14 ga. on 20 or 30 a circuit

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Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
#14 tap conductors cannot exist on a 20 amp branch circuit as they are not tap conductors per the code. They are protected at their ampacity. It appears to me that the part of the table that shows #14 taps on 15 and 20 amp circuits is not valid because the #14 is not a tap.
I think this is another case of the code using field language and not code language. The #14 connected to the #12 is a "tap" in the field language, but is not a "tap" in code language.
Please reread the definition of a tap conductor very carefully.

I think this is another case of you, like others... and not unlike myself, reword the meanings of requirements and definions in our own words. On occasion, there is a conflict between our words and the exact phrasing of the code... and this is one of them!!!

For one, the definition does not use the word ampacity. The qualifying criteria is "a conductor... that has overcurrent protection ahead of its point of supply that exceeds the value permitted for similar conductors that are protected as described elsewhere in 240.4." A 20A ocpd exceeds the 15A maximum ocpd value permitted for 14 AWG as specified in 240.4(D)(3).
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
Receptacles are not coverd by 210.19(A)(4). Except for single receptacles, I think it is clear that 210.19(A)(2) applys.
But a 14 AWG, 20A-rated conductor on a 20A ocp circuit does not violate 210.19(A)(2), nor does it violate 210.19(A)(4) if you accept that receptacles on multioutlet are also within its purview, as 210.19(A)(2) and (4) are in regards to ampacity... not overcurrent protection. That is where we have to go to 240.4...

There is nothing that I have read that recinds 240.4(D) for receptacle circuits.
Here we will have to agree to disagree :rolleyes:
 

acrwc10

Senior Member
But a 14 AWG, 20A-rated conductor on a 20A ocp circuit does not violate 210.19(A)(2), nor does it violate 210.19(A)(4) if you accept that receptacles on multioutlet are also within its purview, as 210.19(A)(2) and (4) are in regards to ampacity... not overcurrent protection. That is where we have to go to 240.4...


Here we will have to agree to disagree :rolleyes:
No can do, we think you are wrong, and on that we all agree.:D:D:D
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
No can do, we think you are wrong, and on that we all agree.:D:D:D
While I know you are in disagreement with me (and cannot even agree on that), I'll expect a full list of the other we's on my desk [-top] in the morning. I have a right to know all my accusers :wink:
 
But a 14 AWG, 20A-rated conductor on a 20A ocp circuit does not violate 210.19(A)(2), nor does it violate 210.19(A)(4) if you accept that receptacles on multioutlet are also within its purview, as 210.19(A)(2) and (4) are in regards to ampacity... not overcurrent protection. That is where we have to go to 240.4...


Here we will have to agree to disagree :rolleyes:
I will agree with you Smart and think you did a good job explaining the tap def...

Also no offense Don but saying (paraphrase) that the table in 210.24 is in error to backup your view of another code might be a good indication to rethink that code.

IMO the table isn't wrong. The waters are just muddy. I would like to see an addition to 210.19(A)(2) to clarify. Maybe:

(2) Multioutlet Branch Circuits.
Conductors of branch
circuits supplying more than one receptacle for cord-and plug-
connected portable loads shall have an ampacity of

not less than the rating of the branch circuit, but in no case shall
exceed the ratings in 210.4(D)
 

M. D.

Senior Member
can someone sum this up,.. I have read and re read the thread and I am soooo confused:-?:-?

I can pig tail a #14 to a #12 being fed by a 20 amp OCPD at the panel call it a tap and be on my way to feed receptacles ?? then are they being fed by a branch circuit ??? or a tap from a branch circuit.

210.19(A)(4)exception 1 (C)

individual outlets , other than receptacle outlets,..

seems to exclude receptacle type outlets
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
can someone sum this up...
OK. I will :grin:

210.19(A)(4)exception 1 (C)

individual outlets , other than receptacle outlets,..

seems to exclude receptacle type outlets
That nails the door shut on using 14 AWG taps for receptacles on a 20A branch circuit. It does not seem to exclude receptacles... it does in fact explicitly exclude receptacles from being on the load end of a branch circuit tap conductor.
 
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M. D.

Senior Member
this silence is killing me,..(excluding Larry),.. why do I have the feeling like there is an elephant in this thread that everyone can see except for me ,..

that was what you guys were talking about ?,... right?
 
OK. I will :grin:


That nails the door shut on using 14 AWG taps for receptacles on a 20A branch circuit. It does not seem to exclude receptacles... it does in fact explicitly exclude receptacles from being on the load end of a branch circuit tap conductor.
Ha! :rolleyes: You make it sound like it is so cut and dry and black and white.
First of all the exception is to a rule that says

"Branch-circuit conductors that supply
loads other than those specified in 210.2 and other than
cooking appliances as covered in 210.19(A)(3) shall have
an ampacity sufficient for the loads served and shall not be​
smaller than 14 AWG."

The rule itself does not prohibit a #14 tap on a 20a circuit as long as the load is less the the ampacity of the #14....so there is no need to qualify for the exception.
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
Ha! :rolleyes: You make it sound like it is so cut and dry and black and white.
First of all the exception is to a rule that says

"Branch-circuit conductors that supply
loads other than those specified in 210.2 and other than
cooking appliances as covered in 210.19(A)(3) shall have
an ampacity sufficient for the loads served and shall not be​
smaller than 14 AWG."

The rule itself does not prohibit a #14 tap on a 20a circuit as long as the load is less the the ampacity of the #14....so there is no need to qualify for the exception.
That's how I was thinking prior to this afternoon... then it dawned on me...

The way the 210.19(A)(4) Exception No. 1 is written, all "Other Loads" tap conductors must qualify as at least one of the loads listed (a) through (e) in the exception.

Read the exception several times and think about it from this point of view for a while...

It's not as clear cut as it should be, and we certainly shouldn't have to rely on an Exception to make it clear (or less foggy :rolleyes:)... but it is what it is. Who knows, you may help me to change my opinion again :grin:

PS: Also keep in mind while if you do as suggested, that according to 240.4(D), we have to specifically qualify the conductors as tap conductors under 240.4(E). The general provisions of 210.19(A)(4) do not mention tap conductors, let alone to any extent of specificity.
 
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That's how I was thinking prior to this afternoon... then it dawned on me...

The way the 210.19(A)(4) Exception No. 1 is written, all "Other Loads" tap conductors must qualify as at least one of the loads listed (a) through (e) in the exception.

Read the exception several times and think about it from this point of view for a while...

It's not as clear cut as it should be, and we certainly shouldn't have to rely on an Exception to make it clear (or less foggy :rolleyes:)... but it is what it is. Who knows, you may help me to change my opinion again :grin:

PS: Also keep in mind while if you do as suggested, that according to 240.4(D), we have to specifically qualify the conductors as tap conductors under 240.4(E). The general provisions of 210.19(A)(4) do not mention tap conductors, let alone to any extent of specificity.
I just don't know man....I read the thing over and over and to me it says.....conductors can't be smaller than 14#............then exceptions to that rule.......

I just don't think it is saying no to the #14 on 20a circs. Of course I read 240.4(D) 240.4(E) 240.21(A) 210.24 210.19 210.20 blah blah blah and I don't see it saying yes to the #14 on 20a cirs either....I think I'm less secure in my stance than ever :confused:
 

M. D.

Senior Member
Does this help??

Other Loads.
Branch-circuit conductors that supply
loads other than those specied in 210.2 and other than
cooking appliances as covered in 210.19(C) shall have an
ampacity sufficient for the loads served and shall not be
smaller than 14 AWG.


Exception No. 1: Tap conductors shall have an ampacity sufficient for the load served. In addition, they shall have an ampacity of not less than 15 for circuits rated less than 40
amperes and not less than 20 for circuits rated at 40 or 50
amperes and only where these tap conductors supply any of
the following loads:


(a) Individual lampholders or luminaires fixtures) with taps extending not longer than 450 mm (18 in.) beyond
any portion of the lampholder or luminaire fixture).
(b) A Fixture having tap conductors as provided in 410.67.
(c) Individual outlets, other than receptacle outlets, with
taps not over 450 mm (18 in.) long.

(d) Infrared lamp industrial heating appliances.

(e) Nonheating leads of deicing and snow-melting cables
and mats.
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
Does this help??
I think Exception No. 1 is more the problem than the solution!

We can look at Exception No. 1 two ways:
  1. It permits tap conductors smaller than #14 AWG for the listed loads (but then why does it mention 20A minimum for 40 and 50A circuits), or
  2. It limits tap conductors for "Other Loads" to not only the specified minimum ampacities but also the listed loads.
Which is it?

Typically, it would be choice 1. The same reasoning for Exception No. 2.

It would be so much easier if the Exception were not an exception but rather part of the general provision.

Now I'm back on the fence :rolleyes:
 
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M. D.

Senior Member
Me too kinda,.. but back in the real world the way it is taught ,.. the way the industry views it to mean,. and the way it reads to me ,.. is ,... that it is not allowed ... but then again
there are times when a switch looks like an outlet ....:smile:
 

realolman

Senior Member
Really seems it ought to be considerably more clear cut than it is.

Why not just disallow anything smaller than #12 on a 20 under any circumstance?

I can see where it would be unwieldy to do large scale lighting using the size of the circuit conductors for everything, but I think to have exceptions to allow #14 on a 20 is just silly...what's the point?

... and I really don't get 210.19 (A)(3) ,the household ranges and cooking appliances,... why is that necessary?

Why not just size all conductors to the load served and forget about OCPD completely?:wink:
 
Really seems it ought to be considerably more clear cut than it is.

Why not just disallow anything smaller than #12 on a 20 under any circumstance?

I can see where it would be unwieldy to do large scale lighting using the size of the circuit conductors for everything, but I think to have exceptions to allow #14 on a 20 is just silly...what's the point?

... and I really don't get 210.19 (A)(3) ,the household ranges and cooking appliances,... why is that necessary?

Why not just size all conductors to the load served and forget about OCPD completely?:wink:
Because it is wasteful for one. Why should I have a conductor rated for 25a on a 1 or 2 amp load. You mentioned the large scale lighting. Not only can it save lots of money but all the wasted copper is just not green enough for me to be comfortable with.....
 
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