I started to remodel one of my rooms and I have had to look into the wiring, now that I'm adding outlets and switches.

I checked a wire in a room early on and it was 14/2. That's what I decided to go with for the rest of the wiring. After wiring all the new outlets and routing them to their respective existing outlets, I found that they're all 12/2. Not sure why they're all different.

The most unusual issue, the breaker they go to is a 60 amp. Yep, 60. Whole room ties into the furnace.

My question is, can I continue to run the 14/2 wiring into the 12/2 existing outlets, all on a 60 amp breaker? More surprises to come with the house. Thanks!

  • What kind of wiring do you have? Is it knob-and-tube or was it updated and when?
    – JimmyJames
    Mar 27, 2019 at 14:26
  • You might have someone with expertise investigate with you. That's an extremely odd (and dangerous) situation, and I wouldn't be surprised to find that you're mistaken. What type of furnace is it, and how are the circuits combined?
    – isherwood
    Mar 27, 2019 at 14:52
  • Honestly, this setup is so messed-up I do not believe it's even real. I mean, no offense but I think your inexperience is making it impossible for you to tell us all the details of the system. I expect there is a fuse box or subpanel somewhere in the works. Mar 27, 2019 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


Breakers have to protect the wiring. Normally that means:

  • 14 AWG wire must be on 15A breakers (or smaller, but that's the normal size in the US)
  • 12 AWG wire must be on 20A breakers (or smaller)

If you put 14 AWG or 12 AWG wire on a 60A breaker then you run the risk of an overload of the wire - e.g., 40A - having no chance of tripping the breaker before the wires overheat and your house burns down.

The minimal fix is to replace the 60A breaker with a 15A breaker. But that will severely limit your power usage. The better fix is to split the circuits onto multiple 15A (for circuits that include at least some 14 AWG wire) or 20A (for circuits that only have 12 AWG wire) breakers. If you have space in your panel then that's easy. But if you don't have space - which may be why everything was combined onto one 60A breaker in the first place, then the long-term solution is likely a new main panel. But the short-term solution may be to use the 60A breaker to feed a new subpanel. The subpanel can then split up the circuits among several 15A and/or 20A breakers. Depending on the condition of the main panel, it may make sense to install a panel that is large enough to become a new main panel. You can then move additional circuits from the main panel to the subpanel until everything is transferred and then move the service feed to the new panel, toss the original panel and bond neutral to ground in the new main panel (as a subpanel you would not bond neutral to ground).

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