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going back to a new home today that the whole house is wired with 12 2 with ground nm. all switches and outlets are on 20 amp breaker. the sparky said that this builder has been doing it for some time now.have you seen or did it. sparky did say that the light fixtures were rated at 20 amp.
 

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We always use 12-2 or bigger, never 14.
 

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Me, too. One city in my area (Waxahachie) requires it (minimum #12).

I call BS on the 20 amp rated light fixtures. Perhaps he meant light switches.
 

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Always Learning
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If its what your area requires then great. Our electrician does the lighting circuits and bedrooms on 14g on 15 amp breakers. Everything else is 12g with 20 amp. If your house is split up nicely, 14g will never be a problem. Really it comes down to what your sparky wants to do.
 

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12 commercial 14 residential here.
 

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For what little residential we do, I use 12awg for everything, based on load that will use a 20amp breaker. So lighting and circuits (other than stoves, dryers, etc that use higher loads) we use 20amp breakers.

Exceptions are when we work on existing circuits that already have 15amp breakers and 14awg wiring, then we keep all those the same.
 

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I used 12/2 on everything as well, sure it's harder to bend but atleast it won't break when you do it!
Anyone who routinely breaks either 12 or 14 when wiring a house is doing something terribly wrong.
 

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.. sparky did say that the light fixtures were rated at 20 amp.
Pappagor:
Do you mention that because you had a question about the potential legality/code compliance? If you are, then no, there's not a problem wiring a lower amp lighting fixture into a 20-amp branch. Your sparky might have said that in order to assure you that they were legal, and couldn't think of a better way to express it, so he BS'd some.
 

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Though we may use a 15A breaker if we choose, all circuits with receptacles must be #12 minimum. We use #12 throughout with the exception of the smoke detector circuit which is #14 on a 15A breaker.
 

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I had a BI who used to argue/discuss that receptical circuts should be limited to 15A.....

His argument was that why do you want to pump 20A to a lamp cord that could short to a person with 20A rather than 15A or would not trip untill 20+ amp.

I guess his best argument would be #12 on a 15 breaker as far as safety is concerned.

(He did not dispute code or anything, just would argue that way.)
 

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Yep, it only takes fraction of an amp to kill you. A GFI is more likely to save your life than an overcurrent breaker.
Only difference is 15 or 20 amps may cook you, depending on how long you "stay on the grill". You'll smell like a BBQ at your (closed casket) funeral.
 
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