14 gauge to 12 gauge

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MarkM
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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:32 am

14 gauge to 12 gauge

Post by MarkM » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:40 pm

I am going through and putting new outlet receptacles, switches, etc around my house.

I note that much of the wire going to these are 14 gauge. Will I run into issues connecting 12 gauge wire with 14 gauge if I wanted to say, add an outlet a few feet away?

Like with 14 gauge existing in home, can I connect up 12 gauge wire to the circuit and run that to a new subsequent outlet? I am not wanting to go 12 gauge to 14, but will 14 to 12 cause me issues?

Thanks!

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Aaron
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: 14 gauge to 12 gauge

Post by Aaron » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:44 pm

You should not mix gauges with hard wiring, no. If your circuits and devices are already wired with 14 gauge, you should remain consistent when adding on to the circuit.

If you already have 12 gauge cable on hand, save it for some day when you need to run a 20A circuit.

MarkM
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:32 am

Re: 14 gauge to 12 gauge

Post by MarkM » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:53 pm

Ok great! Thanks! Will doing so cause problems? Or is it a situation of expected practice?

I very much appreciate the knowledge! :)

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Aaron
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: 14 gauge to 12 gauge

Post by Aaron » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:34 pm

Well, for 15A circuits from the panel, you can run 14 gauge or heavier. But for 20A service, 12 gauge or heavier is required. Whatever gauge is run from beyond the panel's breaker should be consistent throughout the rest of the circuit's permanent wiring throughout the house or building.

Yeah, it's mostly just good craft. If a device is taken apart, the assumption is the gauge of the wiring corresponds with the circuit's current capacity. Splicing devices like wirenuts tend to splice more effectively and balanced when the conductors are all the same thickness too.

Outside of permanent house wiring, though, gauge mixing happens all the time. When you plug something into a receptacle, for example, the plug is usually connected to 18 or 16 gauge conductors in the cord. The leads on permanent light fixtures are often 16 gauge too.

MarkM
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:32 am

Re: 14 gauge to 12 gauge

Post by MarkM » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:27 pm

Thank you very much for the knowledge!
I appreciate it!

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