Home Wiring Advice – Be Careful Where You Get It From
Beware of Bad Advice about Home Electrical Wiring – Silly advice and incorrect information can be a problem – This circuit wire size should always stay the same size with few exceptions, and yes, a 15 amp circuit breaker is the right size for 14 AWG copper.
Bad Home Wiring Advice About an Electrical Circuit
[ad#block]Electrical Question: I just put in a new circuit on a 15amp breaker that only has lights on it.
- I used 14-2 wire, since it only has lights, no receptacles, and it’s easier to work with than 12-2 (I’m a 5’2″ tall woman, so my hands aren’t very big and I find 12-2 heavy to pull and hard to bend).
- The home run is really long (about 30 feet).
I was all ready to attach it to the new breaker, but the guy at Home Depot just told me that I can’t attach 14 AWG wire directly to the breaker. Instead, I have to either run 12-2 to the first light (and then I can run 14-2 to the rest of the lights), or I have to have a junction box just outside of the breaker box, where I change from 12-2 to 14-2.
This seems silly.
Is it really true that I’m not allowed to attach 14-2 directly to the 15amp breaker?
This electrical question came from Annalisa, a Handywoman from Charleston, IL
See more about Home Wiring for Illinois
Thanks so much for your advice!!
Thanks for your electrical question Annalisa.
Beware of Bad Advice about Home Electrical Wiring
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, electric drill, auger bits and extension cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electrical circuit wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.
- Your absolutely right Annalisa, that was silly advice and incorrect, your plan is correct.
- The circuit wire size should always stay the same size with few exceptions, and yes, a 15 amp circuit breaker is the right size for 14 AWG copper.
The Following resources will assist you with your electrical question:
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
Lighting For The Home
Lighting Electrical Codes
Electric Circuit Listing
The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.
Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
- A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring.
- When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
For more information about Circuit Wiring
Electrical Circuit Wiring
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
This link is helpful as a Handywoman
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Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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Code your wire first and save yourself a lot of headaches by identifying the wires as you install them. It’s a lot harder to figure out which wires go where when they’re covered with drywall. The electricians we talked to use a “code” for marking wires, and so can you. Here’s one example. Wrap three-way switch “travelers” loosely and wrap the common wire tightly around them for easy identification later.