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12 guage and 14 guage wire at switch box

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

Where a wall heater was removed there is a switch that now goes nowhere. At one time it controlled the power to the heater. A gas fireplace has replaced the heater. The switch has 12 guage wire coming into it on one side of the box and 14 guage going out to where the heater used to be wired in. What is the reason for 2 sizes of wire?
Thanks for sharing your knowledge

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Somebody didn't know what they were doing. Lucky the heater is gone & the house didn't burn down.
14 ga wire should only be used on 15 amp circuits; like lights & TV etc.
12 ga wire for 20 amp circuits; kitchen, refrigerator, air conditioners, heaters, any heavy load.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

So you say a gas fireplace has replaced the heater. I guess that means you aren't using the old wiring since it is gas? Might have a blower or something else wired to it? I would have an electrician look at it to make sure your house isn't fixing to catch fire.

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

Thanks Country, I suspected that might be the case. So now there are only lights on that circuit. I don't know if the whole circuit is 12 guage or not but hopefully it is okay to use larger wire than needed. Frilly, I wired an outlet where the switch was. I realized they were different size wires when the 12 guage wouldn't slide into the slot intented for 14 guage. The outlet works fine. Thanks both for your information

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