Old house, 20 amp vs. 15 amp.

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Old 03-26-02, 11:54 AM
Debbie Ann
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Old house, 20 amp vs. 15 amp.

I have a very old house with very old wiring. Can I change a 20 amp. breaker to a 15 amp. breaker? The wiring on this house is 12 ga., but I want to use 14 ga. to replace some of the old 12 ga. and to add a couple of receptacles. The 14 ga wire will then be connected to some of the 12 ga. wire. Is this OK?
 
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Old 03-26-02, 05:33 PM
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Yes ..... unless this circuit is for kitchen counter, bathroom or dining room recepticles. They have special rules requireing 20 amp circuits. Tell us what they serve.
 
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Old 03-26-02, 06:20 PM
Debbie Ann
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Hi HandyRon....thanks for the answer....I do know about 20 amp. requirements....I just didn't know for certain if I could connect 12 ga. to 14 ga. I'm changing the breaker that will have the 14 ga. wire. A 20 amp. breaker cannot be used with 14 ga. wire, right??
 
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Old 03-26-02, 06:39 PM
casazza
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Why not use 12 guage wire? Although 14 guage wire can be used on 15A circuits according to NEC, I am still wiring my basement with 12 guage for both 15 and 20 amp circuits. 14 guage is easy to overload where the 12 guage allows for a little extra overload. Also, if you decide to go back to a 20 amp circuit, you will not have to rewire again.

To answer you question, 14 guage wire on a 20A circuit is not allowed.
 
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Old 03-26-02, 06:55 PM
Debbie Ann
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Simply put, I want to use 14 gauge wire because I am disabled. The 12 gauge wire is extremely difficult for me to work with. The 14 gauge is easier. The 20 amp. breaker is loose so I thought I might as well replace it with a new 15 amp. and add the couple of outlets I want with 14 ga. wire. I have turned off the existing breaker because it is loose. If I get lucky and find a husband, I'll let him worry about the 14 gauge wire I installed LOL LOL
 
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Old 03-26-02, 08:07 PM
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If you change the breaker to 15 amps, you can connect 14 awg wire to 12 awg wire with no problems. The splice should be made in an accessable electric box. The wire nut you use will list the acceptable gauges it can properly connect, just pick the right size.
 
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Old 03-26-02, 10:30 PM
Debbie Ann
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Thank you Ron, I appreciate all the help I receive from you and everyone else and I will do a good job.
 
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