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  1. #1

    Default 12/2, 12/3, 12/4???

    Which wire should be used for running new outlets, recessed lighting and ceiling fan? I'm at the point where it's time to wire, I've done alot but never wired anything. I wanted to run the wire, then have an electrician check, finish ect before closing up the walls. The room is a renovated living room, service is 100A, 15A breakers in the panel. Just confused about the different wire.....thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: 12/2, 12/3, 12/4???

    What is the total load in amps & number of fixtures on the circuit you are installing, it may need 2 circuits. If you do need two circuits, maybe running 12/4 is easier than two 12-2 wires.(I don't like shared neutrals or 12/3 would work). Do you have the empty slots & capacity available for the added circuit(s) in the panel?

    If you are using 15A breakers, then 14 gauge wire is acceptable (and will be a little less costly & easier to work), although 12 gauge is OK to use on a 15A breaker in our area, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: 12/2, 12/3, 12/4???

    Quote Originally Posted by bp21901 View Post
    What is the total load in amps & number of fixtures on the circuit you are installing, it may need 2 circuits. If you do need two circuits, maybe running 12/4 is easier than two 12-2 wires.(I don't like shared neutrals or 12/3 would work). Do you have the empty slots & capacity available for the added circuit(s) in the panel?

    If you are using 15A breakers, then 14 gauge wire is acceptable (and will be a little less costly & easier to work), although 12 gauge is OK to use on a 15A breaker in our area, too.
    12/4?
    Run 12/2 for your outlets.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,621

    Default Re: 12/2, 12/3, 12/4???

    I would prefer running 2 circuits. One for the lights and fan and another for the outlets. That way if you pop a circuit you can still have lights, either recessed or plugged into outlets, to work. 14/2 plus ground is all you need for a 15amp circuit, but I would run 12/2 plus ground in case you want to upgrade to 20 amp later which is quite possible with the every increasing electronic use. You would also need 12/3 plus ground if you are installing any 3-way switches.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5

    Default Re: 12/2, 12/3, 12/4???

    I understand the 2 circuits, I had planned on reusing 1 circuit and I do have plenty of room to add the second. 12/2 for the outlets AND use the 12/2 for the fan+lights also or no? A bit more info, there will be 6 outlets, 4 can lights and 1 ceiling fan. Was going to put the 6 outlets on one circuit and then the lights and the fan on the other. Should I upgrade from 15A to 20A breakers? If so, does that change the type or gauge of the wire I should be using? Also, I was hoping to use a dimmer switch for the lights, not sure if that matters? I appreciate the help. Thanks....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: 12/2, 12/3, 12/4???

    12 guage for 20 amp, 14 guage for 15 amp........

    If it was me I'd wire the whole remod with 14 guage wire unless you have some heavy load planned for the circuits.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Marcola, Or.
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: 12/2, 12/3, 12/4???

    I would run 14/2 for all of your lighting on a 15amp breaker
    and run 12/2 for your outlets with a 20 amp AFCI breaker for
    2008 NEC compliance. You need 20 amp breakers on outlets in case you use a space heater or other heavy current drawing device.

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