DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Is #14 wire sufficient for my project




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Old 08-04-2012, 04:29 PM  
TGMcCallie
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Default Is #14 wire sufficient for my project

I have a #10 3 wire coming from my main breaker box to a sub breaker box
which gives me 240 volts and 30 amps.

I want to come off the individual breakers in this sub panel to a pool pump, pool cleaner and lights.
The Pool 1 HP Pump pulls 7.5 amps x 220 volts
The Cleaner 3/4 HP booster pump pulls 6.4 amps x 220 volts
The light is 500 watts x 120 volts which I figure about 4.2 amps x 120
This will give me approx. 18.1 amps total.

Can I come off each individual 15 amp breaker and go seperately to each one of these loads with #14 3 gague wire? The distance from breakers to each load is less than 5 feet. Both pumps wired 240 and the light wired 120. I will use #14 2 on the 120 volt light circuit.

The reason I want to do this is because #14 wire is so much easier to work with under the screws of the motors than #10 3 and #12 3 gague wire.

If this is advisable, do I use 15 amp ground fault breakers on each circuit or
can I use the one single GF breaker (20 amp) which I now have on the main
pannel that serves the #10 3 wire????

Thanks for your help. I just want to keep everything safe and working properly.

Tom



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Old 08-04-2012, 04:51 PM  
CallMeVilla
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If you want to be safe, I would use #12, not #14. Honestly, the "workability" of the #12 wire is not that much different. However, you can support the amp load you describe using #14 . . . BUT, what is the startup load? Since this is a motor, it draws heavily for startup and then settles back down for operation. Also, remember to downrate the breaker to 80% so you don't push it too much.

I am very careful with pool equipment . . . Hope you enjoy your summer!



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Old 08-04-2012, 05:12 PM  
TGMcCallie
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I understand your thoughts on this.

As far as the GFI breaker in the main box protecting all the circuits which total 18.1 amps, do I use the 20 amp gfi breaker that I am using now or do I need to go with 80% of 18.1 and use a 15 amp GFI breaker?

If I have a fault in the 1 HP motor circuit that is pulling 7.5 amps will it trip the 15/20 amp GFI breaker and the same for the circuit pulling only 6.4 and the light pulling 2.1.

Does the GFI Breaker match the total of all loads or does that matter?

I could change the 20 amp gfi breaker that serves all the circuits to a standard breaker and put seperate GFI breakers for each of the circuits in the sub panel. I used the one at the main box because those buggers are so expensive now.

I do not know what the start up amps are for the motors. They just give this on the labels on each one of the pumps:
1 HP pool motor: AMP MAX LOAD 1.0/7.5 HZ 60 CF1.1
1 HP KW 0.75
.75 HP Cleaner motor: HP 3/4 AMP SF 6.4/12.8

It does not say start up amps. I assumed since both can either be wired 120 or 240 this is the AMP load for each wiring voltage.

Tom

Thanks

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Old 08-05-2012, 10:25 AM  
speedy petey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeVilla View Post
If you want to be safe, I would use #12, not #14.
There is absolutely NO "safety" advantage to using #14 for these loads, regardless of motor start-up.

The breaker protects the wiring, NOT the load, so even if a motor is on a 20A breaker it will not trip any faster or safer on a 15A circuit.
You match the circuit to the load within the scope of the code.

Thing is, it is a code requirement that the ground for most pool equipment be #12 minimum and also be insulated. This precludes any #14 NM or UF cable use.

If you are wiring up pool equipment you should ALREADY be familiar with Art.680 of the NEC. You SHOULD NOT be guessing or winging it as far as this stuff goes.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:25 PM  
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Therefore, to translate Speedy's post, your answer TGMc is #12 as a minimum . . . and do not undersize the breakers, i.e., 20Amp minimum.

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:13 PM  
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I have decided to use 12/3 romex. I will have #10/3 line to the sub panel and #12/3 from sub panel to the times for all 3 circuits even the lights. I plan on using individual breakers in the sub panel for each circuit. You are saying that I need to use 20 amp breakers for all these even the light and timer circuit. Is that correct?

You are also saying that the GF breaker in the main panel that will serve all the circuits needs to be 20 amp.

Keep in mind that the serving lead from the main to the sub panel is 10/3. Does that make any difference in the breaker size at the main panel AND the sub panel?

Thanks
Tom

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:14 PM  
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Sorry, I made a typo there I just noticed. I meant to say "There is absolutely NO "safety" advantage to using #12 for these loads..."
The startup load is already taken into account with the circuit breaker.

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:15 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGMcCallie View Post
I have decided to use 12/3 romex.
Even though romex is not complaint for this installation? OK, it's your house.

This whole thing kinda scares me.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:16 PM  
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There is a bonding bar in the box. Do I hook it up in the neutral bar or leave it not hooked up. I was concerned about the metal box not being grounded or is it grounded someway through the main panel?

tom

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:21 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedy petey View Post
Even though romex is not complaint for this installation? OK, it's your house.

This whole thing kinda scares me.
I call all elec cable romex, I guess from the old school. What I am using is 12/3 which is yellow in color and it will be inside water tight conduit with water proof fittings. It is type NM-B. I know it says indoor wire but I am putting it in the water tight conduit with water tight fittings like they use to hook up air conditioner units outside.

If this is not correct, what should I use?

Thanks,
Tom


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