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All breakers in main panel 20 amp or higher


blazenut
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If you are talking about single pole breakers being greater than 20 amps each, then I'd say yeah, you have a problem. Generally speaking, single pole breakers of 20 amp rating or less on any circuit with a 12gauge copper wire are perfectly fine. Typical branch circuit wiring is not greater than 12 gauge copper which is rated for a 20 amp load.

And if you have 10 gauge wiring (really, REALLY unusual) on your branch circuits, then any device plugged into that circuit may not be properly protected since it would normally draw far less current than that.

In other words, you basically have fused the wire, not the devices used on that circuit. The breaker might not trip in response to an overcurrent condition at the device, because the breaker was not seeing a problem as it would if it were properly sized for a standard branch circuit designed for devices that draw well less than 20 amps.

Clear?

Of course, I'm not an electrical guru. Others will probably weigh in with better answers.

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In other words, you basically have fused the wire, not the devices used on that circuit. The breaker might not trip in response to an over current condition at the device, because the breaker was not seeing a problem as it would if it were properly sized for a standard branch circuit designed for devices that draw well less than 20 amps.

My 5.6 amp drill isn't protected by a 15 amp breaker. (and I've made the smoke leak out of enough of them to prove that) Fuses/breakers are not intended to protect a device. Their function is to stop the house from burning down by making sure the wiring isn't overloaded.

FTR, I've seen more than a handful of panels wired exclusively in 12 or larger with no breaker smaller than a 20 amp. One thing though, the receptacles and switches need to be rated for the circuit capacity. You're allowed to make things more robust than than the code's minimum requirements.

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How would you write up the fact that every breaker in a main panel is 20 amps or higher? The panel was also full, but with no double taps. Thanks for your help.

I would report the electrical system to be satisfactory. (unless there were some obvious problems) Not to pick on you but are you asking if we think it's a problem to have all 20's and that the box is full, neither of which are a problem, without fully explaining what it is you think is a problem? A box fully wired in #12 wire or larger can have all 20 amp breakers. A full box simply means there is no space to expand without putting in a sub panel. Based on this and your post about al wire you need to spend a little more time with the electrical books.

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In other words, you basically have fused the wire, not the devices used on that circuit. The breaker might not trip in response to an over current condition at the device, because the breaker was not seeing a problem as it would if it were properly sized for a standard branch circuit designed for devices that draw well less than 20 amps.

My 5.6 amp drill isn't protected by a 15 amp breaker. (and I've made the smoke leak out of enough of them to prove that) Fuses/breakers are not intended to protect a device. Their function is to stop the house from burning down by making sure the wiring isn't overloaded.

FTR, I've seen more than a handful of panels wired exclusively in 12 or larger with no breaker smaller than a 20 amp. One thing though, the receptacles and switches need to be rated for the circuit capacity. You're allowed to make things more robust than than the code's minimum requirements.

Chad, you have just pointed out one major misconception that folks (even many home inspectors) have about breakers. They think or assume that they are to protect the equipement on that circuit, and that is not their primary objective.

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