Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
14/2 Guage wire back to 20A breaker

Posted by mundo (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 10, 11 at 11:00

Hi there,

My electrician is finishing the 'rough-in' work for our kitchen renovation and I was surprized to see the lighting setup.
He is taking a feed from a new 20A circuit breaker. I am not sure what guage the wire is coming from the breaker as it is in BX/armored cable. However at the first junction box it is split into 12/2 cable feeding some outlets and 14/2 cable feeding the lights.
Is this a problem? I always thought you could only use a 15A breaker if anywhere along the route a 14/2 cable was used. I want to ask him but he's left for the day and would like some advice before I see him tomorrow.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: 14/2 Guage wire back to 20A breaker

"However at the first junction box it is split into 12/2 cable feeding some outlets and 14/2 cable feeding the lights. Is this a problem?"

Yes, if you have correctly described the situation, it IS a problem.

There are some very narrowly defined circumstances in which a short length of #14 wire might conceivably be used for as a fixture whip on a 20-amp circuit, but at first glance, your description does not appear to fit those circumstances.

Another issue that could be in play has to do with whether the "outlets" fed by the 12/2 cables are small appliance receptacles (e.g., along the kitchen counter, a work island or dining room). If that's the case, regardless of wire size, receptacles and lighting cannot be on the same circuit.


 o
RE: 14/2 Guage wire back to 20A breaker

If there is ANY #14 wire in the circuit the WHOLE CIRCUIT must be derated to 15 amps.


 o
RE: 14/2 Guage wire back to 20A breaker

It would be an issue if it were in my house.


 o
RE: 14/2 Guage wire back to 20A breaker

Nor mine. It's all quite academic, but...

I think that if you wend your way through the tortured cross-referenced paths running through 210.19(A)(4) Exception No.1 (b), 410.117, and 210.20(B) you'll conclude that there's a narrow exception applying to luminaire whips of conforming lengths and wiring methods whereunder the presence of a #14 tap does not require derating of the circuit to 15 amps. But, like I said, it does not appear to apply here.

In any case, I consider Brick's comment, as phrased, to be correct because the whip is not considered part of the branch circuit -- it's a fixture connector.


 o
RE: 14/2 Guage wire back to 20A breaker

"In any case, I consider Brick's comment, as phrased, to be correct because the whip is not considered part of the branch circuit -- it's a fixture connector."

Since the #14 run is "14/2 cable feeding the lights" it is not being used as a whip to a single fixture and the 'whip' exception does not apply.


 o
RE: 14/2 Guage wire back to 20A breaker

1. "your description does not appear to fit those circumstances."

2. "But, like I said, it does not appear to apply here."

Meh, but it's important who gets the last word, sooo...

"the 'whip' exception does not apply."

You win. TYVM.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here