20 Amp circuit goes to 12 guage wire that 14!
Hi, Im a newbie, but I'll save introducing myself till I get home (I'm writing from work).
I know my subject line sounds scary, but here is the whole story -
My mother's house has a history of do-it-yourself amateur home improvements by a variety of neighbors, relatives, and yes, me. As part of an ongoing kitchen remodel, She recently had a new larger electrical panel installed. The old pannel had some piggy-backed wiring and other scary stuff. I assume the electrician (a pro for once) simply connected the 12 gauge wires to 20 amp breakers, and 14 guage wire to 15 Amp breakers.
I volunteered to put the can lights in for the remodel. While doing so, I realized the circuit I am working on goes from a 20 Amp breaker (at least it does now) along a 12 guage wire untill it reaches a bank of three light switches. above the light switches, it becomes three parallel 14 guage wires until they reach a gang box in the attic.
My question is - since the lines above the switches are only going up to lighting, is the mix of wire unsafe? There are no outlets or anything else along the circuit to draw power, and I plan to use three to four can lights per switch. It would really be a bear of a job to pull out the old wire or try to fish in some 12 gage beside it if it really does not matter.
Also, I plan on using some scrap 12 gage wire to complete the job, so the result would be 20 amp breaker to #12 wire to switch to #14 wire to gang box to #12 wire to lights. the part from gang box to lights will await till your reply.