Electrical Wiring Connection Issue


Old 09-25-13, 09:10 AM
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Electrical Wiring Connection Issue

I was installing my Stelpro electric heater a Sil20 8.34/7.21 Amps, 2000/1500 Watts, 240/208 Volts. When i removed the old one I noticed the wire that comes from the thermostat to the heater is a white covered wire 14/2 but the wire from the fuse panel is a red covered wire 12/2. Can someone help with this issue I think i should replace the white 14/2 with a red 12/2, I am I right to do this and what issues did this cause by these wires being this way.
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Old 09-25-13, 09:27 AM
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Power Equation--- Power ( in Watts ) = E ( line voltage ) X I ( current-value in amperes).

If the current on a 15 amp conductor ( #14 wire) was 10 amps in a 240 volt circuit , the power is 240 X 10 = 2400 Watts.

Your power-draw on a #14 wire, thermostat-to-load connection ) is less than 2400 Watts, so you have a "wide" saftey-margin as applied to the current in a #14 conductor.

Your only concern is that the rating of the breaker protecting this circuit is 15 amps; a 20 amp CB would be a NEC violation.
Old 09-25-13, 09:34 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

There are no safety issues. That piece of white 14-2 wire is fine.

The only reason you'd need to change it is if the Canadian electrical code stated that all heater wiring must be red.
Old 09-25-13, 09:36 AM
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The reason for the white wire is the red and black probably terminated at the thermostat and they continued the run with black and white, forming a switch loop. No issue with the wiring as you seem to be within the parameters as PATTBAA indicated, depending on the size breaker you have. Should be 15 amp.
Old 09-25-13, 09:42 AM
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But Canada has different colored individual wires in NM intended for 240 volt circuits so it might be a minor technical violation.
Old 09-25-13, 10:02 AM
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5 yard penalty, at most, don't you think?? :NO NO NO: By all means check the Canadian code to make sure you don't need to have a red wire. I should think repurposing the white wire would not affect anything, physically.
Old 09-25-13, 11:04 AM
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Your post is a bit confusing because 14/2 and 12/2 both refer to 2-conductor cables, not wires.

If you're saying that the 12/2 cable from your panel to the thermostat has one black and one red wire in it but the 14/2 cable from the thermostat to the heater has one black and one white wire, then the 12/2 cable conforms to the CEC requirement for insulation colors in 240V circuits and the 14/2 does not.

That said, an inspector is unlikely to compel you to replace it just to get the colors corrected. As chandler suggested, tagging the white wire with a bit of electrical tape or permanent marker at each end would be a valuable thing to do and should (we hope) be acceptable.

As has already been said, the size of the conductors in the 14/2 cable is sufficient to handle the load of the heater you're installing.

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