Need quick electric help

Employee has a 240V, 2-pole, 20A breaker with 8 AWG to it. Different employee out in the boondocks has our NEC. For some reason it just doesn’t sound right. Is it?

#8 CU is rated up to 40 amps. Not a problem.

Thanks, Jeff.

I’m always available by phone as well Russ. . .

I know. And you’re the first one I thought of. However, I’m not quite up to snuff finding things on the new Message Board, and I’m not in the office. I’m at my CPA’s office and while he’s playing with numbers, I’m playing with the Internet.

Employee 002 is at the inspection with Client acting like a new puppy and with said Client asking why just the one breaker had the larger wire going to it. Employee 002 called me. I told him to call employee 007 since I knew 007 had the NEC. 007’s out in the boondocks, though, (probably playing in the snow and having a Julian apple margarita), where our cell phones don’t work. My only quick option was to hope that someone like you was on the NACHI site.

I continue to believe that NACHI rocks, rolls, and rules.

Thanks again, Jeff.

Both of you are resources without equal and the reason I read daily…


very nice

I Knew It!

There is no problem per se with using a larger wire than is required for the breaker, but keep in mind that most lighting circuit breaker terminals are sized to fit a #14 or #12 (or possibly a #10 if using AL). I have seen difficulties arise when a larger wire is used simply because it won’t fit correctly in the terminals. Square D QO breaker terminals are listed for use with #14 - #10. I am not sure about others.

2 pole 20amp ? What was this circuit for? Kind of an odd 2 pole ckt. Maybe the breaker was replaced with a smaller one. Did it used to feed a dryer or hot water htr maybe? Then the wire size would make sense. And yeah, like Paul said it’s doubtful the terminal on a 20 amp breaker would accept a #8 without some trimming.

Actually, all Square-D (QO & Homeline) 20-amp (10 through 30) breakers are rated for #14 - #8. It’s only when you double-tap them (where allowed) that it gets reduced to #10 max.

Other brands…also dunno.

2 pole 20a or even 15a is not uncommon with power tools.