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Thread: Switch legs

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopowr steve View Post
    I know,

    But I have yet to have ever seen any indication of any failure of the 14awg switch leg wires that here too appear to have been commonplace years ago.
    Code citation more for the OP. 14ga switchlegs on 20A circuits are not that common here, matter of fact I do not recall the last time I saw one.

    Now, poor, overworked, 15A circuits? Dime a dozen here. Pretty much every house built in the 50s here has half the house on one 15A breaker, but mixed 12/14 on a 20 is really rare.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post
    Code citation more for the OP. 14ga switchlegs on 20A circuits are not that common here, matter of fact I do not recall the last time I saw one.

    Now, poor, overworked, 15A circuits? Dime a dozen here. Pretty much every house built in the 50s here has half the house on one 15A breaker, but mixed 12/14 on a 20 is really rare.
    Those poor overworked 15A circuits I bet were in relation to receptacles and the various loads that were plugged into them. Seen plenty of that. I think in retrospect it should be multiple receptacles should not be allowed on a 15 amp circuit but rather a 20.
    (Hey this might get people to stop using back stab receptacles since they only accept 15awg there a problem in themselves)

    Here we're just talking about the last leg (switch leg and it travelers if any) to light fixtures only from a 20amp circuit.

    Around here probably half of the homes I've been in that were built in the 50's-60's and even some newer have 20amp 12awg feeding receptacles and then to a switch and a 14awg going to the light. Ive even seen it with knob and tube wiring.
    And yet not one I have come across in doing a rewire ever showed any indication of overload.
    (were only talking about switch leg wires and travelers)

    And if your concerned with a short circuit event the 14awg is well capable of opening a 20 amp breaker.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopowr steve View Post
    And if your concerned with a short circuit event the 14awg is well capable of opening a 20 amp breaker.
    Many things in NEC are based on traditions. Something in NEC is over kill, sometimes things seem stupid then I realize i was the stupid and and sometimes you can be code, but totally substandard in function/performance.

    20A recep not allowed on any 15A ckt.

    15A recep allowed on 15 or 20A ckts as long as it is not the only single recep on the ckts. Experience has shown time after time after time this does nothing to prevent using a Y adapter on the end of a 16 AWG extension cord to feed two power strips feeding multiple exhibit booths and full 20A is available continuously through the 16 AWG cord.

    15 or 20A recep not allowed on ckts of higher ampacity than 20A perhas to prevent the situation above. Sketchy online stores sell unprotected stove outlet spider boxes along with 120/240 dual voltage grounded -| |- outlets.

  4. #14
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    May 2016
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    Redding, CA
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    4

    #14AWG

    Quote Originally Posted by rdj View Post
    Can according to the NEC can you use #14 AWG as a switch leg if the circuit is fed by #12 on a 20 amp circuit?
    Code restricts you to the use of #12 as you are on a 20A circuit. There are certain 15A devices that can be used if not dedicated on a circuit, but the branch circuit must meet with the OCPD. There are rules that allow for the use of smaller gauge conductors as a fixture whip, but this is a different subject. At the end of the day, what is the cost difference to run a #12 vs. #14? Are you saving even 20 cents in material?!? I think the time spent arguing this costs more than running the proper sized conductor. In my book, this isn't a hill to die on. People like to nit pick and subvert the code when they are saving pennies. Best to do what you know is above board and scrutinize when it is worth it.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    New jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdj View Post
    Can according to the NEC can you use #14 AWG as a switch leg if the circuit is fed by #12 on a 20 amp circuit?
    According to Nec you are allowed to do it Note that the #14 will become extremely hot. Trying to run to many things on the same line will be hazardous and could cause a nuisance to trigger your cb to power off.

  6. #16
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    Mar 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob.davis12 View Post
    According to Nec you are allowed to do it Note that the #14 will become extremely hot. Trying to run to many things on the same line will be hazardous and could cause a nuisance to trigger your cb to power off.
    Reference Please.

    1N73LL1G3NC3 15 7H3 4BILI7Y 70 4D4P7 70 CH4NG3.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob.davis12 View Post
    According to Nec you are allowed to do it
    Quote Originally Posted by luckylerado View Post
    Reference Please.
    I second that request.

    Roger
    Moderator

  8. #18
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    Feb 2016
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    Oxford
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    Code 2011 table 210.24. 20amp circuit allowed to be 12ga with a 14ga tap


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsparks1 View Post
    Code 2011 table 210.24. 20amp circuit allowed to be 12ga with a 14ga tap


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Switch legs are not taps.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsparks1 View Post
    Code 2011 table 210.24. 20amp circuit allowed to be 12ga with a 14ga tap


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    also, if I might, I word of caution. Be careful in applying Table 210.24 and note then other Sections mentioned in the actual wording such as 210.19, 210.20. There are some limitations on the Table addressed in those Sections.
    At my age, I'm accustomed to restaurants asking me to pay in advance, but now my bank has started sending me their calendar one month at a time.

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