# Quick Answer: Should I Use 12 Or 14 Gauge Wire?

## Can I use 14 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit?

NEC 240.4(D)(3) states that 14 AWG must be protected at 15A.

You can not use 14 AWG anywhere on a circuit that has a 20A breaker.

If you are putting 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit with 12 gauge wire, then you MUST use the screw terminals, not the back stab terminals.

Just use the side terminals..

## When should I use 14 gauge wire?

In a way, it all starts with the size of the wire. 14-gauge wire is the smallest allowed for the permanent wiring of a circuit. It is rated as able to carry up to 15 amps of current. 12-gauge wire is the next size larger and is allowed to carry up to 20 amps.

## Can I use 14 gauge wire for lights?

As long as you don’t put too many lights on the light circuit, you can usually control that circuit with a 15-amp breaker, as well as wire it with a 14-gauge wire. … On the other hand, an outlet circuit controlled by a 20-amp breaker requires a 12-gauge wire.

## Can you bury 12 2 wire?

For a 12-in. … At 18 inches, you can use THWN-2 conductors inside a continuous length of PVC conduit, which protects the wire all the way through the trench to the house. At 24 inches you can bury underground feeder cable, using PVC conduit to 18 inches below ground only where the wire comes up.

## How many outlets can I put on a 20 amp breaker?

10 receptaclesOne rule of thumb is to assign a maximum draw of 1.5 amps to each receptacle, which allows for 10 receptacles on a 20-amp circuit.

## Can 14 2 wire be used for outlets?

14–2 wire is allowed for a 15 Amp circuit, and at 120 Volts, 15 Amps x 120 volts = 1800 volt-amperes. … So, prepare to be surprised: The NEC sets no maximum number of outlets you can install on a single circuit in a residential service.

## How far can you run 12 gauge wire?

The following are the maximum lengths of cable you can use while still maintaining a 3 percent voltage drop for the given wire size (AWG) and circuit voltage….For 120-volt circuits:14 AWG50 feet12 AWG60 feet10 AWG64 feet8 AWG76 feet6 AWG94 feetOct 20, 2019

## How can you tell 12 gauge wire from 14?

How do you tell if your old wiring is 12-gauge or 14-gauge? Here’s a simple visual. Twelve gauge is about the thickness of a nickel, and 14-gauge is about the thickness of a dime. Also, look at the breaker for the circuit in question to see if it’s a 15-amp or a 20-amp breaker.

## Can I use 12 gauge wire for lights?

Yes, it is okay to use 12-2 cable to supply lighting fixtures. The other answer indicates that it even with 12-2 you have to use a 15A breaker for lighting circuits which is not strictly correct. If the entire circuit is 12AWG (other than fixture wires), then a 20A breaker may be used.

## Is it OK to use 12 gauge wire on a 15 amp circuit?

However, 12-gauge wire is acceptable on both 15- and 20-amp circuits, so some electricians use it exclusively when wiring a house.

## Can I mix 12 and 14 gauge wire?

Anyway, the first subject is a bit touchy because it makes it difficult to perform an inspection when all of the wires coming into the panel are 12 but many of the circuits have 14 in them too. There is nothing against code mixing wire size for these circuits as long as the OCPD matches the smallest wire.

## What is 14 2 Romex used for?

The following NEC regulations apply to Romex conductors:Wire Gauge or TypeRated AmperageCommon Uses14-2 Romex15 ALighting Circuits12-2 Romex20 ALighting and Outlet Circuits, refrigerator10-2 Romex30 AElectric water heater, baseboard heaters10-3 Romex30 AElectric Clothes Dryer4 more rows

## Can you use 14 2 on a 20 amp breaker?

It is generally NOT okay to have a 20A circuit breaker on a circuit that has any 14 gauge wire — and most homeowners won’t run into the exceptions. If there’s any #14 wire anywhere downstream, you must use a 15A breaker to protect that wire. It’s about fire prevention. #14 wire is rated for 15A.

## Can 12 2 wire run underground?

In this method, the conduit can be as shallow as 6 inches deep, and the individual conducting wires inside should have a “W” labeling to indicate they are waterproof. THWN-2 wire, for example, is a standard type for running through underground conduit. … Never use thin-wall EMT conduit for underground applications.

## How many outlets can one GFCI protect?

A standard GFCI will protect up to 20 amps, drawn from any combination of receptacles, either the built-in one or any number of additional ones connected to its load terminals.

## How many amps will 14 2 wire carry?

Size & AMP RatingsNM, TW, & UF WIRE (Copper Conductor)SE CABLE (Copper Conductor)14 AWG – 15 AMPS8 AWG – 50 AMPS12 AWG – 20 AMPS6 AWG – 65 AMPS10 AWG – 30 AMPS4 AWG – 85 AMPS8 AWG – 40 AMPS2 AWG – 115 AMPS1 more row

## How far can you run 12 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit?

The total circuit would be about 60 -70 feet in length. It would only be supplying about 5 outlets and one light. It would be a light load, running small things, no heaters or med/large equipment. #12 provides reasonable performance up to about 100′ with general loads like you describe.

## What appliances need a dedicated circuit?

Dedicated circuits are highly recommended for all these devices:Electric oven, stove, or range.Refrigerator.Stand-alone freezer or chest freezer.Dishwasher.Microwave.Garbage disposal.Toaster oven.Countertop convection oven.More items…•