Question of the week 11/16/2015

What is the minimum gage copper wire permitted on a circuit fed/protected by a 20 amp breaker?

12 gauge

at least a 12 AWG copper.

14 like it or not. Ha ha.

It depends on the type of circuit. If it’s a motor load (eg., a 2 ton condensing unit), it could be 14 AWG, provided it meets the minimum ampacity as listed on the label.

See left unit label (Correction: right label - am dyslexic I)

No motor loads or labels pertaining to question. N/Applicable

15 gauge


Well Done, John. Please allow a couple weeks for delivery of your “Now Books”

Way to go John!!!

I think there was a defect in the asking of the question. The answer “14 AWG” was the correct answer as the question was phrased. Paul was first to give the correct response. :wink:

Agreed. Paul won. I read the question and would have said 14 as well, no doubt.

I guess how a question is phrased is as important as what it is asking. I don’t think 14 gauge will be accepted but it was worth giving it a shot.

My full time electrician friend will get answer this for me, I just emailed him the original question.

Did you read the footnotes? The OP’s question references conductor sizing for OCPD. The correct answer is 12 AWG, with exceptions for motor loads and listed fixture cords.

My Buddy must be on vacation.

>I will be out of the office until November 23rd.
Please call the office if you something that needs to be taken care of before then.<

12 seemed to easy.

Trick question :mrgreen:

I agree, the question was too easy and not specific enough for a definitive answer.

Was the question posted. I posted the reference for others to read, but I’m familiar with it.

The reason I agreed with Chucks reference (and still do) is that where you and Marcel are stating Paul’s answer is incorrect as it is for exceptions/motor loads etc, we as inspectors see this during inspections for HVAC, and IMO HI’s should be aware of both.

At end of day, a HI that may be reading this thread, may have learned something new about ampacity. So I suppose it’s all good.

Heathy discussion.

I don’t really care who “won”. However, one should be cautious of too simple, too general rules as they get inspectors in trouble by calling things defects that are not defects.

Don’t fall victim to over simplified, all encompassing, rules of thumb.

Sorry that answering a simple question with a simple answer is such a big deal. Had I know Mike would get in such feedback I wouldn’t have answered the question. I guess It all depends on what the definition of “is” is. Mean while I think I’ll go put 14 gauge on my 20 amps breakers and call it a day.