Can I Replace a 30-Amp Breaker With a 20-Amp Breaker?

While it may be technically and practically viable to install a 30-amp breaker in replacement of a 20-amp breaker, doing so is a terrible idea in most cases. That 20-amp circuit breaker was chosen and placed to safeguard the running load from harmful fault current and the wire that supplies power to the operational load and the circuit breaker.

No, do not use a 30 Amp breaker in place of a 20 Amp breaker since the wiring is most likely “sized” for a 20 Amp load, and if a 30 Amp load is utilized with wiring that was designed for a 20 Amp load, the wiring -may- overheat.

Replacing breakers with different amps can be done, but you need to know the number of amps required to replace specific breakers. To be precise, not all amp breakers can be replaced with any amount of an amp breaker. Continue scrolling down to get more information on which breakers to replace and how a 30-amp breaker should be handled.

Can I change a 30-amp breaker to a 20-amp breaker?

can I replace a 30 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker

To put it another way, if you want to substitute a 30Amp breaker with a 20Amp circuit, you can do it without using thinner wires in the process. You don’t want the cable to carry any more electricity than it can hold at this time. Nonetheless, the same line can transport significantly less voltage without causing any severe consequences.

You spend less electricity when your wire is more significant in diameter. Lastly, you can shove it into both the 20 Amp breaker and an adjacent 20 Amp outlet without any issues. However, if you don’t want to do an unplanned rain dance, turn off the breaker beforehand.

Can I change my breaker to 20 amps?

The neutral and hot wires should be inserted into the circuit breaker according to the label on the circuit breaker. If you’re installing one, the red and black hot wires will be connected to the twin pole breaker. It is important to note that there is no need to twist the end of the power cord into a hook; instead, the wire should be placed straight into the connecting terminal.

Installing a circuit breaker

Installing a circuit breaker

When it comes to home electrical work, installing circuit breakers is often the most daunting and challenging aspect. Most individuals are afraid of getting surprised and hence avoid doing it themselves. It is unnecessary to be unsafe or unduly sophisticated when placing circuit breakers into most domestic electrical panels. You may securely install a circuit breaker in your home if you are familiar with the architecture of your electrical panel and take the necessary precautions during the installation procedure.

How to change a breaker to a 20-amp breakerFunctionsEssential products
Switch the main supply offTo be safeCheck the Fuse box from Amazon.
Open the breaker panelTo help you check the inside of the breaker box1. Flathead screwdriver 
2. Insulating gloves
3. Circuit breaker 
Ensure your gauge is correctTo know what wire is best to use14-gauge wire
Release the old breakerTo replace with the new one1. Headlamp 
2. Multimeter 
3. Contactless voltmeter 
Fit the new breakerMultimeter

Step 1; Switch off the main power supply

Working with no current flowing through the fuse box panel is always safer. Before accessing the board, ensure that the main power switch is turned off.

Check the fuse box from Amazon.

Step 2; open your breaker panel

Put on insulating gloves and then use a flat head screwdriver to pry the cover off the circuit breaker panel box from its mounting bracket. Holding the cover plate in position with one hand while removing the last screw will keep the cover plate from sliding when the final screw is removed from the cover plate.

If you want to know the screwdriver I use, check the flathead screwdriver from Amazon.

Insulating gloves

Circuit breaker

Step 3; ensure that your gauge is correct

Check the wire gauge on your circuit where you wish to install a new breaker before proceeding. If you have a 14-gauge wire, often known as #14 AWG, you will be unable to use a 20-amp circuit breaker in your course.

If you choose to proceed with the change, you will need to use 12-gauge wire to substitute the branch circuit wiring that was previously installed. Installing a 20-amp circuit breaker on a 14-gauge wire will violate the National Electrical Code and constitute a serious safety hazard to your family’s safety.

The 14-gauge wire is 0.06 inches thick, whereas the 12-gauge wire is 0.08 inches thick if you’re unsure how to identify the difference between the two-wire gauges. On the outside wire sheathing, you can see the gauge wires that have been used. If you confirm the suitable wire size, you can use the new 20-Amp breaker to manage the circuit load.

Check the 14-gauge wire from Amazon.

Step 4; release your old breaker

Use your headlamp to provide additional lighting for this step, mainly if the breaker box panel is located in a dark area. Ensure that none of the cables carry any current using your multimeter or contactless volt-meter.

Undo the screws holding the cables in position on the breaker and slide them to the side, so they are out of the way. Depending on the breakers, circuit breakers are either clipped or screwed onto the circuit box panel casing.

Check the headlamp I use from Amazon


Contactless voltmeter

Step 5; fit in your new breaker

Install the new circuit breaker by clipping or screwing it into place, and then link the wires to the new breaker. After the cables have been connected, turn on the main power switch and the circuit breaker for your new device.

Test the voltage across all circuit breakers using the multimeter to determine that the voltage across the replacement breaker is the same as the voltage across the other breakers. This will tell you whether or not your replacement circuit breaker can pass the proper voltage through it.

Check the multimeter from Amazon.

Step 6; close up

Replace the cover plate on the breaker box and turn off the main’s electricity. It is safer to complete this task with the power turned off to avoid the possibility of a screwdriver slipping and touching a live wire.

Once the cover plate has been reinstalled, turn on the main breaker and check that all circuit breakers are operational, including the newly replaced one.

Can you replace a 30-amp breaker with a 15-amp breaker?

The largest breaker size for 12-gauge wire is typically 20 amps, while the largest breaker size for 14-gauge wire is 15 amps. A 30-amp breaker is far too large for a 12-gauge wire and would be dangerous. Of course, it is possible that the original breaker failed and that someone substituted it with a 15-amp breaker.

Can I replace a 30-amp breaker?

Can I replace a 30-amp breaker

Changing the 30 Amp breaker to a 40 Amp one at once will result in a fire because raising the ceiling of the amount of power carried by the wiring by one amp will cause it to overheat and short circuit.

Avoid doing this without first contacting an electrician, notably if your knowledge of electrical wiring is limited to a few basic concepts. As any electrician will tell you, Breakers are essential pieces of equipment.

They will reassure you that a circuit breaker is meant to safeguard the wiring, devices, and the user from harm.

For example, if you have a 30Amp breaker, the wiring that comes with it will be designed to carry 30 Amps. If a device causes those cables to take over 30 Amps, they will become too hot to handle. A 30Amp breaker will prevent this from happening because it will trip the point in time the circuit is overloaded, which is not a problem.

Instead of doing so, if you instantly replace the 30-amp fuse with an 80-amp fuse, you will allow the wiring to convey excess power than it was intended to carry, and the 80-amp fuse will not respond when this occurs. As long as the circuit does not exceed 40 Amps, the breaker should trip automatically.

No matter how many circuit breakers are installed in your home, your residence will burn regardless of whether or not they are operational. Because of this, you need to stop and consider whether it is even necessary to replace the circuit breaker at this point.

If this is the case, contact an electrician experienced in this type of work to replace the breaker.

Final verdict

If you can repair the wiring that connects the appliances to the circuit, you can add a 40Amp breaker without causing a fire in your home. This is one of the reasons why you should consider hiring an electrician. Even if a layperson possesses the minimal understanding required to replace a breaker in a panel, they will need assistance in replacing the wiring in the forum.

I hope this article has helped you understand whether replacing a 30-amp breaker with a 15-amp breaker is safe. You can also do extensive research from online platforms for more information on this.

About Me

This is Cody Wingfield; I’m an author and a Freaky Campers enthusiast. My three favorite activities are Cycling, Rving, and Cooking for me. OutingX is a planet of mine where I will share my exploring history, story, freaky experiment, and personally gathered experience with you.

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