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Thread: #14 switchlegs on a 20A light circuit

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    #14 switchlegs on a 20A light circuit

    There used to be a practice to run switch legs for lighting on 14 ga even though the circuit was 20 amp overcurrent device. Is this an acceptable practice still? I have not seen anyone do this for a long time in my jurisdiction and wondering if I am missing something. Do not want to reject something that is acceptable. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 102 Inspector View Post
    There used to be a practice to run switch legs for lighting on 14 ga even though the circuit was 20 amp overcurrent device. Is this an acceptable practice still? I have not seen anyone do this for a long time in my jurisdiction and wondering if I am missing something. Do not want to reject something that is acceptable. Thank you.
    20 amp means 20 amp! Use 20 amp wire............ period!

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    Something that was done a lot in some places, think it would have been a very long time ago if it ever actually was NEC acceptable, like possibly back when knob and tube wiring was still the main wiring method being used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 102 Inspector View Post
    There used to be a practice to run switch legs for lighting on 14 ga even though the circuit was 20 amp overcurrent device. Is this an acceptable practice still? I have not seen anyone do this for a long time in my jurisdiction and wondering if I am missing something. Do not want to reject something that is acceptable. Thank you.
    the premise would have been that the connected load would normally
    have been a couple hundred watts, and you'd never overload a #14
    wire.

    not code compliant. never has been, to my knowledge.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Something that was done a lot in some places, think it would have been a very long time ago if it ever actually was NEC acceptable, like possibly back when knob and tube wiring was still the main wiring method being used.
    You must use correct wire size to breaker not load. I worked with people who focused on load more than Supply. It's the breaker size that determines the wire size. Within its context.

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    At least I know I am not completely crazy. I seem to remember a few old timers doing this in the late 80's, but had not seen it for a long time. It is a shame that contractor now has to replace 500 feet of wiring just because of switch leg reduction of conductor sizing. I know the argument will be that it is LED lighting with minimal load, but as stated, it is the supply that dictates the conductor sizing, not the loading. thanks for the quick responses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 102 Inspector View Post
    At least I know I am not completely crazy. I seem to remember a few old timers doing this in the late 80's, but had not seen it for a long time. It is a shame that contractor now has to replace 500 feet of wiring just because of switch leg reduction of conductor sizing. I know the argument will be that it is LED lighting with minimal load, but as stated, it is the supply that dictates the conductor sizing, not the loading. thanks for the quick responses.
    Why would the wire and not the OCPD be replaced?
    Don, Illinois
    (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

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    TABLE 210.24 TAPS

    There are allowable branch circuit taps per Table 210.24. Maybe the OP had learned from those who utilize these taps, whether code compliant or not. I've worked with electricians who believed they could tap circuits for an individual receptacle or light fixture without distance limitations. Per 210.19(A)(4) Exception #1, the uses for these taps is quite limited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 102 Inspector View Post
    At least I know I am not completely crazy. I seem to remember a few old timers doing this in the late 80's, but had not seen it for a long time. It is a shame that contractor now has to replace 500 feet of wiring just because of switch leg reduction of conductor sizing. I know the argument will be that it is LED lighting with minimal load, but as stated, it is the supply that dictates the conductor sizing, not the loading. thanks for the quick responses.
    Just change the breaker to 15 amps. Double check full load on that circuit. If load is too much split the circuit at easiest point and reseed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel malack View Post
    Just change the breaker to 15 amps. Double check full load on that circuit. If load is too much split the circuit at easiest point and reseed it.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
    Reseed it ()

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