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Old 01-26-2010, 01:26 PM   #16
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


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I have over 100 light fixtures/bulbs in my house (counting each bulb as one) - not counting table lamps
Its not practical to wire for what someone may do
Isn't the idea of proper electrical wiring to wire to protect against what "someone may do." Otherwise you could just wire up entire floors of the house to single circuits because "I don't use more than one room at a time." What is practical, and what is best are often not the same.



I counted 96 in my house... I walked around counting while I ate my sandwich (not counting anything that plugs-in, like lamps, etc). I had no idea there were that many. Still, if I were to put in all 100w incandescent light bulbs (or 60w for the max60 fixtures in closets and hallways), I am confident that I could run all of them without popping breakers. Not that I'd want to see how fast the electric meter was spinning while trying that

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Old 01-26-2010, 01:43 PM   #17
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


You can never protect against what someone may do
Someone may decide to put 250w halogens in the garage instead of my lights
500w mercury vapor lights as outdoor lights
I was actually surprised that I had close to 100
I also walked around while eating a sandwich

Or like me they may have 125a of Christmas decorations they put up
Protecting aginst what someone may do would be no more then 18 100w fixtures on a 15a 1800w circuit
I'd need 5 dedicated lighting circuits instead of 2 (my 3rd has dining room outlets)

I have enough circuits so every light in my house can be on at the same time - including outside, basement & garage lights
50% could be upgraded to 100w incandescents & still turn them all on
With the 30% reduction required in incandescent use I coudl replace 75% with the newer lower energy incandescents & still not have a problem

Even with a party & a bunch of friends over we don't have all the lights on
So you need to balance the number of circuits against use

I have 40 MR16 LED bulbs (32 led's) that use less then 2w each - pretty bright
I will be installing the throught the house on a dedicated circuit - they run off 12.6v
So to light up most of my house I will be using less then 80w - if they are all on at the same time
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:03 PM   #18
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


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Originally Posted by hyunelan2 View Post
I counted 96 in my house... I walked around counting while I ate my sandwich (not counting anything that plugs-in, like lamps, etc).
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I was actually surprised that I had close to 100
I also walked around while eating a sandwich
You guys are lucky, counting your outlets and eating sandwiches, I'm stuck at work.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:20 PM   #19
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


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You can never protect against what someone may do...
Couldn't you say that is the purpose of the circuit breaker?
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:30 PM   #20
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


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Couldn't you say that is the purpose of the circuit breaker?
And someone could put a 20a or 30a 120v breaker on 14g wire...what then ?
Used to happen all the time when fuses were still around
Probably still happens with fuses....breakers too
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:12 PM   #21
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


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And someone could put a 20a or 30a 120v breaker on 14g wire...what then ?
Used to happen all the time when fuses were still around
Probably still happens with fuses....breakers too
First off, I was just supporting your notion of designing for the load... and when someone adds more to the load than you designed, the breaker is what protects them.

At least with breakers, MOST home owners aren't going to removing the cover off their breaker box to make that type of "circuit upgrade".
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:16 PM   #22
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


You might be surpised how many people think its OK to put a bigger breaker in
We've had a number of people ask on here if they can do that
Yes the breaker will kick off if you go over the limit

I try to go by the load, but also leave some wiggle room in case I need to change a fixture
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #23
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Garage outlets: 20A or 15A???


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
And someone could put a 20a or 30a 120v breaker on 14g wire...what then ?
Used to happen all the time when fuses were still around
Probably still happens with fuses....breakers too
yeah, when I started rewiring...I found several light circuits with 20A breakers on 14/2. In fact I have no 15A breakers in my box whatsoever. At least the plugs seem to be on 12/2. I am removing any confusion in the rewire by doing everything 12/2, except in the case of my AC and dryer circuits which are already on 10/2.

Great thread despite the fact that it has veered a bit off course. I too have the question of just how many recessed lights to put on a 20A circuit. I am unlikely to use anything other than CFL's using not much more than 15-20 watts or so, but I am worried about what some future owner might do so I am figuring @100 watts each. Good point about the mandated future lower power consumption on incandescents too.


Last edited by brons2; 01-26-2010 at 03:42 PM.
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