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Thread: Wire Gauge

  1. #1
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    Default Wire Gauge

    I plan on installing outdoor outlets for my display (new house). In my old house I used 12/2 wire but I am considering running 10/2 here at this house. I will be running two 15amp breakers in my panel and then two 15amp GFCI outlets outside. I know 12/2 will cover that, but in the future if I needed to upgrade the breakers to 20amp and the GFCI plugs to 20amp the 10/2 would be smarter. At least I think that would be the case. I would rather run the wire once than have to run the wire twice.

    Is 10/2 overkill?
    2016 - 32 LOR Channels - Roughly 5,000 Lights - 2 Sequenced Songs
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    2018 - 64 LOR Channels - Hoping For 10,000+ Lights - 4 or 5 Sequenced Songs

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wire Gauge

    Nope. Not overkill as long as you think you may need that much energy in a small space. I use a larger number of lower power outlets because I use a distributed power system. Different outlets for different areas in the show. If one breaker pops, the rest of the show continues to run. There is still a single point of failure for the shop PI and network but there is only so much you can do before things get silly.


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wire Gauge

    Well.... 12/2 wire IS rated for 20 amps. But, you can always go to a larger gauge if you like.
    I run nothing but 12/2, even for 15 amp circuits because I think the wire is less likely to break when working with it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wire Gauge

    I run 12/2 for the outlets I did.

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    (1)E1.31 Bridge
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    (20)P10 Panels
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wire Gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    Nope. Not overkill as long as you think you may need that much energy in a small space. I use a larger number of lower power outlets because I use a distributed power system. Different outlets for different areas in the show. If one breaker pops, the rest of the show continues to run. There is still a single point of failure for the shop PI and network but there is only so much you can do before things get silly.
    My thought with 10/2 is that if I needed the additional power I could upgrade the breakers from 15amp to 30amp and then at the outlet split off two dedicated 15amp lines. This way I would have four 15amp lines out of the same outlet box I am going to put in my siding. I am kind of limited on the areas that I can put outlets outside, as well as how I can run the wires since all areas in my house are finished.
    2016 - 32 LOR Channels - Roughly 5,000 Lights - 2 Sequenced Songs
    2017 - 64 LOR Channels - 9,373 Lights - 4 Sequenced Songs
    2018 - 64 LOR Channels - Hoping For 10,000+ Lights - 4 or 5 Sequenced Songs

    Ridgewood Lights - Facebook Page
    Ridgewood Lights - YouTube Page

    Moved Beginning Of 2018, New Display With A New Name Coming End Of 2018!


    Best Christmas Lights of 2017

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wire Gauge

    10/2 is overkill - 12/2g is actually rated for 30A (assuming 90 degree C rated) but NEC restrict use to 20A in residential installations. I would not put in the 15a breakers either - just do the 20A now with your 12/2 wire. I wouldn’t do 20gfi either. I would put 2-15A GFI per 20A breaker. You would be ready for today and the future.

    FYI: I have 5-15A GFI feeding off one 20A Breaker. I just don’t load the gfi’s up too much

    Edit: if you really think you need the 30A, then just do the 10/2g and the 30A breakers now.
    Last edited by mrGrumpy; 05-26-2018 at 09:56 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wire Gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by mrGrumpy View Post
    10/2 is overkill - 12/2g is actually rated for 30A (assuming 90 degree C rated) but NEC restrict use to 20A in residential installations. I would not put in the 15a breakers either - just do the 20A now with your 12/2 wire. I wouldn’t do 20gfi either. I would put 2-15A GFI per 20A breaker. You would be ready for today and the future.

    FYI: I have 5-15A GFI feeding off one 20A Breaker. I just don’t load the gfi’s up too much

    Edit: if you really think you need the 30A, then just do the 10/2g and the 30A breakers now.
    I currently run multiple boxes off a single 15amp GFI plug. But every year I add more and more and know eventually I will need more than two 15amp circuits. Although, I havent tested, I think my total show draw when everything is on static is probably under 15amp. Thats four 16 channel controllers and over 10,000 lights.
    2016 - 32 LOR Channels - Roughly 5,000 Lights - 2 Sequenced Songs
    2017 - 64 LOR Channels - 9,373 Lights - 4 Sequenced Songs
    2018 - 64 LOR Channels - Hoping For 10,000+ Lights - 4 or 5 Sequenced Songs

    Ridgewood Lights - Facebook Page
    Ridgewood Lights - YouTube Page

    Moved Beginning Of 2018, New Display With A New Name Coming End Of 2018!


    Best Christmas Lights of 2017

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