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When Aluminum Wiring Becomes a Real Fire Hazard

Can you replace a 15 amp circuit breaker with a 20 amp circuit breaker if the wire is 12 gauge and it’s protected by a 15 amp fuse at the load? The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring and an Incorrect Circuit Breaker Size Can Lead to a Fire Hazard.

Overloading Aluminum Wiring Can Lead to a Fire Hazard

Electrical  Question: Can you replace a 15 amp circuit breaker with a 20 amp circuit breaker if the wire is 12 gauge and it’s protected by a 15 amp fuse at the load?

My air conditioner went out. The repair guy traced it to a bad Bryant BD 15-20 breaker. He only had 20-20 & used that saying since there was a 15A fuse at the AC unit it was OK. The house was built in 1972 and has aluminum wiring. He used Noalox  on the connections.

This home electrical repairs question came from: Bob, from San Ramon, California.

See more about Home Electrical Repairs for California

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Bob.

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Incorrect Circuit Breaker Size Can Lead to a Fire Hazard

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  1. Stephnie says:

    I just wanted to let you know that there is a typo on the answer above (aluminum wire to air conditioner) that states “A #20 gauge aluminum wire is rated for no more than 15 amps” which should say a #12 gauge aluminum wire. Just don’t want anyone to get confused.

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