Rewiring House DIY Info

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Eddie_T

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I used 12AWG just to cut voltage drop as some runs were 60 feet. I thought about ring feeding using 2 breakers but couldn't decipher the code to determine if it was legal.
 

afjes_2016

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Voltage drop really does not come into play until about 100 feet. Many times also in a home using a sub panel in an area far from the main panel will reduce the possible need of figuring voltage drop; that's the handy dandy reason for the sub panels :)

May I please ask what "ring feeding" means? It may be an old "trade term" that I have not heard of.
 

JoeD

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The term ring circuit is more common in UK. It is a circuit that is fed from both ends in a loop or ring. I do not think they are permitted here.
 

Eddie_T

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I'll give an example of voltage drop. I rented a Levitt home in Bowie, MD which was wired with 12AWG aluminum. The wiring approach was cleverly designed to save wire so layout in a Cape Cod home wasn't immediately obvious to the resident.

I was watching TV and the picture shrank in from the edges periodically. Puzzled I found the breaker got out my VOM and found all the receptacles on that branch. It turned out that my wife had left the iron on in a BR which was cycling and affecting the TV in the LR on the same circuit.

My brother down the street had a similar problem, when he started his table saw the fluorescent lights in his garage started flickering. So when I wired my house all receptacles are on 12AWG copper branches and the garage receptacles are on 10AWG copper and I have never experienced a problem.

I didn't realize that my receptacles were 15A until one that I was using for a quartz heater failed. The heater was 1500W but the receptacle got hot enough to affect the tension of the contacts over time. I replaced it with a 20A receptacle.
 
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ShellbackBill

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Just use 12 gauge and 20 amp parts.
If you are doing the work yourself, the added cost is minimal.
There is no downside other than cost to doing this.

Unless you house is HUGE and has very long wire runs you are good.
 

Jeff Handy

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Yes, I took a look at this article you gave a link to here.

Honestly, half way through the first paragraph, mainly when I reached this sentence -

"However, you can increase the energy efficiency of your home by asking your electrician to use a larger gauge wire than the minimum recommended size."

I realized this was not written by someone who really knows what they are talking about. Seems more to me that this person took clips of what they read on the Internet elsewhere and put it together in their own way.

Stated -
"If you have an outlet in your home wired with 15 amp wire, and you plug in a 20-amp appliance, you’re asking your wiring to deliver more current than its capacity rating."
I can't think of any time that I saw a 20-amp rated appliance used in a home other than maybe an a high capacity "UPS". If you take five 6-amp appliances and plug them in and run them all at the same time on one 20amp circuit you are still going to trip the breaker.

Persons with formal education in electrical theory and being trained in the trade of "Electrician" will look at this article and can pick it apart.

Wiring your home - other than where required to have a 20amp circuit such as a SAC, laundry circuit etc you can run all 15amp circuits (14 gauge) and you can put 25 receptacles on the one circuit or you can put only one receptacle on the circuit. The number of receptacles are meaningless when not being used.

Having a 20amp circuit with 12 gauge wire - run a vacuum cleaner and hair blow dryer on the same circuit at the same time and dimes to donuts you will trip the breaker.
 

Jeff Handy

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A 20 amp appliance has a plug with the prongs in a different layout, so it will not be able to be inserted into a 15 amp receptacle.
Unless someone changes the plug.

20 amp household appliances are not as common as years ago.
Motors are more efficient, for one thing

But back then, things like waffle irons or other devices that generated lots of heat sometimes needed a 20 amp circuit and outlet.

Elsewhere in the house, many circuits that power something with a big motor are required to have 20 amp capacity, because the motor draws higher current when starting up.
Sump pumps, sewage pumps, whole house vacuum, some furnaces, etc.

And electric heaters like for a garage, or circuits to a workshop for big power tools.
 

Jeff Handy

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That ring feeding type of wiring is commonly used in 12 volt dc landscape lighting layouts.

So the farthest fixture does not get starved for voltage.

Although that is less of a problem now, with LED lights taking over from halogen.
 

Eddie_T

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Thanks Jeff, I was incorrect in stating that I replaced a failed 15A receptacle with a 20A receptacle. It turns out that I just replaced a 59¢ 15A receptacle with a higher quality 15A receptacle. It's good to know that the use of 15A receptacles is not a problem.
 

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