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Can 14 AWG copper conductors be used to supply a light fixture on a 20 amp circuit?

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    Can 14 AWG copper conductors be used to supply a light fixture on a 20 amp circuit?

    Let's say there's a branch circuit protected by a 20 ampere breaker. A 12/2 (with ground) NM cable runs from the breaker, out to a switch box. Inside the switch box, the ungrounded conductor of the 12/2 cable is connected to one terminal of the switch. A 14/2 (with ground) NM cable runs between the switch box, and a box where a lighting fixture will be installed. The ungrounded conductor of the 14/2 cable connects to the other terminal of the switch, the grounded and grounding conductors from the 12/2 cable are connected to the grounded and grounding conductors of the 14/2 cable. Also everything is properly grounded at all locations.

    The light fixture being installed is a 3 bulb fixture, rated at a maximum of 180 Watts.

    Would the use of the 14/2 cable be a violation of NEC? If in the switch box another 12/2 cable was connected to extend the circuit, does this change anything?

    #2
    There was a recent thread on essentially the same question.
    This is not a motor circuit or any of the other exceptions to the maximum branch circuit OCPD size for #14.
    It is not fixture wire.
    It is not a tap with overcurrent protection at the load end.
    It is not a fixture whip since it goes from box to box.
    There simply is no exception or special case here that allows that use.

    Tapatalk!

    Comment


      #3
      As stated by others , NON compliant and never would be.

      Comment


        #4
        However.......

        You could change that 20 A rated OCPD to a 15 A rated OCPD and in my opinion be compliant.

        I can only assume that the question is that someone wants to extend from a 12/2 that supplies a branch circuit required to be 20A and this is a quick fix to get a new luminaire located where the customer wants one and only have 14/2 on the truck. I may be stretching here but that's what it sounds like.

        However, as you have presented it in your original post, NO you are not protecting the conductors in accordance with the NEC. Someone could argue that an inspector would make you change it because someone "could" put a 20 A OCPD back on it. Well, inspectors are not expectors, so what someone does after an inspection is summed up by this statement..."you can't fix stupid" so to speak.

        Just some thoughts on the issue.
        *All code responses are based on the 2017 National Electrical Code®[NEC®]

        Comment


          #5
          Contrary to what others have said, the installation you describe is a proper branch circuit tap under 210.19(A)(4) Ex 1(a).

          The tap conductors would only be permitted to supply the single luminaire, not additional outlets.

          Comment


            #6
            Contrary to Contrary....not sure where the 18" limitation figures in.
            *All code responses are based on the 2017 National Electrical Code®[NEC®]

            Comment


              #7
              I like my solution better.....
              *All code responses are based on the 2017 National Electrical Code®[NEC®]

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MasterTheNEC View Post
                Contrary to Contrary....not sure where the 18" limitation figures in.
                \

                The 18" limitation does figure in anywhere...in the proposed installation, the tap conductors do not extend beyond the individual luminaire at all

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by david luchini View Post
                  Contrary to what others have said, the installation you describe is a proper branch circuit tap under 210.19(A)(4) Ex 1(a).

                  The tap conductors would only be permitted to supply the single luminaire, not additional outlets.
                  I don't see that as circumventing 240.4(D)(3).
                  Cheers and Stay Safe,

                  Marky the Sparky

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by K8MHZ View Post
                    I don't see that as circumventing 240.4(D)(3).
                    240.4(D) says that unless specifically permitted in [COLOR=#ff0000]240.4(E)[/COLOR] or (G), then small conductors shall have overcurrent protection in accordance with (D)(1) through (D)(7).

                    240.4(E) is for branch circuit tap conductors, and references 240.21.

                    240.21(A) references branch circuit tap conductors meeting the requirements specified in 210.19...

                    Which brings us back to 210.19(A)(4) Ex. No. 1(a.).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by david luchini View Post
                      Contrary to what others have said, the installation you describe is a proper branch circuit tap under 210.19(A)(4) Ex 1(a).

                      The tap conductors would only be permitted to supply the single luminaire, not additional outlets.
                      That section is very much on point, and shows that it is seldom safe to over generalize, but with the "18 inch beyond the luminaire" limitation it is unlikely to help the OP who wants to go from a switch box to an outlet box to feed the luminaire.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        exactly my point...but much better expressed
                        *All code responses are based on the 2017 National Electrical Code®[NEC®]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by david luchini View Post
                          \

                          The 18" limitation does figure in anywhere...in the proposed installation, the tap conductors do not extend beyond the individual luminaire at all
                          . A 14/2 (with ground) NM cable runs between the switch box, and a box where a lighting fixture will be installed.
                          Sounds beyond the luminaire to me....

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yep...I consider it "BEYOND" the luminaire ..indeed.
                            *All code responses are based on the 2017 National Electrical Code®[NEC®]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by GoldDigger View Post
                              That section is very much on point, and shows that it is seldom safe to over generalize, but with the "18 inch beyond the luminaire" limitation it is unlikely to help the OP who wants to go from a switch box to an outlet box to feed the luminaire.
                              I don't read it like that. Compare the wording to 210.19(A)(4) Ex No 1(c)..."Individual outlets, other than receptacle outlets, [COLOR=#ff0000]with taps not over 18" long[/COLOR]."

                              Ex 1(c) limits the tap length supplying an individual outlet.

                              Ex 1(a) has no length limit on the tap supplying the individual luminaire, but allows the tap conductors to extend beyond the luminaire, presumably to a control device.

                              If Ex 1(a) had the intent to limit to tap conductors to 18" in length, then there would be no need for Ex 1(a), as Ex 1(c) says the same thing.

                              Comment

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