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robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to cowboyro

Re: Smaller size wire on 20A circuit for dedicated purpose?

Back in the 50's I believe that it was code to install a lighting circuit using 14 ga on a general purpose 20 amp circuit using 12 ga. I know I've seen it done that way in many houses of that era. My understanding is that changed at some point and all wiring on a 20 amp circuit has to be 12 ga minimum under current code.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
said by robbin:

Back in the 50's I believe that it was code to install a lighting circuit using 14 ga on a general purpose 20 amp circuit using 12 ga. I know I've seen it done that way in many houses of that era. My understanding is that changed at some point and all wiring on a 20 amp circuit has to be 12 ga minimum under current code.

Makes perfect sense why it isn't allowed.

Scenario:

Bob homeowner wants to add something to existing circuit. Decides the lighting circuit would be a convenient place to tap off of, not realizing that portion of the circuit is only 14awg. Potential disaster waiting to happen.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by TheMG:

Makes perfect sense why it isn't allowed.

Scenario:

Bob homeowner wants to add something to existing circuit. Decides the lighting circuit would be a convenient place to tap off of, not realizing that portion of the circuit is only 14awg. Potential disaster waiting to happen.

Actually it makes no sense in this particular instance as the wire is after the switch but I see the general intent... I'll just hook that light in the old 15A circuit and be done. In a way maybe it's even better to have lights that can be used if the bathroom breaker decides to trip.
Speaking of which... I really hope there is no requirement to have a GFCI breaker on the bathroom circuit... the outlet will be GFCI but I don't want any nuisance trips to require going to the basement at 1AM...

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
said by cowboyro:

said by TheMG:

Makes perfect sense why it isn't allowed.

Scenario:

Bob homeowner wants to add something to existing circuit. Decides the lighting circuit would be a convenient place to tap off of, not realizing that portion of the circuit is only 14awg. Potential disaster waiting to happen.

Actually it makes no sense in this particular instance as the wire is after the switch but I see the general intent...

Believe it or not, I've seen instances where people have tapped into the switched light circuit to add an additional receptacle in a bathroom.

It's dumb because things like battery powered toothbrushes and electric shavers won't charge with the lights off.

However, people are lazy, and will tap into the closest power source, even if it is switched.