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I'm putting in a 2000 watt 240volt wall heater that calls for 14gage wire with a 15 amp circuit breaker. There is an existing 12gage wire with a 20amp 240volt circuit breaker not being used. Can I just use that?

  • What make and model is your breaker panel? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 7 at 1:13
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Using 12 AWG wire for a 15A circuit is just fine. However, if the device calls specifically for a 15A breaker then you must use a 15A breaker. You can't upsize the circuit just to save a few $. That means replacing the 20A breaker with a 15A breaker. Note also that the breaker needs to be a double-breaker or a handle-tied pair of breakers, not just 2 single 15A breakers side-by-side.

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    Being a 240V-only load, a handle-tied pair would suffice, but even if you had the spare 15A breakers, running around to find a listed handle-tie would be a chore. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 6 at 23:07
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica And I just checked homedepot.com (I know your feelings about Home Depot, but it is super easy to look up stuff online) and it is typically < $2 extra for a double vs. 2 singles. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 6 at 23:17
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    Yeah, I use HD for that too. Their catalog is nice. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 7 at 0:17
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You will need to change the breaker to a 15 AMP breaker but you can use the #12 AWG wire. This is because the manufacturer has stated the requirement of a 15 AMP breaker

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  • Does the manufacturer require a dedicated circuit, though? Let's see, 2000W = 8.33A, provision to 10.416... there's room for 4.6A of more stuff. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 6 at 23:06
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Install an 11 AMP breaker... OH SNAP!! they don't make an 11 AMP breaker – JACK Jan 7 at 1:50

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