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Can You Put a 25 Amp Breaker on 12 Gauge Wire?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

can you put a 25 amp breaker on 12 gauge wire

Do you plan on upgrading your 20-amp circuit breaker to 25-amps? Are you unsure if your 12-gauge wire is appropriate for this upgrade? Can you put a 25 amp breaker on 12 gauge wire?

If you want to upgrade your circuit breaker due to frequent trips, you should consider whether the wire connected to it can support the greater amp capacity. This is because every breaker has an appropriate wire size. If your breaker amperage is too big, it might not trip before the wires connected to it begin to fail.

To learn more about wiring for breakers, keep on reading.

What Size Wire for 25 Amp Breaker?


The required 25 amp breaker wire size is 10 AWG if you’re using copper wires. However, some 12-gauge electrical cables are rated for 25 amp or higher. Read the printed specification on the cable insulation to ensure its capacity.

That said, though you can use a 12-gauge wire size for 25 amp breaker, most professional electricians do not do this. They prefer 20 max amps for 12 gauge wire and use 10-gauge wire for 25 or 30 amps. That way, they are confident that the cable will withstand the heat and current passing through it even after the breaker trips.

What is the Best Solution to Prevent Circuit Overloads?

Overloading occurs when you plug too many appliances or devices into one circuit. If this happens, simply upgrading your breaker is not an ideal solution. You should upgrade the entire electrical system, including wires, breakers, and even receptacles.

While this is costlier, this is also safer, ensuring you avoid electrical accidents or issues. Furthermore, you should follow various electrical standards and regulations so that your house is considered safe for habitation.

If you do not have an empty slot in your breaker panel, you can install an extension panel to add more circuits to your home.

Note: Please remember that if you are not familiar with electricals and planning to work with them for any reason, it is better to call a certified electrician for consultation who can do the work. This is to prevent any injury or damage to your property.


So, can you put a 25 amp breaker on 12 gauge wire? Technically, yes. As long as the wire itself supports 25 amps, which is usually printed on its cover, then you can do so. However, most professionals don’t do this for safety.

What do you think about this article? Did you find something interesting you want to apply to your electrical circuit? Let me know in the comments below!

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