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fgarriel
Senior Member

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  06:01:42 AM  Show Profile  Send fgarriel an AOL message  Reply with Quote
So I have to pull new wire for the fixtures I'm putting in. They'll be connected to Insteon switches. I only need 12/2, right? I'm not really sure what 12/3 is used for.

Expanding my INSTEON / HA from 1 room & 2 switches to 1 floor and 10 switches

fgarriel
Senior Member

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  06:13:52 AM  Show Profile  Send fgarriel an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Nevermind. I think I figured it out. 12/3 is for 220v

Expanding my INSTEON / HA from 1 room & 2 switches to 1 floor and 10 switches
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Sub-Routine
Advanced Member

USA
1202 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  06:19:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Sub-Routine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
12/3 is used for hot/load/neutral. If you think you might ever add a ceiling fan you need the 12/3.

Rand
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dan_kitchen
Average Member

77 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  06:32:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
actually in Quebec most wiring is done with 14/2 or 14/3
that enough for lights & wall outlets(15 amp breakers).
Baseboard heaters require 12 gauge wire (12/2).
The first number is the size (gauge) of the cable the other # is the qty of wires 14/2 = 14 gauge with 2 wires (never counting the bare wire for ground). If you installed a 3-way light (top & bottom of stairs switch to control 1 light) you would most likely use 14/3 (that is if you did not go with insteon but with "normal" wiring).

Dan
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mteator
Senior Member

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  07:13:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fgarriel

Nevermind. I think I figured it out. 12/3 is for 220v



There's nothing about 12/3 that makes it "for 220v". That's incorrect information.

~Michael
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Gordon McAlister
New Member

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  08:02:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Gordon McAlister's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm Not an electrician, just a weekend warrior, building a Log home in VT, that pretends he's one. From my experience most lighting circuits would be 14/2 or 14/3 guage wire on a 15 amp breaker as lighting loads are usually not that high. 12 guage should (must) be used on 20 amp circuits (such as kitchen or bath GFCI ouitlets & lights, where appliances will draw greater amps, or very, very long runs of 15 amp circuits where a voltage drop could happen due to the wires resistance. 30 Amp requires 10 guage wire. 12/2 or 14/2 can be used for either 110/120V lines (Hot/Neutral/Ground) or 220/240V lines (Hot/Hot/Ground). 14/3 and 12/3 are usually used for either fan/light circuits where you need 2 hots off of 2 switches (1 hot for fan, 1 hot for lights, 1 neutral, 1 ground wire. The switch feed from the breaker is usually just 14/2 hot/neutral/ground, and then 14/3 to the fan/fixture), or in a 3 way or 4 way switched light circuit (switches at the top & bottom of stairs, controlling the same light fixture, for example) where you need 1 Hot (black) 1 Neutral (white) 1 ground (green or bare copper) and 1 Traveler (red wire) to interconnect your master and slave switches together. But that's just my experience, always check your local codes, and if in doubt CALL AN ELECTRICIAN!!!! There are also a bunch of good books out there that will explain this stuff both Readers Digest and Black & Decker put out books on basic electrical installation (check your local Home Depot book rack).
Regards
Gordon McAlister
Check out our Log Home at www.ottersrun.com
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fgarriel
Senior Member

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  08:59:11 AM  Show Profile  Send fgarriel an AOL message  Reply with Quote
ok, thanks. Obviously I'm not the electrician in this situation. It's my house and I'm working with someone qualified to do this... I'm just trying to get together all the materials so that I can reduce the number of times I'm actually going to Home Depot / Lowes :)

Expanding my INSTEON / HA from 1 room & 2 switches to 1 floor and 10 switches
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matthunter
Average Member

140 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  11:15:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gordon is right on. One exception (rare) is that 12/3 can be used for 240V circuits that require a neutral hot/hot/neutral/ground.
Most lighting circuits are 14 guage. But your breaker is king here 15A=14AWG, 20A=12AWG, 30A=10AWG (but if you're running an AC 30A=8AWG).

Matt
220, 221 whatever it takes!
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msimpy
Average Member

120 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  11:21:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gordon McAlister

I'm Not an electrician, just a weekend warrior, building a Log home in VT, that pretends he's one. From my experience most lighting circuits would be 14/2 or 14/3 guage wire on a 15 amp breaker as lighting loads are usually not that high. 12 guage should (must) be used on 20 amp circuits (such as kitchen or bath GFCI ouitlets & lights, where appliances will draw greater amps, or very, very long runs of 15 amp circuits where a voltage drop could happen due to the wires resistance.


Just a thought...a few years back I bought a big old farmhouse (1820's), and over a 3 year period totally gutted and rebuilt it (post and beam construction...hand hewn) and did mostly everything myself. I actually found a retired electrician who for a minimal fee helped me plan the layout, then came in at regular intervals to check everything and ensure code compliance. His # 1 piece of advice...always try to think ahead and whereever possible put each circuit for each room on it's own breaker cause you never know!! So, I pulled 12g for every single lighting circuit on the premise that at some point I may need to hang a receptacle somewhere and using an existing lighting circuit might simplify matters and could be achieved simply by swapping 15A breaker to 20A....and that's exactly what happened. Yeah...I know 14g is a little easier to work with but there's nothing like giving yourself some options. Incidentally, the situation was installing a flatpanel TV on a wall where there was a bathroom wall fixture on the other side.
Just my few cents!!

Incidentally Gordon...I read the bridge novel!! Any pictures of the actual house?

Mike S.
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matthunter
Average Member

140 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  11:48:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can put outlets on 15A circuit no problem. An outlet that has two vertical pins plus ground is rated at 15A. An outlet that has one vertical pin and one horizontal pin plus ground (found on window AC units) is rated for 20A. There is no problem putting a 15A outlet on a 20A circuit, just don't do the reverse.

Most new houses only have 15A circuits except to dishwasher, etc. It's cheaper (but not better).. :-(

Matt
220, 221 whatever it takes!
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msimpy
Average Member

120 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  12:06:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by matthunter

You can put outlets on 15A circuit no problem. An outlet that has two vertical pins plus ground is rated at 15A. An outlet that has one vertical pin and one horizontal pin plus ground (found on window AC units) is rated for 20A. There is no problem putting a 15A outlet on a 20A circuit, just don't do the reverse.

Most new houses only have 15A circuits except to dishwasher, etc. It's cheaper (but not better).. :-(



Deleted...

Mike S.

Edited by - msimpy on 02/02/2007 12:09:08 PM
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mteator
Senior Member

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  12:27:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
There is no problem putting a 15A outlet on a 20A circuit, just don't do the reverse.


Depends on where you live. Legal under the NEC codes in the US, but Canadian codes don't allow it.

~Michael
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cmhardwick
Senior Member

377 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  12:51:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit cmhardwick's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You're kidding, the outlet amperage has to match the ciruit? Don't see a need for requiring it to MATCH as long as it doesn't exceed. Oh well, SOMEONE has to make a bunch of rules up so someone else can earn a living enforcing them hehehe

Cicero
New to home auto and driving my wife CRAZY!! (well, not new to driving her crazy, but you know what I mean)
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geogecko
Average Member

USA
162 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2007 :  3:39:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by matthunter

You can put outlets on 15A circuit no problem. An outlet that has two vertical pins plus ground is rated at 15A. An outlet that has one vertical pin and one horizontal pin plus ground (found on window AC units) is rated for 20A. There is no problem putting a 15A outlet on a 20A circuit, just don't do the reverse.

Most new houses only have 15A circuits except to dishwasher, etc. It's cheaper (but not better).. :-(



Just don't pull 19.9A through a 15A plug! =)

-Jason
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Gordon McAlister
New Member

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2007 :  06:16:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Gordon McAlister's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oops, sorry Matt, forgot about the rare 12/3 - 220/24OV lines when you need a neutral. The only circuits I've run into (so far) where 220/240v needed a neutral were dryer and range circuits, and in those situations we needed 8/3 (8 guage wire) for the dryer load and 6/3 (6 guage wire) for the range load. If you think 10 gauge, or 12 guage wire is tough to work with, try 8 or 6 it's a b1tc#, that fights you all the way, like wrestling with a ticked off python.

Mike, where's your Farmhouse? We have a ton of those beautiful structures,up in Central VT. As far as photos of the Log home, the web site is very deep and there are links all over the place to go to expanded sections (you'll need to completely waste a lot of time to see everything on the site). To see pixs of the house go to the "Exterior page" http://www.ottersrun.com/page14.html near the bottom is a link to the homes exterior as it is being built (there are mini movies, of the logs being installed, there's also mini movies in the foundation section of the "Superior walls" foundation being installed). The "Interior page" shows some of the inside work being done (haven't updated the web site in a long time, as I've been to busy building these days). There's a section showing us installing our radiant heat system that will be controlled by RCS TXB 16 (x10) thermostats. The whole house is wired for automation, (inside and outside), networks, wholehouse A/V, 2 home theaters. X10, Internet, and IR control, of lighting, skylights, heating, security systems, Video Cams, A/V, Blinds/curtains, Video screens, everything! Here's a link from the interior section to the automated tour of the exterior and interior of the house at the pre-finish stage (weather tight LOG shell) http://www.ottersrun.com/page56.html . The project has been 6 years in the making, and we don't expect to finish it for another 4 years. We are doing everything ourselves, working every weekend, holiday, and vacation, and loving every moment!
Regards
Gordon
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mteator
Senior Member

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2007 :  08:03:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There's no such thing as a 240v line that needs a neutral. What you've come across is a device such as a drier or a range that needs both 120v and 240v service. The third conductor is the neutral for 120V.

On a range the clock/displayh needs 120v, and in a drier the blower is often 120v.

~Michael
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matthunter
Average Member

140 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2007 :  11:27:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by geogecko

quote:
Originally posted by matthunter

You can put outlets on 15A circuit no problem. An outlet that has two vertical pins plus ground is rated at 15A. An outlet that has one vertical pin and one horizontal pin plus ground (found on window AC units) is rated for 20A. There is no problem putting a 15A outlet on a 20A circuit, just don't do the reverse.

Most new houses only have 15A circuits except to dishwasher, etc. It's cheaper (but not better).. :-(



Just don't pull 19.9A through a 15A plug! =)



A plug rated for 15A will not melt at 19.9A, in fact it has nothing to do with the amount of metal in the plug itself. It all has to do with the circuit breaker on the line side of the plug, and the air conditioner (that must have 20A) plugged in.
Each different plug type is a way of preventing a user from plugging a large current device into a lower current plug (which is really a lower current circuit breaker). At least in the US.


Matt
220, 221 whatever it takes!
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