| || || |
20 amp versus 15 amp
Asked Feb 10, 2005, 10:32 AM
I would like to use 20 amp circuit breakers, 12 gauge wire, and 20 amp "commercial" outlets in my basement finishing job (for all the wiring you would normally service with 15 amp breakers). I know it's a little more expensive, but I like the idea of being able to expand when I need to, and I hear it saves a little energy using bigger wire. I'm putting no more than 10 outlets per circuit.
Will this cause any problems? (BTW, 20 amp requires 12 gauge per local code).
| || |
| || |
Feb 10, 2005, 12:23 PM
I don't see any problem, except code may not allow 5 outlets on one circuit. As far as the wiring goes, it shouldn't make any difference. However, no matter how may outlets you have, you can't use much more than about 2000 watts at any one time. It is OK to have much more than that plugged in, as long as you aren't using everything at once. It is much easier to not have to unplug your saw when you switch to using a drill. I have the outlets for my workbench on the same circuit as some of my outside outlets thinking I can't work inside and outside at the same time. I also have one of those 2 into 6 adapters so I can plug in a 20 watt light with my washer and gas dryer.
| || |
Senior Electrical & Lighting Expert
| || |
Feb 11, 2005, 06:33 AM
No, using #12 for all the basement outlet wiring will be no problem. #12 is being used much more to give homeowners the benefit of a 20 amp circuit. If you were to compare the additional cost of using #12 over #14 , you would find the cost negligible.
The savings of using larger wire is also negligible when dealing with such small wire in short distances. Using a next size larger than required does reap energy savings by virture of reducing the impedance and DC resistance of the circuit, however, it can be measurable in larger loaded circuits, say 200 amp continous load, typical of commercial or industrial applications.don't expect to see any change in your electric bill.
Thou the maximum of 10 outlets on your circuit is a great standard, it does not apply to residential installations. It applies to all other installations, and is calculated by allowing 180 VA per outlet ,which totals 1800 VA. A 20 amp circuit can only be loaded 80%,or 16 amps,or 1920 VA. So 1800 VA is the most allowed to be connected to a 20 amp circuit,therefore 10 outlets.Residential is calculated differently, too long to explain here
Keep in mind any outlets in unfinished basement must be GFI protected.
Hope this helps.
| || |
| || |
Feb 21, 2005, 08:22 AM
20 circuit with 15 plugs?
I just bought my first house, and it is wired with 12, we were replacing some plugs and noticed the new plugs would not fit the quick connect wire, it stated use only 14 on quick connect and 12 on the wire bolts.
Upon thinking about this, I remembered the switch box only has 20 amp and 30 amp breakers, I know 2 bedrooms and a bathroom and a hall way were all on one breaker which I though odd, but my friend said it would not be a problem since I had 20 amp breakers, but I need to make sure all my plugs are 20 amp and not 15 amp. He had concern that a 15 amp plug might burn up before the breaker blew, but the then again he said he didn't know what you could plug in one outlet to draw that, and if you were running one item in one room and another in another room that most likely it would be ok, because the 15 amps on each plug would be lower, just the breaker would allow up to 20 amps on the whole loop before anything blew.
When I swapped 2 of them out I noticed that 15amps is what was in there, and they look like the original plugs, but its hard to say. Is it a problem to use 15 amp plugs or should I buy the 20 amp models?
| || |
| || |
Feb 21, 2005, 12:07 PM
Some of the heavier power tools or window air conditioners may draw over 15 amps. As long as you don't expect to be using any of them, I wouldn't bother to change the plugs.
Add your answer here.
Check out some similar questions!
Split A.C versus Window A.C-( urgent) [ 4 Answers ]
There is this 1 question that has been the centre of debate in my house and the cause of many family problems. The question is:
Does installing a Split A.C reduce your electricty Bill drastically in comparison to a window A.C?
Now I say that split is efficient but the bill...
Dating versus Relationships [ 28 Answers ]
It is obvious to me there is a lot of confusion between dating and relationships. Much like the resume may get you an interview, and the interview may land you that great job... It works much the same way in the romance department too.
The introduction is what preceeds being asked out or asking...
Cashmere versus wool coats [ 2 Answers ]
Does anyone know, in layman terms, how much more effective a cashmere coat is, in keeping you warm for NY winter, compared to a good quality wool coat? I agree cashmere feels better on the skin, and light-weight, looks great etc, and am also interested to understand the strength of its core...
Java 2 runtime versus MSJVM [ 4 Answers ]
Since Microsoft will soon no longer be supporting their java virtual machine, I downloaded Sun's Java 2 runtime.
When my wife tried playing her java games on it, everything was slowed right down. I uninstalled Java 2 and went back to MSJVM and everything worked very well.
My question is, since...
Cashier versus certified check [ 1 Answers ]
A buyer has offered to pay a large purchase by cashier check. What is the difference between cashier and certifiied check. The purchase is a home. Thanks,
View more Electrical & Lighting questions Search