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14-2 vs 12-2 wiring?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by lumbajac, Aug 19, 2008.

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  1. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Thanks Chris for taking the time to answer my question. The plasterer is here today and I didnt have time to take all of the board down but I feel much better now just knowing I can still access the connections by taking the can down. I didnt realize you could do that. My biggest concern is if I have a future problem. Now at least I know I can fix it. Thanks again. In my mind I knew I should have cut those things off but I figured it the manufacturer put them there they must be good. I was wrong. They are 120V fixtures with 90 watt max bulbs so they are drawing 1.33 amps . That exceeds the 1 amp that they are supposively designed for . Too close of a margin if you ask me. Thanks again.
    Scott

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  2. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    Also with those stupid connectors, not only are you attaching the load (light it self) but you are connecting the rest of the circuit through that cheap plastic connector, so in a larger kitchen or living room with a lot of recessed lights you could be putting 5-10 amps on those cheap cheesy connectors.

    Reddox, the ones on the recessed fixtures require they be stripped before being inserted, so they are more along the lines of a back stab in device, not the insulation displacement type.
    [​IMG]
    Shamelessly hot linked.
  3. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

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    check your math

    90 watts / 120 volts = .75 amp

    the lighting connectors I saw at my electrical suppliers were good for 3 amps, not that I would use them.

    I would use 12 for all receptacles, and 14 for all lighting. 14 is much nicer to work with than 12 when making up boxes, and when the circuit is properly loaded there is nothing wrong with it. Remember there is a fill capacity on the boxes depending on the wire size and the cubic inch volume of the box.
  4. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    12-2 ...20 amp circuits is a great move.... perhaps not this very instant but surely in the future... What does one spend to have 20 amp breakers over 15 amp breakers? Not much...go for the long run and you can't go wrong....the wire and breakers are so slight in price that the path remains clear to me ...do it while you can and you will never look back, at least in your lifetime.
  5. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    I'd go with 14-2 and 15 amp. 12-2 and 20 amp for kitchen, shop/garage and exterior outlets.
    Future appliances and electronics will surely be configured towards more efficient use of electricity.
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I will definitely say that I see 12g on any outlet circuits as an absolute must, preferably w/ 20A breakers, but could live w/ 15A's if I had to... Lighting circuits are a bit more questionable, but if I had my 'druthers I'd go w/ 12g there as well, though probably sticking w/ 15A breakers. Reading the future is always a challenge, but while individual appliances MAY get more efficient, it seems a certainty that the NUMBER of things we want to plug in will only increase... There is no problem w/ a 15A load on a 20A circuit, but the other way around is a problem... Since I don't know what sort of loads may get stuck in the wall in the future, I'd rather be as ready for them as I can, both by having the larger wire, and by having more circuits than the minimum.

    While having 12g on the lighting circuits is overkill for lights, I think it's a good idea in that it increases the options for adding additional loads later - much easier to tap into a pre-existing lighting circuit than to run all the way back to the panel...

    I also think it's good if any room bigger than a closet has two circuits serving it - makes working on one circuit a lot easier if there's another circuit in the room that you can plug into for lights, power tools, etc...

    Lastly, I agree that having far more outlets than code requires is a good idea. I think most of the outlets in our house either have those 6 outlet converters or power strips plugged into them. Not so much for the shear number of outlets in most cases, but to deal with the space taken up by "wall-wart" plugs... Again, I see no harm in having unused outlets...

    Gooserider
  7. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    That would need ALOT of lights... I think thats a bit overkill...

    2 Circuits serving a single bedroom?!?!?!?!

    C'mon Goose, I respect the hell out of you, but seriously lets be realistic. How many times in your life have you had to work on the wiring in an existing bedroom? And how many times of those have you had to use POWER TOOLS to do it???? I know, what if you have to change an outlet and need light? Do it during the day!

    My bedroom is 16X16. It was remodeled 3 years ago now... There are 12 receptacles in there. In those 3 years, we have used all of 2 of those receps...

    just sayin...
  8. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Not really - run light circuit as normal, but use 12g - if you need additional lighting OR POWER outlets, the potential is there to tap into that lighting circuit if need be...

    Again, not unreasonable - lighting circuit and wall outlet circuit. No problem to plug a lamp into the wall outlet, and if you need to, you can use one of those tacky plug adapters that screws into a light socket - I've had times when doing both was handy.

    [/quote]

    Well our master bedroom has at least 5 devices just for the bed... Reading light, clock, GF's CPAP machine, heated mattress pad, compressor for the Select Comfort mattress... The two office bedrooms would have fully populated outlets except that most of the computer gear is plugged into a UPS, as it is they are crowded. Most places in our house, there are more outlets with something plugged into them (which may or may not be operating at any given time) than there are vacant. I usually find that I have to figure out what I can unplug before I plug something else in. Granted we have more computers and other electronics than some folks, but we have friends that are worse...

    The other BIG advantage of additional outlets IMHO is that it makes furniture placement far less of a battle when you have outlets to spare. No need to worry about burrying one behind the sofa or dresser...

    Gooserider
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