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polarbear3270 08-29-2008 11:54 PM

How to check total load?

PROBLEM: I am trying to figure out how many pot lights I can afford in the basement.

FINDINGS: On the panel I see the fuse (yep. good old fuses :-) ) which has a label "basement". When removed there is no light in the basement. So I did assume that one fuse/line controls only one light fixture in the basement. However I can see same cable keeps running from the light fixture behind the drywall somewhere I can't see.

How can verify what is the load on this specific cable/fuse? Keep checking all appliances/recpticals/etc throughout the house?

Thank you.

petey_c 08-30-2008 09:05 AM

polarbear3270, Yep, you're on the right track. If you don't have access to a multimeter, for outlets you can use a plug in lamp. Since the lighting circuit is 110V you can skip checking: elec. stove, hot water heater, 220V A/C units, etc. I'm not sure what you mean by "pot" lights. Each 65W light you add is about .6 amps. Adding 6 - 8 lights shouldn't be a problem, IF the circuit is lightly loaded. In some older houses, before the advent of a house full of electrical devices, one circuit powered many outlets/lights with no problem. Since your house still has a fuse box you can choose two routes; be very thorough and check the existing circuit, or run a new feed to the switch location. IMHO, the second is the best bet. Then there'll be no questions as to what's on the circuit. pete

jrclen 08-30-2008 09:27 AM

Petey is right. Unscrew the fuse and look all around the entire house for what is no longer working. That is the existing load.

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