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I am thinking of remodeling my home. I have a bunch of 14 gauge THHN wire. A friend told me I can't use 14 gauge wire in a residential receptacle application. Has there a code change that would not allow 14 gauge wire to be used in residential receptacles?

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What size is the breaker 15 or 20 Amps? – Tester101 Nov 17 '11 at 21:46
14Gauge is only acceptable to use on lights with max 500WATT (talking about AFRICA/EU) NOt sure about the rest but should be the same. 500WATT / 220V = 2.5AMP(EU) 4.5AMP(US) - 10Guage should be used for wall plugs and 6Gauge for stoves/geysers/single heaters. – ppumkin Nov 18 '11 at 11:11
But reading the NEC guide they say 14Gauge is good with a 15AMP but not in sky rise buildings.You have to double check with your local council on this- as each region can be different. – ppumkin Nov 18 '11 at 11:19
@ppumkin US uses 120VAC for residential branch circuits. – Tester101 Nov 18 '11 at 12:41
@Tester101 not sure why i keep on saying 220VAC if its 240VAC and 110VAC instead of 120VAC ... sorry.. – ppumkin Nov 18 '11 at 16:18

To my knowledge the only recent changes dealing with residential receptacles, says that they must now be tamper resistant, and that ALL garage receptacles must be GFCI protected. There were also some changes dealing with Arc Fault breakers in NEC 2011, but I haven't read through it all yet.

Code compliance can be a fickle bitch, and the minimum code applicable for your area will depend on what your local government has chosen to follow. To my knowledge, there have been no changes that say you cannot use #14 for 15Amp receptacles. But even if there were changes, say for example in NEC 2011. Your area may still follow NEC 2008, or even NEC 2005, in which case those are the minimum standards you must follow.

The best way to know for sure, is to contact your local government to determine which standard they follow. Then do some research into that standard. Or contact a local licensed electrician, and ask.

So if I were you I would ask my friend to site some section numbers (then look them up if he actually can), or call a local master electrician.

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Our recent muti-family builds required AFCI breakers for all bedroom outlets. Keep in mind that existing construction will have the existing work grandfathered in, so all you have to worry about is areas you're renovating. Not that it's a bad thing to bring everything up to code, but that can be cost prohibitive. – BMitch Nov 18 '11 at 12:53

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