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blazenut
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This is a 20 amp circuit. 12 gauge copper wire from the 20 amp breaker to a junction box, 3 outlets wired with 12 copper to 20 amp outlets. Another 12 copper travels to the other side of the basement to another junction box where 3 14 gauge copper wires go to three separate florescent lights. I know that the outlet wire size must be at least 12, do the light wires have to be 12 also? Thanks.

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This is a 20 amp circuit. 12 gauge copper wire from the 20 amp breaker to a junction box, 3 outlets wired with 12 copper to 20 amp outlets. Another 12 copper travels to the other side of the basement to another junction box where 3 14 gauge copper wires go to three separate florescent lights. I know that the outlet wire size must be at least 12, do the light wires have to be 12 also? Thanks.

I dread questions like this because then I have to go look up the tap rules, which I find to be some of the most frustrating rules in the NEC. This might take a while, I have to go get a drink first.

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I found this here...

http://iaei-western.org/Files/2008/2008 ... el_Q&A.doc

8. I have several electricians who have been using 14 AWG conductors from a switch to a light on a 20 amp circuit. Some cite tapping, others point to fixture wire sizing to allow them to do it. I have rejected this installation in both cases as it is my understanding that the weakest link in the circuit needs to be the OCPD (Over Current Protective Device). They often state that the light is only using half an amp etc. and they are they correct?

Reference 210.19(A)(4) Exception No.1 (b) and 410.117. No, the contractor is incorrect to install a 14 AWG conductor from the switch to the luminaire on a 20 amp circuit. 210.19(A)(4) Exception No.1(b) allows the 14 AWG to be used as long as it applies to 410.117 (410.67 prior to the 2008 NEC). 410.117 allows for only 1 foot of tap conductors to be used before terminating into an outlet box. The Tap Conductors shall be installed in a suitable raceway. If Type AC or Type MC Cable is being used then it is allowed to be between a minimum of 18â€

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I found this here...

http://iaei-western.org/Files/2008/2008 ... el_Q&A.doc

8. I have several electricians who have been using 14 AWG conductors from a switch to a light on a 20 amp circuit. Some cite tapping, others point to fixture wire sizing to allow them to do it. I have rejected this installation in both cases as it is my understanding that the weakest link in the circuit needs to be the OCPD (Over Current Protective Device). They often state that the light is only using half an amp etc. and they are they correct?

Reference 210.19(A)(4) Exception No.1 (b) and 410.117. No, the contractor is incorrect to install a 14 AWG conductor from the switch to the luminaire on a 20 amp circuit. 210.19(A)(4) Exception No.1(b) allows the 14 AWG to be used as long as it applies to 410.117 (410.67 prior to the 2008 NEC). 410.117 allows for only 1 foot of tap conductors to be used before terminating into an outlet box. The Tap Conductors shall be installed in a suitable raceway. If Type AC or Type MC Cable is being used then it is allowed to be between a minimum of 18â€

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I'm not disagreeing with you. I don't think you got it.

Ask this question three times fast.

How many taps could a wire tap tap if a wire tap could tap taps?

Then answer it three times fast.

It'd tap all the taps that a tap could tap if a tap really could tap taps.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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