14 Gauge Wire w/50A Breaker!

Yep, nothing wrong here! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: Hey, at least they labeled with red tape to ID the hazard.



You’re correct that it’s wrong but just out of curiosity what was it feeding?

Possibly marked from a prior inspection and never corrected maybe?

Good find on the 50A.
And, is that a rare sighting of a double tap breaker, with only a single tap?

Looks like someone flagged it and turned it off.

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Got a little variety of breaker types as well.

Homeowner special David, no doubt.


Like Robert mentioned above, I wonder what it is feeding, and hope it don’t get turned on.

Just like putting a penny behind a fuse that keeps blowing.

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Welder outlet about a foot from the panel… at least the fire will be somewhat isolated :slight_smile:

What kind of welder would run on 14/2 w/ ground wire?

None, for very long anyway.

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Overcurrent protection for welders follow different sizing rules than regular branch circuits. Duty cycle will also affect the sizing.

All I know is that a 225-amp Lincoln welder would not run long on 14/2 wire before melt down occurs. LOL

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What kind of receptacle was the welder on? There are lots of different welding receptacle configurations usually called out to match the manufacturer’s requirements and a supplied plug, but this would be one of the more common I would expect to see in a residential setting:


What its actually wired to might be cringeworthy all on its own, but if it has a proper 50A 250V receptacle then you have another specific point to cite with regard to the undersized conductor narrative.

It’s always best to size welder circuits and wiring based on the input current requirements of the welder. For example, 240-volt, 40- to 50-input amp welders will require a 50-amp circuit breaker and 6-gauge wiring. Welders operating at 30 to 40 input amps require a 40-amp breaker and 8-gauge wire. Small welders operating below 30 input amps can use 10-gauge wire with a 30-amp circuit breaker.

Taken from here; https://www.hunker.com/13414269/what-size-wire-is-needed-for-a-welder

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Best practice and what the code allows are two different things. The NEC allows overcurrent protection at 200% of a conductor ampacity. There is the duty cycle adjustment to be factor also.

The Hunker article also has other errors.

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That doesn’t matter. The breaker protects the wiring. 14 gauge is rated for 15amps per NEC. Sure, there is a small buffer…maybe the 14 gauge can handle let’s say 20amps? The wire will melt and catch fire if a continuous 40 amp load is realized. The breaker won’t trip until it senses 50 amps, give or take.

It absolutely does matter. If it wasn’t safe the rule would not allow the protection to be so high.

Code is clear. 14 gauge wire must be protected by a 15A breaker no more. However would it actually melt if you were a mythbusters type and tried to overload it? Different question.

It’s a heat temperature thing. The current generates heat, which will melt the insulation at 80 to 200C, long before the copper melts.