Electrical Wiring in the Home/Electrical wiring


I am finishing my basement and have a 20 amp breaker with 12/2 wire running to the bathroom where I have a 20-amp GFI as the first outlet in the line.

From that outlet box, I used that circuit and ran power (using 14/2) to the lights, fan/light and remaining 15 amp outlets on that same circuit.

When I turn on the breaker the GFI trips and won't reset.  I can't believe it is because I used 14/2 everywhere after the GFI or could it?

Also, does this meet code and more importantly should I be concerned about overheating?


Todays code requires a dedicated 20 amp 120 volt line to the bathroom. The code also says  this dedicated line and GFI shall serve nothing else in the house except another GFI receptacle in another bathroom some where else in the house. In other words you can't legally tap this circuit for what you want to do. You need to run a 14-2 cable back to the panel to correct this.

But lets assume for a moment you could tap this 20 amp circuit. You can not extend a 20 amp 12-2 circuit with 15 amp 14-2 cable. The size cable you start out with at the panel is what you must stick with through out the circuit. In other words you can't switch from 12-2 to 14-2 in the middle of the circuit or anywhere in the circuit for that matter. 12-2 is good for 20 amps and 14-2 is good for 15 amps. If you connect 14-2 to a 20 amp circuit it is now improperly protected at 20 amps not 15 amps.

You may have the white wire (neutral) coming in contact with the bare ground wire in a box some where which isn't hard to do when you put receptacles away in their boxes. In other words when you begin to recess the wires into the box as you put the receptacle in sometimes the bare ground will come in contact with the silver screw on the receptacle which will trip the GFI. The best way to avoid this is to neatly "pig tail" or "curl" the wires into the box and also put a wrap of plastic tape around the receptacle so the screws are covered.

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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured


Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

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