14 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit

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  #1  
Old 11-11-15, 02:56 PM
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14 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit

Hello,

I have a sorage shed that is about 100' from my house. I just ran 10 gauge underground feed to the shed from my breaker panel. I was going to put a 20 amp breaker on this circuit. In the shed I have a freezer and a refrigerator/freezer combo, as well as a few lights. The lights are already all wired up with 14 gauge wire.

Do I need to rewire all of the 14 gauge to the lights because it will be on a 20 amp circuit? If so, does anyone have any other suggestions on how to solve this without rewiring the lighting?

Thanks!!
 
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Old 11-11-15, 03:41 PM
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Just install a 15 ampere fuse in the "hot" lead to the lighting circuit. You can use a porcelain lamp holder with a 15 ampere screw-in fuse mounted on an octagon box. Connect the black lead FROM the 20 ampere circuit to the brass terminal of the lamp holder and the black lead of the 15 ampere lighting circuit to the sliver-colored terminal.
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Old 11-11-15, 04:13 PM
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Just to add if your not familiar with what Furd is suggesting the whites are just wire nutted together.

Explanation if your interested: For safety the black 20 amp supply should go to the brass screw because for safety the hot should always be to the tab of a screw base fuse holder. (A keyless light fixture in this case.) The brass screw is to the tab. That is because it is possible to touch the shell when removing the fuse. If you touched the shell and were grounded you could get a shock if the shell was hot. The #14 black isn't hot so it goes to the shell, the silver screw.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 04:23 PM
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Thank you very much for posting a solution. Do you know where I can find that? I can't seem to find one at Lowes or Home Depot. Also, and I don't know a whole lot about this so its probably a stupid question but that fuse won't blow just being on the 20 amp circuit?

Edit: on re-read am I actually screwing a screw-in fuse into the lamp base where the bulb would normally go?
 
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Old 11-11-15, 04:49 PM
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Search for "keyless lamp holder". Shop Cooper Wiring Devices 660-Watt White Hard-Wired Ceiling Socket at Lowes.com

Shop Raco 21.5-cu in 1-Gang Metal Ceiling Electrical Box at Lowes.com

Mount the box and lamp holder no more than six feet above the floor.

Yes, screw a 15 ampere fuse into the socket where a bulb would normally go.

No, it won't blow the fuse as the fuse is protecting the circuit (lighting) after the fuse. It WILL protect the wiring in case of a short circuit or if you use too many or too large of light bulbs.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 04:54 PM
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All makes sense now!!! Thank you so much for your help.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 05:00 PM
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If you want something a little nicer looking AND with a switch, you could use this: Shop Cooper Bussmann 15-Amp Fast Acting Box Cover Unit Fuse at Lowes.com The extra cost would not be worth it for me.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 07:01 PM
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That's perfect. If they have any in stock I'll grab one of those! My Home Depot inventory says 2 in stock, I'll be willing to bet there won't be any there haha. If they don't have it I'll go with your first suggestion. I was going to put a switch after it anyway, so that would be a perfect solution.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 07:01 PM
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Do you know where I can find that? I can't seem to find one at Lowes or Home Depot.
They or any good hardware store will have them in regular stock, but you may have to ask. Just ask for a "keyless porcelain lampholder".
 
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Old 11-12-15, 05:27 AM
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That's a much better choice than the keyless.
 
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Old 11-12-15, 11:10 AM
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I personally like that fuse/switch combo that Furd pointed out. If I saw a porcelain lamp holder with a fuse on it, though code-compliant, I would likely want to rip it all out. But that's just me

Here's yet another option:
Shop Square D 2-Circuit 2-Space 30-Amp Main Lug Load Center at Lowes.com
You'd need to add a 15A breaker to it, so it's a bit more expensive, but not much. And don't worry that it's listed as 30A, that's the max, which you're obviously under.

The benefit of this is that you can add a second 15A breaker to it and utilize the upsized wire (if you needed a bit more power in the future). With your 10ga wire, you could even upgrade your house breaker to 30A in the future. But again, nothing you need to do now.

-Mike
 
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