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Old 12-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #1
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


First post here. Hope to get some good advice or answers.

So here's a quick(ish?) run down...

I have a new house(May '11) that was built to the NEC 2005 code. (Unincorporated part of a city)
Can I do what I propose bellow without violating any NEC '05 codes?


Problem!

One 15a circuit supply's power to several things - my biggest issue being that the hallway duplex outlets are also tied to this same circuit. If the vacuum trips the 15a circuit(Easy to do - happened several times as is), you're left in the dark. Not something I'd want to do to either of the bathroom either!

Currently one 15a circuit supplies power to the following:
  1. 1st bathroom Lights Master - 7 lights @ 60w - 420 total
  2. 1st bathroom Fan Master - 140w
  3. 2nd bathroom Lights Sec - 3 lights @ 60w - 180 total
  4. 2nd bathroom Fan Master - 140w
  5. Hallway lights - 4 @ 60w - 240 total
  6. 2nd hallway lights - 2 @ 60w - 120 total
  7. Laundry lights - 1 @ ~100w
  8. Laundry fan - 140w
  9. Garage lights - 2 @ 60w - 120 total
  10. Dining room lights - 5 @ 60w - 300 total
  11. Attic lights - 1 @ 60w total
  12. Hallway duplex outlets
  13. Total:1960 Watts or 16.4 Amps

Solution?

What I would like to do is this...
Leave the lighting circuit intact with the exception of the duplex outlets in the hallway , the garage lights and the attic lights.

Add a new 15a (maybe 20a, but more work)circuit.

New circuit would consist of:
  1. Garage lights
  2. Attic lights
  3. Hallway duplex outlets
  4. (New) GFCI outlet in garage for additional loads(Power tools)
  5. 2x (New) Ceiling duplex switched by current garage light switch(Shop lights)
This should make it near impossible to kill the lights due to an overload in the house. I could trip the garage lights - but the garage door would still provide light.

So there it is... Any code violation in doing this? if so, please note section of code book - I'd like to learn too!
Any other "better" ideas?


Last edited by fuzzball03; 12-12-2011 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


If you turn some of the lights off you will reduce the load on the circuit without needing to do any wiring.

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Old 12-12-2011, 07:58 PM   #3
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
If you turn some of the lights off you will reduce the load on the circuit without needing to do any wiring.
With a vacuum drawing 1440 watts, I'm left with 360 watts remaining. I assure you that I never have ALL of the lights on at the same time, however... If my significant other is occupying the master bath (420 watts just for lights) - The issue still remains.

Also, i forget to mention the laundry room lights are also on the same circuit.
~100 watts for the laundry room lights, and another 140 watts for the fan.
Lights would consume over 16 amps!
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


IMO, the wiring of the 12 items on the original 15A circuit should have been on at least 2 circuits, to avoid what you are now experiencing. You proposal solution sounds good, though I would consider putting the new GFCI(s) for the garage tools on a circuit of its own, if you’re putting in a few of them. If it’s just 1 or 2 receptacles, you should be okay.

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:46 PM   #5
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzball03 View Post
With a vacuum drawing 1440 watts, I'm left with 360 watts remaining. I assure you that I never have ALL of the lights on at the same time, however... If my significant other is occupying the master bath (420 watts just for lights) - The issue still remains.

Also, i forget to mention the laundry room lights are also on the same circuit.
~100 watts for the laundry room lights, and another 140 watts for the fan.
Lights would consume over 16 amps!
Yeah, if all of the lights are on on the circuit at the same time. If you are concerned, why didn't you smack the boneheaded sub that wired that up, before they finished the project, or did you buy after the fact, and did not know at the time of the build, that some bonehead wired everything on one circuit.

If it was me, I would figure how to split that circuit out if you are really concerned with the load on it.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #6
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


Quote:
Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
IMO, the wiring of the 12 items on the original 15A circuit should have been on at least 2 circuits, to avoid what you are now experiencing. I agree You proposal solution sounds good, though I would consider putting the new GFCI(s) for the garage tools on a circuit of its own, if youíre putting in a few of them. If itís just 1 or 2 receptacles, you should be okay.
I only plan on doing the one. This would give me two different 15a circuits to draw from in the garage.

I appreciate the input. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Yeah, if all of the lights are on on the circuit at the same time. If you are concerned, why didn't you smack the boneheaded sub that wired that up, before they finished the project, or did you buy after the fact, and did not know at the time of the build, that some bonehead wired everything on one circuit.

I put the offer on the house after drywall was already up - I had no idea it was wired as such.

If it was me, I would figure how to split that circuit out if you are really concerned with the load on it.
Right now the circuit goes like this...
15a breaker -> Attic light -> garage light -> laundry light -> hallway duplex.

Perhaps I will split it up a bit more. Create a bit of a redundancy in lighting if a trip occurred. Ending the circuit after the hallway outlets would make it very easy to run some 14/2, mount a junct box and be done with it.

Good suggestion - Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #7
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


Personally, I sit down with a floor plan, and divide the house in sections. Bath lights for the baths feed them off of the bedroom lighting, same for hall light. Kitchen, laundry lighting together, Living room make it its own with entry & front porch. Garage lighting should be on its own personally, with the rest of the garage circuits, and if you really want to do it correct, use a sub-panel in the garage, so you do not have to go into the house every time you trip a breaker for the garage.

You could just divide the house in four sections and do it that way also, or just in half. When I redid our house, I split the house in half, with the two bedroom lights, bath light & fan, linen closet, hall light on one circuit, Kitchen & dining lights on another circuit, Living room, entry & front porch feed off of the outlet circuit for the living room, due to how the house was originally wired way back in the day with just four circuits. It is one of those things that I need to change, but have not done so yet, even though everything has been re-wired pretty much to the 2003 NEC.

I just took mine one step at a time, and did each circuit at a time. If you could just use junction boxes up in the attic, you may be able to split everything down. That would be the easiest way. Now of course, smart way is to use a couple of MWBC (multi-wire branch circuits), vs. pulling a bunch of new runs.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
...
I just took mine one step at a time, and did each circuit at a time. If you could just use junction boxes up in the attic, you may be able to split everything down. That would be the easiest way. Now of course, smart way is to use a couple of MWBC (multi-wire branch circuits), vs. pulling a bunch of new runs.
Now, I haven't messed with a MWBC but once. But I don't believe I see the big advantage in my situation(Beyond cost, and being able to easily change which circuit a device is on). Could you clarify?

Also... If I do a MWBC, i believe if I ever do any remodeling and my municipality has adopted the 2010 NEC, I'll be in trouble because ARC FAULTS will be needed. I believe they only come in single pole varieties.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:31 PM   #9
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


Id ad a seperate 20a circuit for garage plugs,dont waste time/money on a 15a circuit for power tools.
Id call the clowns who wired the house and tell them to split the rest of that mess up
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:38 PM   #10
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


cfl bulbs would cut your light wattage way down
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #11
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Hallway and garage on same circuit - NEC 2005


Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
Id ad a seperate 20a circuit for garage plugs,dont waste time/money on a 15a circuit for power tools.
Id call the clowns who wired the house and tell them to split the rest of that mess up
I decided to split up the lighting circuit inside the house into two circuits - call me paranoid, but I like redundancy in lighting and it's a small price to pay for my family's safety...
I spent 45 minutes or so tonight running new circuits to the main panel in the garage(Outside wall, garage is sheet-rocked - took a bit longer then I hoped).

So new plan:

1) Garage outlet, and opener circuit currently 15A - Changing to a 20A(only one wire pull required).
  • New 20A circuit #1 -> Receptacle for sprinkler transformer -> Garage duplex GFCI -> Garage door opener
2) Add another 20A circuit to the garage - Duplex only.
  • New 20A circuit #2 -> Garage duplex GFCI
3) The "problem circuit" will be left intact except for anything downstream of the laundry room.
  • Attic light & duplex outlet, garage light, switched duplex in garage ceiling for shop lights, and another duplex GFCI in the garage(Good for cordless tool battery chargers).
4) New circuit(1) for Laundry lights & fan, Hallway lights, Master bath lights & fan.
  • LAUNDRY LIGHTS -> HALLWAY LIGHTS -> MASTER BATH LIGHTS
5) New circuit(2) for 2nd bath lights & fan, and hallway outlets
  • -> HALLWAY DUPLEX SERIES #1 -> 2ND BATH LIGHTS -> HALLWAY DUPLEX SERIES #2 -> DINING LIGHTS
In this setup - Any adjacent room/area to another is on alternating circuits. ie. Bathroom lights trip - Hallway lights work and vice versa...



Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyT View Post
cfl bulbs would cut your light wattage way down

This is true - However I have no idea what the next homeowner, or even myself, might due in the future. I've actually thought alot about doing recessed lighting in both bathrooms, and all common areas.

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