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I am putting electrical service to a outdoor shed and a chicken coop. I had outside service to a pool. The pool is no longer there. the wire to the pool was 12/2. I have wired the coop with 14/2 outside wire and I just dug a 18 foot ditch min of 18" deep. I was going to put the wires through the conduit, and I saw the wire coming from the house was 12/2. there is no way I can change that wire at the circuit box. can I use the 14/2 or do I need to change the shed and coop to 12/2?

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    If there is no way to change out the existing 12/2, are you at least able to change the breaker protecting it to a 15A (assuming its a 20A now)? – JPhi1618 Nov 16 '15 at 17:00
  • This question seems to have an answer here. It's about connecting 12 gauge wire to existing 14, but the idea is the same. – JPhi1618 Nov 16 '15 at 17:02
  • Keeping the 12/2 is ok. It's always OK to use larger wire than is required. Never tear out a large wire to sub a smaller one - simply run the large wire at the smaller wire's breaker value. (unless it is very, very easy to do so, and you will reuse the pulled wire and this saves money). – Harper Jun 2 at 13:19
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It's perfectly fine to use the 12/2 wire, but if it's connected to 14/2, the circuit breaker needs to be 15 amp, not 20 amp, (due to the wire size of the 14 ga wire) and should also be GFCI (not due to the wire size, due to the location/use being outside)

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