avoids confusion for someone doing electrical work down the road. To work around this rule, can I add a fan or receptacle and therefore use 12/2 for the whole circuit? Can anyone verify these Canadian rules?
 
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Old 04-10-13, 08:18 PM
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Not sure I'm following - are you asking whether you can put a lighting circuit on a 20 amp breaker instead of a 15 by adding something other than lighting to it?
 
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Old 04-10-13, 08:19 PM
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I'm not up to speed on the CEC, but why would you want to? Why don't you just leave your lighting circuits at 15A? It's typical practice to do that in the US as well because the wire is cheaper and it's easier to pull.

I vaguely recall some CEC provision about not combining receptacles and fixed lighting... but I'm not certain.
 
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Old 04-10-13, 09:15 PM
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Sorry for not clarifying. I forgot mention when voltage drop becomes an issue. In other words, how can I continue a very long circuit with 14/2 when voltage drop limits the length? I have only 3 lights fed so far and would like to utilize at least half of the capacity of the breaker. The only option is to upsize the wire right, so that I can stay within the 3% drop limit? But Canadian code only allows 14/2 on lighting-only circuits.
 

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Old 04-11-13, 05:20 AM
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Sorry for not clarifying. I forgot mention when voltage drop becomes an issue. In other words, how can I continue a very long circuit with 14/2 when voltage drop limits the length? I have only 3 lights fed so far and would like to utilize at least half of the capacity of the breaker. The only option is to upsize the wire right, so that I can stay within the 3% drop limit? But Canadian code only allows 14/2 on lighting-only circuits.
You are having voltage drop?
How long of a run from your pannel to the lights?
 
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Old 04-11-13, 06:59 AM
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100+ ft one way so far. If I add say 4 more lights and a fan, I will be at 150ft one way and will be at 5%vd. Since I want to add a fan, this is no longer just a lighting-only circuit. Does this mean I can use 12/2?
 
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Old 04-11-13, 12:22 PM
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I know I'm not answering your specific question (because I don't know the answer, not because I'm trying to be obtuse)... but voltage drop is rarely an issue in residential settings. Your 15A circuit is probably not fully loaded, so even at 150', you won't be seeing a 5% drop.

It sounds like you might be over-thinking this. If it were in the US, I would install it with 14ga wire and be done with it. (presuming the circuit has leeway to add these additional lights and fan).

I don't know if we have anyone here who's up to speed on Canadian codes. Maybe you can call your local electrical inspector and ask? Or there have gotta be other electrical forums that could help.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 12:53 PM
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Unfortunately I won't be able to provide any different of an answer then Zorfdt.
I've confirmed my thoughts and what Zorfdt stated with a co-worker (electrical engineer). Unfortunately him nor I could speak about home building codes.

Have you tested/confirmed this loss?
 
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Old 04-11-13, 04:25 PM
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So what you're saying is that when I reach 150ft(300ft run) with 7 lights and a fan, I won't see a 5%vd? I used a voltage drop calculator. A 100 watt bulb uses .83 amps so 7 lights is 5.5 amps plus a fan. I calculated a 5% drop minimum. I use 100 watts because these lights take up to 2, 60 watt incandescents.
 
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