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Old 05-31-2011, 10:38 AM   #1
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extra circuits needed for expanded basement?


Hey all - we recently finished the other half of our basement. The contractor wasn't sure at the beginning whether or not "our electrical panel would be enough for the added circuits, so there might be an extra charge there". I mentioned it to the electrician when he came, and he say "naaa, you're OK. I added circuits here, here and here" pointing to previously unused spots at the bottom of the panel. So I guess some sort of bigger system wasn't needed.

We have an 8 year old fridge in great shape down there. It's med-large size. We never had power on the unfinished side where we kept that fridge, so I had always run an extension cord from the finished side.

Never had a prob.

Now, we've moved that fridge to the (old) finished side and plugged it back in. It's on the other side of the room. So not plugged into the same receptical as before.

Now - when the fridge compressor runs on occasion (I think it's the compressor) - it must suck extra power - and now my electronic devices seem to have power to them lost for just a split second. But it's enough to knock a PC off.

I'm thinking this has nothing to do with the newly finished side. The old side must have had more than one circuit - and I've now moved to the fridge to another circuit from where it was originally.

Regardless - what recourse do I have here? We really need to keep things where they are. Could I figure out what circuit the fridge is on now, and increase the size of that breaker? Is that the right way to do things?

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Old 05-31-2011, 10:46 AM   #2
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extra circuits needed for expanded basement?


You cannot just increase the breaker size. Unless the wire is oversized for the existing breaker, not likely, you would be creating a fire hazard.

Can you have a new circuit installed for the refrigerator?

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Old 05-31-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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extra circuits needed for expanded basement?


We've just drywalled, painted, and finished everything, including the area around the breaker panel (which is also having cabinets installed around it). So if running a new circuit would mean running romex from the box to a dedicated outlet for the fridge, that probably wouldn't be workable.

However, we have a finished room in my basement which is lightly used and has all the outlets on one circuit. There is an unfinished storage room and I can see the back of one of those outlets. Could I tap into that and run romex through the unfinished ceiling of the storage room? I could get the outlet close enough to the other side for the fridge.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:16 AM   #4
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extra circuits needed for expanded basement?


Let me guess. No permits, guy that wired probably not bonded & insured.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:27 AM   #5
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extra circuits needed for expanded basement?


No, everything legit. But I told them the fridge was staying where it was - and I moved it. The new work didn't touch anything on the old finished side, so they probably didn't inspect that side - and I'm probably close to overloading it.

Question - if these symptoms are happening - electircal device blips when fridge compressor kicks in - what is most likely to happen if perhaps one night I'm running even more electric in that room? Will the breaker pop? I'm sure the worst case scenario is a fire - but would you suspect the breaker would pop first?
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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extra circuits needed for expanded basement?


If it was legit you would not be having problems.

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