20A Breaker on 14/2 Romex Cable to 15A receptacle outlet

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  #1  
Old 01-15-16, 07:04 AM
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20A Breaker on 14/2 Romex Cable to 15A receptacle outlet

My dilemma is that I am trying to wiring another 15A receptacle outlet in my garage but I notice when I went to go power off the breaker box is that it is on a 20A breaker.

One thing that I also notice is that the outlet in the garage is also on the same circuit as the kitchen ceiling fan/light combo, one wall of two bed rooms next to each other (just two 15A receptacle in total) and the (2) hallway lights. Would this be an issue running a 14/2 Cables?

20A Breaker --> 14/2 Romex Cable --> 15A GFI Receptacle Outlet

Is this circuit safe for use? I am located in Texas, the house was built in the 1980's

Also I was just curious if you can run:

20A breaker --> 12/2 Romex Cable --> 20A GFI Receptacle Outlet --> 14/2 Romex Cable --> 15A GFI Receptacle Outlet

So there is a 20A breaker installed with 12/2 Romex running to a 20A GFI receptacle outlet, then it is daisy linked with 14/2 romex to a 15A GFI receptacle outlet.


From what I read online this is an okay situation.

o 15A Outlet on a 12G/20A Circuit = OK
o 20A Outlet on a 14G/15A Circuit = Bad
 
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  #2  
Old 01-15-16, 07:20 AM
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You need to change the breaker to a 15 amp breaker or replace the 14/2 with 12/2. What you have now is unsafe. While you're at it, see if any other breakers have been improperly "upsized".

It's ok to mix 12/2 and 14/2 as long as the breaker is 15 amps. It makes no difference if the 12/2 section or the 14/2 section is first in line. If there's any 14/2 it's a 15 amp circuit.

A 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit is ok as long as there are at least two receptacles, and a duplex receptacle counts as two.

A 20 amp receptacle can not be used on a 15 amp circuit.
 
  #3  
Old 01-15-16, 07:23 AM
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To add to Carbide's list: all receptacles in the garage must be GFCI protected.
 
  #4  
Old 01-15-16, 08:20 AM
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Thank you very much for the information

ibpooks:

But from the garage the single receptacle right now is GFCI protected so if i daisy linked the new 15A receptacle from the old GFCI receptacle wouldn't both be protected?

Because the old GFCI is also in line with the new 15A receptacle.


On another side note: I know that if you were to buy new 14/2 Romex the outer casing will white and the 12/2 is yellow but is there any other way to determine which size wiring i have properly?

What I have been doing is taking my wiring stripper and seeing which notch the wires become stripped perfectly.
 

Last edited by m0nkey; 01-15-16 at 10:16 AM.
  #5  
Old 01-15-16, 08:50 AM
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If you connect the new recept to the load terminals of the existing GFCI then the new recept will be protected.

The gauge is usually stamped into the outer jacket of the romex. It will say something like 12/2 wg type NM. But it can be really hard to read on older cable. Rubbing a pencil or chalk across the markings can help make them easier to read.

But your method is perfectly OK. You may want to keep a short piece of marked and stripped #12 and #14 around for comparison.
 
  #6  
Old 01-15-16, 02:34 PM
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Wire strippers can used used as a gauge to determine wire size.
 
  #7  
Old 01-19-16, 11:03 AM
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Well guys it turns out that I have 12 gauge wiring instead of the 14 gauge wiring that I thought I had

I used a Vernier Caliper Gauge to prove this.

At first both 14 and 12 gauge look very similar to the naked eye, but when I used my Vernier Caliper, 14 gauge was ~1.60mm and 12 gauge ~ 2.06mm.

So I did not have to swap out the breaker to a 15A and now I have 100 ft of 14 gauge lying around
 
  #8  
Old 01-19-16, 12:18 PM
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It doesn't help that wire insulation has gotten thinner over the years so when you compare new and ole it can kind of fool the eye, especially if you're not working with it all the time.
 
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