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30 amp breakers

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EEJ

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I have moved into a new to us home in WY and the wiring has me stumped/concerned.

Current code is that a 15 amp breaker is used with 14 gauge wire and 20 amp with 12 gauge.

This garage has 20 amp breakers on 14 gauge wire and 30 amp on (what I think is) 12 gauge. The home appears to be the same. I have not mapped out the circuits yet but there are no 15 amp breakers in the panel, only 20 &30s with 14 and 12 gauge wire visible.

The home is a 1979 modular (not mobile) and should have been built to code at the time. The garage is stick built afterwards and could have been wire wrong.

I will attach a photo of a sub-panel in the garage where you can see the wires and breaker labels. This panel only feeds outlets and lights- no appliances or anything odd.20201014_164700.jpg

So... is everything wrong, or is there something about this age home that I am not understanding (maybe the nomenclature on the breakers?)

Thanks, I looked around a bit to find a forum that folks knew what they are talking about!
 

afjes_2016

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I can't see the marking on the breakers so can't tell what the amp rating are on them. But if you see that there is a 14 gauge wire on a 20amp breaker or a 12 gauge wire on a 30amp breaker then the breakers should be changed. Physics is physics.

20amp 12 gauge
15amp 14 gauge
30amp 10 gauge
 

Snoonyb

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Welcome.
The previous owner/occupant, may have been illicitly entrepreneurial.
 

EEJ

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In the box in the photo, there is definitely 14 gauge on the 20 amp breakers. The 30s have a heavy gauge wire but it is not exposed to read the label. They are connected to normal outlets though, so I would not expect them to be 10 gauge/30 amp. 20201015_150714.jpg
The house does not have a single 15amp breaker, so unless there is something unique about this home/wiring I am guessing it's been messed with since it was built.
I will include a photo of the outside of the house box. I don't want to pull the cover today; its an outside box and it's raining/snowing. A few of the 30 amp breakers are tied together for 240volt but most of them are single leg.20200325_150144.jpg
 

EEJ

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Uploading these photos is degrading them, here is a closeup of the lower half of the main panel. Those are all single leg 30s. 20201015_152854.jpg
 

afjes_2016

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Yes, I have to agree with the others here in saying I strongly suggest you call a licensed electrician in to look things over. So few 15 amp breakers are odd but more odd are so many single pole 30amp breakers. With experience you can look at the panel and figure basically what is being run off of what breakers. Looking at this panel I can imagine what is being run off of all these 30amp breakers.

Kind of reminds me of when people would replace a blown 15amp fuse with a 20 or 30 to keep the fuse from blowing when they over load the circuit. Not understanding what danger this causes.

If you have determined that there are in fact 14 and 12 gauge conductors connected to 30amp breakers and 14 gauge conductors connected to 20amp breakers I would get someone to start changing them to match the size/gauge of the conductors.
 

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