Anyways, I have heard the 12 vs 14 stuff from electicians who sub for me and it is the same thing as the stuff I hear from plumbers who sub for me and run gas lines who want to go down to 1/2 inch pipe as fast as possible when I tell them I want it 3/4s. The same excuse is that 1/2 will be fine, which I answer "yeah for this application, but you dead end the homeowner from ever doing anything else. See that fireplace over there? One day he might want to turn it into gas and with this 3/4 instead of 1/2 line running by here all he has to do is tap into this line you are installing, instead of tearing it all out and running 3/4 later."
12/2 gives you more leaway for later, it should be cheaper too when you are running 3 12/2s instead of 5 14/2s. The difference in materials is always negligible, its the labor that kills you.
for residential i have always used #12 romex . for two reasons-
1- before the color code people were mixing 12 and 14( i dont know why but they were)
2-its basicly easy to order and keep in stock, 20 amp br and #12.
but speedy pete is - TOTALY correct.
he said its not about money and there is where i disagree, there is no way around that. you waist money by installing #12 thats it. i understand mikes point and while i admit to adding a extra conduit or 4 squ box for future use i have never changed the wire size.
Bigger is not always better. # 12 can be a ***** to work with in tight locations. Which in todays enclosures is everywhere. Just helped my employee troubleshoot a basement room (guy who wired thought he did a great job cus it's all 12) Feeder box had 4 #12s and the wires were so stiff and bulky they were not making good connections. And yes we pulled out every opening in the circuit with smaller boxes #12 and short wires. It's nice to have an appliance thats rated at 15A to blow at 15A and not 20A.
I still use emt whenever possible and pull wiring, #12. The problem that I notice is that many seem to consider a switch or recept box the same as a junction or pull box. When this type of wiring is done it can be a bit difficult especially if you are also trying to fit a dimmer switch in there as well.
I don't see a lot of 15A circuits down here and agree that stocking predominantly one size wire/recpt reduces costs even when you use more wire (have to remember the balance of the costs).
Returning to the safety issue: With the prevelence of todays electronics, homes have just not been wired for them. I see so many circuits on the verge of overload that I'm really suprised that we are not seeing more fires. Every kids bedroom has at least 6 gang recpt. adapter, computer protector panel and A/V system. Home offices, theaters and kitchens filled with all of the new toys are straining archaic wiring. #12 buys you just a little more insurance.
From reading through all this again it sounds like there are two camps in this issue.
The end users and the people directly serving them say put in 12 guage because it solves the problem and best serve the customer, and the guys installing it are saying not to put it in because they like the easy work of installing 14 guage.
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