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
[ad#block]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
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Bob.
The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring
Incorrect Circuit Breaker Size Can Lead to a Fire Hazard
- This question asks if a 20 amp circuit breaker may be used with a #12 gauge aluminum wire and the answer is Absolutely Not!
- A #12 gauge aluminum wire is rated for no more than 15 amps, otherwise you risk overheating the electrical wire which may cause a fire hazard.
- The replacement 20 amp circuit breaker should be turned OFF and a new 15 amp circuit breaker should be installed.
- It does not matter if there is a 15 amp fuse at the air conditioner or not, this is still a Dangerous Fire Hazard.
- A circuit breaker should NEVER be up-sized for any reason, especially if the circuit is tripping OFF!
- When a circuit breaker trips OFF this is usually an indication that there is a problem with the circuit or something that is connected onto the circuit.
- Correct the electrical problem, and avoid creating an electrical hazard.
More about Home Electrical Wiring
Identifying 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.
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.
Repairing Electrical Wiring
Electrical Splices – Part 1 – Emergency electrical wiring repairs should be made using the right materials for your particular application. Here are a few choices to help you decide what you’ll need.
The following may also be helpful for you:
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.
|More articles about Electrical Troubleshooting and Home Electrical Wiring:|
|« Previous||Next »|
|How to Know if your AC Circuit Breaker or Fuse is Correct||Why Light Switches May Not Be Working|