Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 35

Thread: Switch legs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Longview,Texas
    Posts
    1

    Switch legs

    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?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    15,243
    This was a accepted practice in this area for some time long ago but I don't know of a time when it was actually acceptable by the NEC and it is not currently.
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    11,058
    Tain't legal now, wuddint' legal back when, and prolly no gonna be legal any time soon no how.
    "Electricity is really just organized lightning." George Carlin


    Derek

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    813
    I don't do it because I was taught so BUT I think it should be, for lighting switch legs/travelers only. As most likely the switch is only 15 amp rated anyhow and is compliant as long as the lighting load doesn't exceed that rating. And especially when dimmers are most commonly rated for only 600-1000 watts anyhow.

    Has anyone tried to change it by submitting a proposal?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Michigan. It's a beautiful penninsula, I've looked around.
    Posts
    8,945
    Quote Originally Posted by mopowr steve View Post
    I don't do it because I was taught so BUT I think it should be, for lighting switch legs/travelers only. As most likely the switch is only 15 amp rated anyhow and is compliant as long as the lighting load doesn't exceed that rating. And especially when dimmers are most commonly rated for only 600-1000 watts anyhow.

    Has anyone tried to change it by submitting a proposal?
    I don't think the load or the rating of the switch is the issue. I believe it's all about proper protection of the conductor.

    I do believe that we are allowed 15A switches on a 20 amp circuit, and smaller fixture wires because they both will be inside an enclosure, as opposed to buried in a wall like the 14AWG switch legs would be. I would be against any proposal that would allow downsizing of switch leg conductors because of that.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    813
    Ahhhhh come on,

    take the word BRANCH and what does that signify. Think of a tree a branch starts out a certain size then reduces as it grows out in different directions.

    Why would our our forefathers call it a BRANCH CIRCUIT if it didn't have the ability to be reduced in size determined by its loading ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Michigan. It's a beautiful penninsula, I've looked around.
    Posts
    8,945
    Quote Originally Posted by mopowr steve View Post
    Ahhhhh come on,

    take the word BRANCH and what does that signify. Think of a tree a branch starts out a certain size then reduces as it grows out in different directions.

    Why would our our forefathers call it a BRANCH CIRCUIT if it didn't have the ability to be reduced in size determined by its loading ?
    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the reason is the above has nothing at all to do with safe electrical practices. If I am barking up the wrong tree, please let me know, and if you wood, post a copy of your proposal here. That is unless ewe decide knot to send one in.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    3,408
    240.4(D) would be the section that shoots down #14 on a 20A breaker for a lighting circuit.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    813
    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Bremerton, Washington
    Posts
    7,467
    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.
    There is your substantiation. Put your proposal in the "proposals for next code change" topic, we all can comment, then submit to NFPA
    Last edited by tom baker; 03-07-17 at 12:57 AM.
    Moderator-Washington State
    Ancora Imparo

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •