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Old 05-04-2010, 11:42 AM   #1
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HA! Breaker setup, also a few questions.


So last night I cracked a Miller Lite, took a sip, parked my fiance in the kitchen w/ a notepad and started running around flipping breakers and testing outlets etc.

My house is from 1930 and the panel in the basement is a 100amp panel. I've been dreaming of having it replaced and I believe my findings last night reinforce that I ... aeehmmnn.... really ought to.

Here is how my house is wired:

The "Normal":
Only one 240 breaker - Dryer (I have a gas furnace/water heater)
Furnace is on a 15amp breaker
Stove is on a 20
washing machine on it's own 15
outlet for extra freezer on it's own 15


The "Funny but not crazy"
3 20 amp breakers for the garage:
1: ceiling light & one row of outlets
2: 2nd row of outlets
3: 3rd row of outlets

1 15 amp breaker for the kitchen lights (3 diff ones)

Here's where it gets iffy:

1 15 amp breaker for an entire wall of kitchen outlets (currently hooked up to the fridge/mirowave, as well as one in the dining room (opposite side of wall with nothing plugged into it)

1 15 amp breaker for the REST of the kitchen outlets (all the outlets on the counter)

1 15 amp breaker for all the basement lights AS WELL as the lights/outlets in the den and the bathroom/closet off the den.

1 15 amp breaker for the ENTIRE upstairs of the house. That means Hallway lights, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom w/ a gfci outlet

If I imagine myself in 1930 it would probably be plenty, but not so much nowadays. What really bothers me is that someone re-did that bathroom and full well knew that the entire upstairs of the house was left one one breaker.......

Also, as new as I am to this - I thought the kitchen outlets were suppposed to be 20 amp?

Anyways, just wanted to share. Guess I got some planning to do.

Basement/Den/Downstairs bath should be 3 circuits and not 1
I'd like the fridge on it's own even though technically it's nequired.
Obviously the upstairs should be split. I'm thinking 3 there as well, one for each bedroom & one for the bath.

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Old 05-04-2010, 12:00 PM   #2
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HA! Breaker setup, also a few questions.


It can be expensive to upgrade to 200a
Decision should be based on whole house calculation
Attached is Excel spread sheet for whole house calc

My last house I had gas HW, cooking, dryer & heat, so 100a was enough
I had a 30a 24k AC & a 50a hot tub (used a lot)

Kitchen by currect code requires (2) 20a counter circuits

For lighting circuits I add up all the wattage lights that are on a circuit
I fill a lighting circuit to 100% capacity of the breaker
Attached Files
File Type: zip Electrical_Load_Calculator blank97.zip (7.1 KB, 12 views)

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Old 05-04-2010, 03:51 PM   #3
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HA! Breaker setup, also a few questions.


That's a good point Dave. I guess I just got a little overzealous and tempted to tear the whole thing out ....

The 100Amp panel does have 4 empty slots at the bottom so if I crunch the numbers and 200 amp ends up not being required Hopefully I could just separate out the upstairs /kitchen etc. on some extra circuits.


Thanks.


EDIT:

By the way, donesn't it seem kinda strange that there is THAT much amperage allocated to the garage?

Unless the person who built the house had some sort of workshop out there - or is it because it's a separate structure?

Last edited by CoconutPete; 05-04-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:57 PM   #4
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HA! Breaker setup, also a few questions.


The garage is a seperate building & has 3 20a circuits ?
That's nice, but don't touch that, not allowed any more
It must be a single circuit or a MWBC
Anything more then that & it must be a sub-panel
Lights on one circuit plus some outlets for light use
Then 2 more circuits for tools etc
I will probably have at least 4 circuits in my attached garage

If you have a 100a panel & the service is enough
You could add a sub-panel off of it for more breaker spaces
I actually have a 100a sub 3' to the left of my 200a Main panel
The only reason is for more breaker space
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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HA! Breaker setup, also a few questions.


Quote:
For lighting circuits I add up all the wattage lights that are on a circuit
I fill a lighting circuit to 100% capacity of the breaker
I think it bears mentioning that you should add up the maximum wattage allowed by each fixture. You may lamp it with 50 w bulbs, but if it allows for 75 and the next guy does it.....
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:19 PM   #6
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HA! Breaker setup, also a few questions.


I use almost all CFL's
Someone wants to use mostly incandescents in my house they may need to split some lights off to new breakers
I used the new energy guidelines that state incandescents must use 30% less power as a starting point

With the the right trim in most of the can lights they will accept 150w bulbs
I'm not going to account for some person in the future installing a 150w bulb
The heaviest circuit has ~1250w of lights on a 15a circuit
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:26 PM   #7
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HA! Breaker setup, also a few questions.


Well, the bright side is that there's more than enough Juice in the garage than I'll need for a good while so i'm leaving that alone.

At the very least I'd like to have the upstairs separated out. According to that sheet it seems 100amp is fine and with 4 empty slots at the bottom of the panel I might just be off hunting for breakers that fit the panel.

I'm just not feeling that good about adding a window air conditioner to the upstairs with the entire schebang connected to 1 15 amp breaker.

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