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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Replacing Receptacles

    Need Help!

    I've been replacing my old receptacles in my family room so they are all white after I did some remodeling. I've run into one that has 3-2wire in a single gang-box (black, white and ground). 2 of the cables are 12 gauge and one is 14 gauge! I think the guy who lived here before me hooked this up.

    The 14 gauge is coming from a light in a utility closet into the box. The 2-12 gauges are: one is the line and one is the load to other receps on the circuit.

    I'm having trouble figuring out how to install the recep. and still have the light work and the rest of the circuit. Any help would be great.

    Thanks. MI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    boston,ma
    Posts
    114

    Wink Re: Replacing Receptacles

    You have two choices here, you can change the wiring to the lighting circuit to 12 awg wire or you can change the breaker feeding the circuit to 15 amp. If you change the wiring you must pigtail the wiring so the circuits leaving the receptacle are tied together and only one circuit is leaving the load terminals on the outlet, do not backstab the recepatacle if you are going to run the light from it, most 15 amp recepacles will only accept 14 awg wire anyway. Your other option is to disconnect the light and run it from a seperate location. If there is not enough room for all the wiring in the gang box you need to switch it to a deep gang box so the wiring is not crushed when you install the receptacle. Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Replacing Receptacles

    Ok so the first thing wrong with this situation is the fact someone used 14-2 from the light to the box when all the other wire is 12-2. I think the easiest would be to just pull new wire through to the light. However, before i do that, is against code to use two different size wires in this situation? When i first saw this I thought it was incorrect. I think the guy who lived here installed the light.

    Second installing the receptacle. Do i hook the line (12-2) and the load (12-2) with a wire nut and pigtail that into the recep. Then, connect the 14-2 hot wire from the light onto the other brass? The light has a pull string and no switch in b/w.

    Neutrals same setup?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: Replacing Receptacles

    14-2 is perfectly fine for lighting and is code here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: Replacing Receptacles

    14-2 wire is used for lights switches and other things and it meets the code in my city. But use the screws on the switches.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    boston,ma
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Replacing Receptacles

    14-2 wire is fine for the light circuit if you have a 15 amp breaker feeding that existing circuit,if the breaker is 20 amp you have to either have to change the breaker to 15 amp or change the wire coming from the recepacle to the light to 12-2, if you leave the lighting run to the light at 14-2 and the wire shorts in the box or anywhere from the receptacle to the light it can overheat before it trips the breaker and start a fire in your wall or closet. So either change the breaker to 15 amp or run a 12-2 wire to the light and you will be safe,pigtail the feed coming into the box for the receptacles if you run the light from it, do not run it from the push connections on the back of the recepacle, this is the way it is done correctly, for all other lighting circuits 14-2 romex or mc is correct with a 15 amp breaker. Good Luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: Replacing Receptacles

    There is no problem mixing wire sizes in a circuit as long as the breaker for the circuit is sized for the smallest wire.

    In this particular case I would pigtail the load wires and the light wires and then connect to the receptacle, connect the power wires to the receptacle by themselves. This is not a hard and fast rule just personal preference.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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