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Stupid electrician!

Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,159 ******

I just discovered the fool that wired this home used 14 AWG to run power to:

The microwave

The range (which is gas, but uses a small amount of electrical power)

Two outdoor receptacles

The interior garage lights

All three exterior light fixtures

and they are all on the same 15 amp circuit. The microwave that is installed here can draw 1600W or basically 13 amps all on its own.

Who does this?!

Some will die in hot pursuit
And fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain
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Comments

  • dcon12dcon12 Member Posts: 31,929 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "stupid electrician". Don

  • mike55mike55 Member Posts: 2,830 ✭✭✭✭

    Someone with a 600 watt microwave?!

  • redneckandyredneckandy Member Posts: 9,679 ✭✭✭✭

    Must of been the same person that wired my place. I just have a 15 amp circuit in my kitchen and can only run my microwave at 90% without popping the breaker.

  • montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 57,803 ******

    14ga is very common now days. I DO NOT agree with it but I'm also not an electrician, stupid or otherwise.

    Yeah, smart move to do it right @Mr. Perfect


    I was pleasantly surprised when we bought this house. Entire house 12ga on 20 amp breakers. For most part outlets and light fixtures are separate.

  • mac10mac10 Member Posts: 2,525 ✭✭✭✭

    Might as well go 10ga 🤔

  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,159 ******
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • Toolman286Toolman286 Member Posts: 2,941 ✭✭✭✭

    Definitely not up to any code and not safe.

    Don't forget to put GFI circuits in the kitchen.

    Just reminded me of the fuse box on Green Acres.

  • William81William81 Member Posts: 24,516 ✭✭✭✭

    Sounds like an electrician with several rolls of 14 AWG he needs to use up

  • montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 57,803 ******

    Need to be able to hit both like and lol. ^^^^^^

  • waltermoewaltermoe Member Posts: 1,780 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    When I first bought are place, which is I figure 130 years old now, it only had 60 amp service and and there was power coming into the house at two locations, over the years people had there own way of wiring a house I guess. I ended up putting in 200 amp service and rewired the whole house for 20 amps using 12ga. I went a little over board and have about 30 breakers.

    The other day I was in a couple of stores and I thought I would check out to see what 12-3 wire was running cost wise, they had no 12ga. wire at all, only 14ga.

  • montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 57,803 ******
  • Ditch-RunnerDitch-Runner Member Posts: 24,365 ✭✭✭✭

    I bet he stayed at a holiday Inn express the day before doing the wiring

  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 20,833 ✭✭✭✭

    Gotta save a buck somewhere and I reckon the electricians are also gamblers playing the odds. You know popping the electrical panel switch or house fire.

  • firstharmonicfirstharmonic Member Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    That's why there are permits and inspections. And electrical codes. When I was working as a plant electrician and instrument guy I did a little side work - very little. After doing electrical work all day I didn't want to spend evenings and weekends doing more but sometimes you have to help out. I always left it up to the owner to decide if they wanted to pull a permit and schedule inspections. Surprisingly, many did. Never had any problems; once in a while the inspector would have a suggestion and I appreciated a second set of trained eyes. But they were only suggestions - different guys do things differently - and my work always passed first time. Know and follow State and Federal electrical codes. If a person can't they should get someone who can. The National Electrical Code gets its authority from the National Fire Protection Act. There's a reason for this.

  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 13,660 ✭✭✭✭

    20 Amp breakers are standard here & 12-2 Romex. Good catch

  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,149 ✭✭✭✭

    I have wired 4 houses that I built. I use nothing but 12 gauge wire throughout.


    Current code is that you have two, 20 amp circuits in the kitchen, on 12 gauge wire of course, and with 2 GFI.


    My girlfriend owns 5 nice big rental houses and I have done all kinds of electrical repairs. One big ranch style house was just like the story in the OP, a kitchen microwave, 2 light fixtures, and 3 receptacles in the kitchen all on a single circuit with 14 gauge wire, no GFI. To make matters much worse, the dummy had installed a 20 amp breaker at the panel box, I guess the 15 amp breaker kept popping. Talk about a recipe for a house fire.


    I ran a single, 20 amp circuit for the microwave alone. That one 12 gauge wire was 115 feet long. Big house.

  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,472 ✭✭✭✭

    "all on the same 15 amp circuit"!!!

    That might be just a lil' bit of overload... Glad you found it now and not when the Fire Marshall was trying to figure out why your house burned down!

  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 8,155 ✭✭✭✭

    That sounds like the idiot plumber that did our house. Would his name be chris lovett? I've spent over $4000 fixing his screw ups.

    Joe

  • Locust ForkLocust Fork Member Posts: 31,581 ✭✭✭✭

    When we moved in this house it had a fuse box.....three breaker boxes....all in strange places. Its been an ongoing project to update things. We had plugs that didn't have grounds in one bedroom, they only had the two prongs for OLD appliances and such. We had that updated first, then got rid of the fuse box. We had to add some plugs to the kitchen...you still can't use the microwave when the toaster oven is being used, but we want to move the breaker box that is UNDER THE HOUSE first so we can update that problem. I swear....who puts a breaker box in the crawl space??? It took us forever to find it.

    LOCUST FORK CURRENT AUCTIONS: https://www.gunbroker.com/All/search?Sort=13&IncludeSellers=618902&PageSize=48 Listings added every Thursday! We do consignments, contact us at [email protected]
  • Lady Rae Lady Rae Member Posts: 1,847 ✭✭✭✭

    Sounds just like the electrician's my friend Adam gets so upset about....

    "Independence Now, Independence Forever."

    John Adams

  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,159 ******

    Holy cow! Breaker box down in a potentially wet area like a crawl space seems bad.

    This house was built in 2015, so it's not like it's that old or anything. Honestly, this is the only real issue I have run across. There is GFI protection on this circuit and the other one that serves the small kitchen. I feel lucky in that regard.

    @Bubba Jr. I don't know his name, but we can just pretend it's the same guy if it makes you feel better. :)

    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 12,055 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    Glad you caught it, Randy.

    I've seen so many things done at/to my house, I'm not incredibly surprised anymore.

    I am looking forward to addressing some issues this coming Spring.

    *My place was built in 1972, as a "Summer Getaway," for people who lived on the Coast, from what I can ascertain.

  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 13,019 ✭✭✭✭

    Agree, a fuse box in a crawl space, unbelievable, maybe their spool of wire from the pole ran short.....

  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,159 ******
    edited December 2023

    I caught it because I had installed some roof ice melt heaters and plugged them into the outside receptacle. Any time we ran the microwave when the heaters were on it was tripping the breaker. Initially, I thought it was because the microwave was dying a slow death. I went into the panel to see if I could upgrade the 15 amp breaker (thinking that might be one, easy solution) and no dice, since the circuit uses 14 AWG. I then tried to figure out what all was on that circuit and couldn't believe what they had lumped together. I am going to have to run a new electrical line in my attic. I just had additional insulation blown in all my attic space including above the attached garage where my panel is, so I am not super excited about being up there to do that, but it is what it is, I guess. I am not going to live with this. And knowing that I can do it myself makes me too cheap to hire it out.

    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 13,185 ******

    A house I once owned also had a fuse box. Built in 1950 and had 60 amp service before I upgraded everything. The scariest thing I found was a copper penny under one of the fuses!

  • Locust ForkLocust Fork Member Posts: 31,581 ✭✭✭✭

    This place was built in the 50s....then a second story was added to the house in the 70s. So, you can imagine what craziness we've got going on here. The weirdness isn't limited to the electrical nonsense. We've got two large closets in one room that both have windows in them. The room is huge......two small windows on the right end of the room....then, no windows along the longest wall....and BOOM, two closets with windows in them. If this place was in New York I could rent those closets out as apartments.

    There is also an entire set of ductwork and vents that are not connected to anything.....I'm guessing they planned to run one A/C and tried to tie the downstairs into what was built on when they added the upstairs. So, when that wouldn't work they put ductwork in the attic and added vents to the ceiling.

    The house is not as bad as I'm making it seem....we're lucky to have what we have and its built better than most with lots of character, it just has a few crazy features.

    LOCUST FORK CURRENT AUCTIONS: https://www.gunbroker.com/All/search?Sort=13&IncludeSellers=618902&PageSize=48 Listings added every Thursday! We do consignments, contact us at [email protected]
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,663 ✭✭✭✭

    I have seven duplex receptacles in my kitchen. All on separate 20 amp breakers with 12 ga wire and 20 amp rated receptacles. Kitchen fires are a real danger if not wired correctly.

  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,149 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    "I have seven duplex receptacles in my kitchen. All on separate 20 amp breakers with 12 ga wire and 20 amp rated receptacles. Kitchen fires are a real danger if not wired correctly."


    Seven receptacles, each on its own 20 amp breaker. And I assume each on a GFI?

    Good God. That is triple what is mandated by the National Electric Code. Did you wire that, bpost?

  • Butchdog3Butchdog3 Member Posts: 599 ✭✭✭✭

    And then there was the auto bubba mechanic that used a 22 lr round for a old timey auto fuse.

    I think he might now be short a full set of jewels.

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,685 ✭✭✭✭

    If it didn't trip the 15 amp breaker probably wasn't a big overload for 14 ga wire.

    I'm not saying this was right or a good idea but unless you had experienced frequent breaker trips, you weren't in dangerous territory.

    We're in the process of wiring the new shop building and Son is (IMHO) going way overboard with his wiring sizing. I've lived in a house wired like the typical 1950's skinflint fashion for over 40 years and just know to be conservative with power demands.

  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,159 ******
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,685 ✭✭✭✭

    "It was frequently tripping the breaker."

    OK now that's a problem that requires attention.

  • 62vld204262vld2042 Member Posts: 933 ✭✭✭✭

    A clamp-on ammeter may help determining what's going on.....and when.

    Years ago I had problems with a dieing GFI breaker.

    Dang women......and their hairdryers!! There's a reason they're limited to 1850 watts.😖

  • cbxjeffcbxjeff Member Posts: 17,382 ✭✭✭✭

    I bought a 90 year old single story farm house for my son back in 2013. It basically was in good shape and he spend a lot of his time and my money to make great interior improvements. The fuse box had upgraded to a modern breaker box and the knob & tube been replaced but unfortunately with 2 wire cable. I worked with a guy that was the company electrician and he installed all new gfi (?) type breakers and receptacles that accept 3 prong plugs. Those breakers were a lot more than regular breakers but the cost of rewiring the whole house would been terrible. I asked others about that fix and was told that I'm OK.

    It's too late for me, save yourself.
  • cbxjeffcbxjeff Member Posts: 17,382 ✭✭✭✭

    That's pretty harsh decon12. Sure, he did some unusual wiring but above all you can bet he was woke.

    It's too late for me, save yourself.
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,685 ✭✭✭✭

    GFI breakers/outlets have their place but are a PITA for general use. After a while, they acquire a mind of their own and trip w/o any real cause.

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