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sailho

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A friendly homeowner PSA...

 

If your home or getaway pad is;

 

- located in a salt air environment,

- is old with wiring/receptacles/switches as old,

- or both

 

Do yourself a favor and check all of your receptacles and switches, or have someone do it for you. You may be "shocked" to see the potential fire risk lurking behind the faceplate... I know I was !

 

Sparky...

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Many of the beach houses here have moved the fuse pannel to an inside location... there have been a few fires due to corrosion..

 

Regarding the wiring, there really should be any issue if the house is using the modern (1960 and on copper wire) unless of course you pushing 20 amps through a 14 gage wire... We have most our circuts on 5 and 10 AMP breakers...

 

All the same, thanks for the PSA

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At a friends beach house, her bathroom light, closet light, no go but all of the receptacles in the room worked. Adjacent room nothing works and discover this entire load along with a living room ceiling fan and loft light all the same circuit (15A). Through a couple of days of troubleshooting, tightening connections, replacing receptacles/switches, checking bus connections in the main panel, I finally gave in to an electrician.

 

He was there about ten minutes, shock some switches, went into the working room tapped on a receptacle with his pliers watched a test light flicker, replaced the receptacle, which had burn marks, corrosion, etc. This happened to be the first receptacle in the room before the power feed went into the other room, which was a receptacle hidden behind furniture and not used. Based on what he found he recommended I change out the rest of the receptacles in the room. Which I did and all that were on the same wall (ocean facing) were in worse shape than the first, a couple with the wires snapping off without loosening the terminal screws.

 

He told me he has visited many a house in the area and found the same fire potential in receptacle's and switches, especially the older homes.

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14 awg is good for 20 amps. I would use 12 tho.

 

In an ocean environment all terminations should have penetrox on them to prevent corrosion.you can also liquid tape the connections to keep them moisture free. Use commercial grade devices for longer life. There is a huge difference between residential and commercial grade. Worth the extra money.

 

The biggest thing would be I bet the houses were built with no vapour barriers which would allow moisture to flow freely into the outlet. Plastic wraps and tuc tape goes a long way.

 

In general, you can have 12 lights, 8 receptacles, or a combination of 10 on a single circuit. Code may have changed that, but that is a good guideline.

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There was one receptacle in my band practice room that I didn't re-wire when I renovated - the plug had already been replaced. I should have known better. Guess which one caused my bass amp metal chassis to go live!

 

I went out and bought a circuit tester the next day. Buy one or borrow one and check your circuits folks...

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Just a friendly PSA...

 

NFPA section 240-6 Standard Ampere Ratings (a) Fuses and Trip Circuit Breakers.

 

"The standard ampere rating for fuses and inverse time circuit breakers shall be considered 15, 20, 25, 30A", etc...

 

If you have a 5 or 10A breaker, keep them because they will never be made again!

 

As for using #14 AWG with a 20A breaker, don't do it in the greater 50 (15A breaker or fuse is allowable)...

 

Check table 310-16 in the NFPA.

 

Sure you could use #14 on a 20A breaker or fuse and the wire should hold, but I could also bundle 2 Cat 5 cables (or 1 and put a device between it and earth or even a potato) and get 120V on a 20A switch. Not smart to even mention that it can be done. #14AWG, use a 15A over current device with #14AWG wire. (period)

 

By the way, NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Agency...

 

And don't confuse the United States Code with the Canadian Code, there sounds like there is a difference.

 

PSA over, be safe people...

 

FD

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Like I said, it's in the code that 14 can do 20 amps, but I wouldn't do it. Table 2 of the cec. In fact, 90 degree rated #14 is good for 25 amps. Even abyc or some other alphabet boat standard allows 20 amps on 14, and 15 amps on 16.

 

Breaker rating is to protect the wire, not the device.

 

A quick check of the NEC shows the same ratings. The tables are almost identical

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A good rule when Using the NEC tables use the 60 degree ratings to 100 amps and the 75 degree up from there. While the wire insulation can handle the higher temperature the devices at either end of the circuit typically aren't rated as high and the you are limited by the lowest rated component.

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No no no. Why would you even try and over think this.

10ga awg=30 amp breaker.

12ga awg= 20 amp breaker.

14ga awg =15 amp breaker.

Very simple, match the breaker to the wire size, not the loads= no fires.

Try running 25 amps through 14ga for 24 hours and tell us how hot the wire gets....then throw in some low voltage on your dock, or a failing electric motor...and poof.

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No no no. Why would you even try and over think this.

10ga awg=30 amp breaker.

12ga awg= 20 amp breaker.

14ga awg =15 amp breaker.

Very simple, match the breaker to the wire size, not the loads= no fires.

Try running 25 amps through 14ga for 24 hours and tell us how hot the wire gets....then throw in some low voltage on your dock, or a failing electric motor...and poof.

 

I was told by the electrician I worked for one summer never push 20 amps through a 14 gage... and as a safety precaution never have more than a 10 amp breaker…on a 14 gauge circuit. When we wired a new house that summer everything that was below the chest was 12 gauge with things like heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and such were on their own circuit, and above the chest was 14.

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No no no. Why would you even try and over think this.

10ga awg=30 amp breaker.

12ga awg= 20 amp breaker.

14ga awg =15 amp breaker.

Very simple, match the breaker to the wire size, not the loads= no fires.

Try running 25 amps through 14ga for 24 hours and tell us how hot the wire gets....then throw in some low voltage on your dock, or a failing electric motor...and poof.

+1. I'll confess to using additional breakers downstream to protect a device vs. the wire, but that's in industrial applications. In a perfect world, Home Depot wouldn't sell breakers to customers without a two question aptitude test.

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14 awg is good for 20 amps. I would use 12 tho.

 

In an ocean environment all terminations should have penetrox on them to prevent corrosion.you can also liquid tape the connections to keep them moisture free. Use commercial grade devices for longer life. There is a huge difference between residential and commercial grade. Worth the extra money.

 

The biggest thing would be I bet the houses were built with no vapour barriers which would allow moisture to flow freely into the outlet. Plastic wraps and tuc tape goes a long way.

 

In general, you can have 12 lights, 8 receptacles, or a combination of 10 on a single circuit. Code may have changed that, but that is a good guideline.

not according to the NEC. open air but not in romex as far as over current protection.

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And don't forget to add the ambient temperature correction factor in all your ratings...

 

For example, here in Phoenix AZ, a #14 AWG THHN is rated at 25A in the 90 degree column (don't look at the obelisk next to it that states "shall not exceed 15A for #14") and the add the temperature correction, 25A*.76=19A.

 

All I'm saying is be safe and don't be cheap for a cost savings of $10.00 per 250' of wire...

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14 awg is good for 20 amps. I would use 12 tho.

 

In an ocean environment all terminations should have penetrox on them to prevent corrosion.you can also liquid tape the connections to keep them moisture free. Use commercial grade devices for longer life. There is a huge difference between residential and commercial grade. Worth the extra money.

 

The biggest thing would be I bet the houses were built with no vapour barriers which would allow moisture to flow freely into the outlet. Plastic wraps and tuc tape goes a long way.

 

In general, you can have 12 lights, 8 receptacles, or a combination of 10 on a single circuit. Code may have changed that, but that is a good guideline.

not according to the NEC. open air but not in romex as far as over current protection.

 

look again. it's table 2 of the cec, and the similar table of the nec (310-16) says not more than 3 conductors in a raceway or cable.

guess what romex is?

 

single conductor 14 in free air is 35a in 90 degree insulation.

 

 

this has nothing to do with breaker sizes. it's wire ampacity. nothing more. the cec says maximum breaker size is 15a for 14awg. nec says similar.

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A good rule when Using the NEC tables use the 60 degree ratings to 100 amps and the 75 degree up from there. While the wire insulation can handle the higher temperature the devices at either end of the circuit typically aren't rated as high and the you are limited by the lowest rated component.

that's a bad rule. the temperature ratings on the wire are not ambient. the ratings are actual heat generated in the wire. they are based on a 30 degree ambient temperature. go with 90 or 105 rated wire and the insulation can handle more heat, meaning higher ampacity.

 

why try and make your permanent wiring the lowest rated component?

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No no no. Why would you even try and over think this.

10ga awg=30 amp breaker.

12ga awg= 20 amp breaker.

14ga awg =15 amp breaker.

Very simple, match the breaker to the wire size, not the loads= no fires.

Try running 25 amps through 14ga for 24 hours and tell us how hot the wire gets....then throw in some low voltage on your dock, or a failing electric motor...and poof.

this wasn't about breaker size. it's wire ampacity. no one has said under rate your protection. no one said anything about running 25 amps thru 14. 20 amps yes, which is allowed by code. as in building code, not alphabet boat "code", which is really just a guideline.

 

it also wasn't about marine applications.

 

16 gauge is routinely used in extension cords. 100' 14 gauge extension cords are considered heavy duty. most if not all your device cords are 16 gauge. they seem to do just fine.

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No no no. Why would you even try and over think this.

10ga awg=30 amp breaker.

12ga awg= 20 amp breaker.

14ga awg =15 amp breaker.

Very simple, match the breaker to the wire size, not the loads= no fires.

Try running 25 amps through 14ga for 24 hours and tell us how hot the wire gets....then throw in some low voltage on your dock, or a failing electric motor...and poof.

+1. I'll confess to using additional breakers downstream to protect a device vs. the wire, but that's in industrial applications. In a perfect world, Home Depot wouldn't sell breakers to customers without a two question aptitude test.

 

you are then doing your customers a disservice by adding cost for something that simply isn't required. a downstream breaker is ridiculous.

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No no no. Why would you even try and over think this.

10ga awg=30 amp breaker.

12ga awg= 20 amp breaker.

14ga awg =15 amp breaker.

Very simple, match the breaker to the wire size, not the loads= no fires.

Try running 25 amps through 14ga for 24 hours and tell us how hot the wire gets....then throw in some low voltage on your dock, or a failing electric motor...and poof.

 

I was told by the electrician I worked for one summer never push 20 amps through a 14 gage... and as a safety precaution never have more than a 10 amp breaker…on a 14 gauge circuit. When we wired a new house that summer everything that was below the chest was 12 gauge with things like heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and such were on their own circuit, and above the chest was 14.

 

he's an idiot. a 10 amp breaker would cause so many nuisance trips it's not funny. breakers are designed to trip at 85% of load or 10000 amps instantaneous. 85% of 15 is just shy of 13 amps. inrush on a lot of devices can come close to that. instant hot water or a big coffee maker can easily top 10 amps.

 

the devices you mention are usually mandated by code to be on their own circuits. his idea of wire size based on height is simply retarded. you base wire size on required load.

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how many here are actual electricians? as in licensed industrial/commercial (gawd forbid residential too)?

 

 

none of that i sell chillers and compressors for boats so i know what i am talking about shit.

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Design and integrate multi-million dollar communications systems on aircraft and it took me and my 7-year electrical engineering degree ass three days to solve that puzzle. With the help of an electrician no less.

 

If you find a good electrician, plumber and a mechanic make sure they all stay your bestest buddies!

 

Hell, I know engineers that can't even change a tire. Common sense and a general overall knowledge of how stuff works will take you a long way!

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A good rule when Using the NEC tables use the 60 degree ratings to 100 amps and the 75 degree up from there. While the wire insulation can handle the higher temperature the devices at either end of the circuit typically aren't rated as high and the you are limited by the lowest rated component.

that's a bad rule. the temperature ratings on the wire are not ambient. the ratings are actual heat generated in the wire. they are based on a 30 degree ambient temperature. go with 90 or 105 rated wire and the insulation can handle more heat, meaning higher ampacity.

 

why try and make your permanent wiring the lowest rated component?

 

For the design side of things, it's a good rule. For standard devices they don't put 75 degree rated lugs or connections on devices until you get over 100 amperes. So, you use the 60 degree ampere ratings in the NEC table until you get up to 100 amps. We never use the 90 degree ratings unless we know everything in the system is rated for 90 degrees. In practice, it makes the electrical design a bit more conservative. Maybe a little too conservative, but that's designing to codes for you.

For install, I agree, always use the higher rated insulation, it will last longer and allow for more overcurrent cycles before it breaks down.

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