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What gauge wire for new house

Old 11-17-2019, 02:17 AM
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Default What gauge wire for new house

We’re building small cabin 24x40. We purchased most of the supplies already. The dude looking at the job yesterday said we need mostly 12 gauge wire for the receptacles and light switches. We have 14 gauge. A good friend who had a commercial electrical company ordered these supplies. He has since passed so I don’t know if he made a mistake or they gave us the wrong wire or what. I’m going to get another contractor to look at it but I thought I’d ask the THT crowd lol. Thanks
Old 11-17-2019, 02:33 AM
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While you can get by with 14, 12 is better. The cost difference is minimal. But if you already have it, use the 14. Just don’t use anything over 15 A in those receptacles.

sorry about the loss of your friend as well.
Old 11-17-2019, 03:17 AM
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It depends upon where you are. Our building code requires all circuits with multiple electrical outlets to be on 20 amp circuits, which is 12 gauge wire. You can now only use 14 gauge for dedicated lighting and dedicated single outlet lines.
Old 11-17-2019, 03:20 AM
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Yes thanks it was tragic. If the supply house will take it back I’ll switch it out. I definitely don’t like pushing the limits of wire. Thanks again on both accounts!
Old 11-17-2019, 03:29 AM
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Use the 14 for your lighting. Most lights are going to be LED's and amp draw is low.
Old 11-17-2019, 05:02 AM
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I have a friend from Ireland who winters here in Florida, and I look after his home while he is gone. His house is wired with an excessive (IMO one circuit of 14ga. is excessive) amount of 14 ga. wire. Everything was fine when the house was first built, but since changes were made the 15 amp breakers can't do the job. For example a security system was installed and now if a deer for example walks through the yard while the pump on their well is running it kicks a breaker. There are a couple other examples also. The house is all masonry and changing things are difficult. 14 ga. sucks.
Old 11-17-2019, 05:07 AM
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14 gauge is fine. 12 gauge for bathroom and kitchen with 20 amp outlets.
Old 11-17-2019, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
It depends upon where you are. Our building code requires all circuits with multiple electrical outlets to be on 20 amp circuits, which is 12 gauge wire. You can now only use 14 gauge for dedicated lighting and dedicated single outlet lines.
Not quite the case. Kitchen fridge(s) must be dedicated circuits an 12g
14g-15A circuit
12g-20A circuit
Code You need 12g for
kitchen outlets
bathroom outlets

you can definitely use the 14 for the lights.

Keep in mind almost everything has to be on a Arc fault breaker which are super sensitive. I would use 12g/20A anywhere you may plug in larger appliances or power tools like table saw or air compressor- so exterior outlets and any garage or basement.

Its a small cabin, 250’ of 12/2 is around $70. I doubt you would need more than 750-1000’ so a few hundred extra to do it right.

Old 11-17-2019, 05:13 AM
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15 amp breaker, #14 wire. 20 amp breaker, #12. If it is a permitted job, permit will tell you what to do. 15 amp is 1800 watts. How about GFI's and arc faults?
Old 11-17-2019, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bjm9818 View Post
Not quite the case. Kitchen fridge(s) must be dedicated circuits an 12g
14g-15A circuit
12g-20A circuit
Code You need 12g for
kitchen outlets
bathroom outlets

you can definitely use the 14 for the lights.

Keep in mind almost everything has to be on a Arc fault breaker which are super sensitive. I would use 12g/20A anywhere you may plug in larger appliances or power tools like table saw or air compressor- so exterior outlets and any garage or basement.

Its a small cabin, 250’ of 12/2 is around $70. I doubt you would need more than 750-1000’ so a few hundred extra to do it right.
refrigerators gotta be on GFI here..stupid in my book.
Old 11-17-2019, 05:14 AM
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12ga is a minimum IMHO. I would return the 14ga.
Old 11-17-2019, 06:00 AM
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Assuming “small cabin” means a weekend getaway that you will stay in occasionally, I would not worry about using that 14ga wire. Just as said, it needs to be on 15amp breakers. I would run 12ga dedicated run for fridge and another circuit 12ga for kitchen outlets in case you have appliances that use a lot of power.
Old 11-17-2019, 06:08 AM
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this is THT, 10 ga through out the house. don't skimp
Old 11-17-2019, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
refrigerators gotta be on GFI here..stupid in my book.
We are lucky a fridge that can not be easily unplugged in a permanently mounted spot doesn’t require a GFI or tamper resistant.

Im guessing a lot of the hacks down there stick a GFI outlet behind the SubZero to save $30 vs a GFI breaker.

I had a great electrical inspector who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. Some of the new requirements he would just shake his head at. GFI on a sub pump- his quote. “Now I need to see a GFI outlet on the Sub pump but if your not in the process of replacing it with a regular outlet by the time I get to the top step of the basement your an idiot”.
Old 11-17-2019, 06:40 AM
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If it is a 15 amp circuit, 14 ga wire. If it is a 20 amp circuit, 12 ga wire. The plan and/or breakers you have should give you a good clue as to the breakdown between the two.

If you are wiring everything from scratch, there's no reason not to use 12 ga except cost, which should be minimal. I wouldn't count on the supply house to exchange it, but you could probably sell it.

As noted above, it would make the most sense to use 14 ga for your lighting circuits only. If you really have extra 14 ga wire, run yourself some more outside light fixtures.
Old 11-17-2019, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
this is THT, 10 ga through out the house. don't skimp
And make sure the wire is transported in a 3500 Diesel Dually.
Old 11-17-2019, 06:45 AM
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OP has already said he would see if he can return the 14 and get 12 to replace it with , which is the smart thing to do.
as long as the wiring is still in its original packaging it should not be a problem getting that done.
you should be able to use 12 on a 15 amp or a 20 amp breaker with out any problems.

the 12 is a little harder to bend/wrap around the screws, but is still easily done
Old 11-17-2019, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bjm9818 View Post
Keep in mind almost everything has to be on a Arc fault breaker which are super sensitive. I would use 12g/20A anywhere you may plug in larger appliances or power tools like table saw or air compressor- so exterior outlets and any garage or basement.
Considering how often the GFi trips on my neighbor's septic lift pump, I'd want smart alarms on every frig, freezer, sump pump, furnace, anything else that is on a circuit interruptor and could cause damage if it lost power.

Reading this thread makes me grateful to live in a 30 YO house that has few GFIs.
Old 11-17-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
12ga is a minimum IMHO. I would return the 14ga.
Agree
Old 11-17-2019, 07:23 AM
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I did an addition to our house in GA. Plans called out 12 GA throughout, 20 amp breakers, etc. Contractor had it wired by sub w/o looking at the plans. Made them tear out all the 14 GA, receptacles and breakers. Sometimes they learn.

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