Mixed 12ga and 14ga

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  #1  
Old 01-31-16, 07:06 AM
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Mixed 12ga and 14ga

Hey guys. Make me feel better about this, please! :-)

So I recently relocated a light switch and also added a 3way switch to another (about a 25 ft run) in the same room. Before I went to buy wire I checked a few of the open outlets and switches in the room (had several open at that time) and all were showing 12ga wire.

Well, turns out the switches (and only those switched) I rewired in that room actually were 14ga and on their own 15 amp circuit.

Now from what I know, the fact that the extensions I added were 12ga are fine since they are behind a 15amp breaker, protecting the smaller wire already in the wall. Obviously, I feel bad not having used 14ga for this, but I can't really justify (not to mention my wife will kill me) removing it all and starting over. Everything works great, and I plan to be more careful next time when choosing the wire.

Any comments on this? Preferably "good" comment? ha. It's really bugging me that this happened.

Thanks guys.
 

Last edited by DIYJeff2015; 01-31-16 at 07:32 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-31-16, 07:56 AM
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There is nothing "wrong" with using 12 ga on a 15 amp circuit as long as it is protected by a 15 amp breaker. Only disadvantage is a little extra cost and that fact that 12 ga is harder to work with.

It's an easy mistake to make when you don't work with wire frequently.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 09:49 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Appreciate it. And no issue with using both 12 and 14 ga wire on the same 15 amp circuit?
 
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Old 01-31-16, 10:16 AM
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No, you can mix them as long as protected by 15 amp breaker. There is no safety, functional, or code reason not to do it. It can cause confusion down the road, because people tend to assume any 12 ga wire is a 20 amp circuit, so it's best to avoid mixing for that reason. But I certainly wouldn't rip it out and replace it just for that.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 11:14 AM
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I agree with Carbide - the downside here is simply confusion down the road when someone assumes 12 ga wire means a 20 amp circuit. I've been subject to that when it took me a half hour to track down the right breaker to turn off in my in-laws' place but I didn't replace that easily replaceable cable at the time so there's no reason for you to do so either.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 06:19 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll keep what i already did and just try to be more aware in the future. Guess making mistakes is just part of learning, eh? Lol. Appreciate your input!
 
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Old 02-01-16, 04:40 AM
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making mistakes is just part of learning
Often we learn best from having made mistakes first, especially when you have to redo something fortunately nothing has to be redone in your situation. Those that never make a mistake probably never do anything
 
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