Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-19-2008, 12:32 AM   #1
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Share |
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Hello and thanks for reading,
I have an unfinished basement that has lighting wired all on one 15amp breaker. I had some HVAC equipment installed, one of the items was a powerful air exchanger. I also had a sump pump and an extra gfci outlet added so I could run some computer equipment in in an unfinished room. Unfortunately they wired all this on the same breaker. I plugged in a 1500watt heater to warm my computer area during the cold winter and as soon as the air exchanger turned on pop, out went the breaker. I'm going to be adding a new circuit for a TrueSteam humidifier and would like to reconfigure the air exchanger and sump pump to maybe another breaker. What would be a good setup? Keep the true steam on its own 15 amp breaker or go to a higher breaker and add the sump and or air exchanger? Other options? The HVAC upgrades were inspected but the electrical wasn't. If I add a new circuit for the Truesteam and possibly add another circuit for the air exchanger and sump would that require an inspection?

True Steam is 12amps

Here is what is on the basement circuit right now.
Electric space heater 12.5 amps
Air Exchanger 5.4 amps
Sump Pump ~4 amps
Water Heater ~4.1A It says less than 12 amps. Its a 48gallon Bradford White with a powered vent
Computer Equipment ~1A
Fish Tank Equipment ~1A
Water Softener .5A
Lighting < 1A

__________________
D in MN

Last edited by dgbehrends; 11-19-2008 at 01:06 AM.
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 08:36 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,946
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


I would add at least three 20 amp circuits, two GFCI protected for receptacles about the room and one non-GFCI for equipment hard wired in (sump pump, gas water heater) and no receptacles.

(I take it that the humidifier and space heater are movable plug in units.)

In most cities, yes, you need a permit and inspections when running new circuits from the breaker box. Note: Some of the hard wired equipment and/or code may require separate lower amperage circuits.

Do not tie (existing) receptacles and/or lights wired with 14 gauge wire to your new 20 amp circuits.


Last edited by AllanJ; 11-19-2008 at 08:40 AM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,506
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


You should be considering future needs in the basement. Maybe install a small sub panel down there, then you can do most anything you want. This way you only have to run one cable from your main panel instead of several cables.
J. V. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Thanks for the input guys.
I have 5 slots left for breakers. For the future when I finish the basement I think I will need this
1 for a bathroom.
1 for downstairs living room and bedroom.
1 for the computer room.
1 for TrueSteam
1 for Utility Room.

The TrueSteam I think should be on its own 15amp.
I was thinking of putting the rest of the utility room equipment (water heater, air exchanger, sump pump, and water softener on a 20amp. This leaves a little room for some workshop tools later on. It also would be very unlikely that the sump and the air exchanger would run at the same time, sump would most likely run in the rainy season and the air exchanger runs in the snowy season.

Is there any drawback to switching out 15 amp breakers for 20amp? I think my garage is only 15 amp right now. Would the wiring need to change between 15 and 20amp?

In my old house an Electrician put in a breaker that fit into one slot but had two switches on it, essentially two breakers in one slot.
__________________
D in MN

Last edited by dgbehrends; 11-19-2008 at 04:41 PM.
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 05:08 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,946
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Only circuits wholly of 12 or heavier wire can have 20 amp breakers. Lights hooked up to the 20 amp circuit also need 12 gauge wire going up to the fixture although the thinner wires attached to the lamp socket and that came with the fixture can stay.

Breakers units with two handles (two breakers) fitting in one slot are commonly used when you are running out of slots in the panel.

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-19-2008 at 05:10 PM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 09:34 PM   #6
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


I've modified my plans a little. I'm going to add three 20 amp breakers for the time being.
As I mentioned before, my entire unfinished basement, lights, HVAC equipment (not the furnace though), and a couple of outlets are wired on one 15amp circuit.
I'm going to leave all the lights on that 15 amp circuit and disconnect everything else.
I'll put in one 20amp breaker for the TrueSteam and the HRV and plug them both into one 20amp GFCI outlet. This should add up to about 17amps when they are both running which will happen a lot.
I'll put in another 20amp breaker for the utility room to run the water heater, sump pump, water softener, and any workshop tools I may use in the future.
And lastly I'll put in another 20amp breaker for the computer room that will run my 20gal fishtank, 12 amp electic heater, and computer equipment.

I'll be doing all this wiring with the yellow 12 gauge NM-b that I bought.

I'll be removing devices off of the 15amp circuit that will now only be running to the lights. Can I use wire nuts in the back of the outlet boxes to keep that circuit going or do I need to do something else?
I'll be running the 12 gauge wire to these outlet boxes to wire up the devices on the new 20amp circuit. I'm thinking things might get a little crowded and am looking for feedback/ideas.

I bought 20amp GFCIs, to replace the current outlets, are these necessary for a 20amp circuit or is this only needed if I wanted to run a 20amp device that had the special sideways T plug?
__________________
D in MN
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 09:54 PM   #7
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


[edit: I was responding to a post that got removed for some reason. ]

I will be having the work inspected. I would like to wire the whole basement up, but I don't have the time and am still unsure what I want to do with some of the other areas. I also can't afford to have an electrician do all the work for me which means I'll have to pay for another inspection when the basement is finished, but that's a while from now.

I know the code varies a lot by area, but there are some common themes. Is there something in my latest post that sounds bad. I'm guessing it might be the continuation of the 15amp circuit for the lights. How should I wire this?
__________________
D in MN

Last edited by dgbehrends; 11-25-2008 at 09:57 PM.
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 10:21 PM   #8
DIY'er
 
jamiedolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,032
Rewards Points: 0
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbehrends View Post
I've modified my plans a little. I'm going to add three 20 amp breakers for the time being.
As I mentioned before, my entire unfinished basement, lights, HVAC equipment (not the furnace though), and a couple of outlets are wired on one 15amp circuit.
I'm going to leave all the lights on that 15 amp circuit and disconnect everything else.
I'll put in one 20amp breaker for the TrueSteam and the HRV and plug them both into one 20amp GFCI outlet. This should add up to about 17amps when they are both running which will happen a lot.
I'll put in another 20amp breaker for the utility room to run the water heater, sump pump, water softener, and any workshop tools I may use in the future.
And lastly I'll put in another 20amp breaker for the computer room that will run my 20gal fishtank, 12 amp electic heater, and computer equipment.

I'll be doing all this wiring with the yellow 12 gauge NM-b that I bought.

I'll be removing devices off of the 15amp circuit that will now only be running to the lights. Can I use wire nuts in the back of the outlet boxes to keep that circuit going or do I need to do something else?
I'll be running the 12 gauge wire to these outlet boxes to wire up the devices on the new 20amp circuit. I'm thinking things might get a little crowded and am looking for feedback/ideas.

I bought 20amp GFCIs, to replace the current outlets, are these necessary for a 20amp circuit or is this only needed if I wanted to run a 20amp device that had the special sideways T plug?
There are limits on what on box fill. It depends on the size of the box.

If a circuit is in a box, and it needs to be junctioned so it continues, then you can junction it in a box that also serves another cirucit, as long as there is room for it.

Keep in mind you can not have that romex exposed on the basement walls. In the ceiling, and between the joists, yet, but not on the walls. On the walls you need to use conduit, like the grey plastic or metal pipe called EMT. I've come to really like EMT as it is very cheap $3.30 ish for 10 feet of 1/2" and I can bend it to fit anywhere I need to.

20A are not generally necessary, and some consider them a waste of money for regular use. I use them on my 20A circuits.

Making a drawing, even a very simple one in mspaint would be helpful, many places like a basic drawing for pulling a permit and it might help us understand what your trying to acomplish and how wires are currently run.

Good luck
jamie
jamiedolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 10:44 PM   #9
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


So your saying that it's not OK to have 12 gauge (yellow wire) exposed between the studs in an unfinished utility room?
__________________
D in MN
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 11:02 PM   #10
DIY'er
 
jamiedolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,032
Rewards Points: 0
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbehrends View Post
So your saying that it's not OK to have 12 gauge (yellow wire) exposed between the studs in an unfinished utility room?
I took unfinished to mean concrete walls. You should be fine runing it between the studs, drill holes as necessary, and use wire staples.

Code Ref:

(A) Cables and Raceways Through Wood Members.
(1) Bored Holes. In both exposed and concealed locations,
where a cable- or raceway-type wiring method is installed
through bored holes in joists, rafters, or wood members,
holes shall be bored so that the edge of the hole is not less
than 32 mm (11/4 in.) from the nearest edge of the wood
member. Where this distance cannot be maintained, the
cable or raceway shall be protected from penetration by
screws or nails by a steel plate or bushing, at least 1.6 mm
(V16 in.) thick, and of appropriate length and width installed
to cover the area of the wiring.

Jamie
jamiedolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 11:19 PM   #11
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Thanks, that helps clear things up.
__________________
D in MN
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 04:53 AM   #12
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 25,060
Rewards Points: 8
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


20 amps for a water heater.
Must only be a 2500 watt element.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 08:28 AM   #13
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
20 amps for a water heater.
Must only be a 2500 watt element.
Its a big water heater
__________________
D in MN
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 01:19 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 187
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
20 amps for a water heater.
Must only be a 2500 watt element.
I think it is a gas water heater as he said it is a power vent.

Gary
Gary_602z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 01:26 PM   #15
Member
 
dgbehrends's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 174
Rewards Points: 0
Send a message via Yahoo to dgbehrends
Default

Need some electrical circuit advice


Yes that is correct. It's a 48 gallon bradford white natural gas water heater with a power vent (that's really noisey btw) which sucks about 4 amps of juice.

__________________
D in MN
dgbehrends is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just for fun Andy in ATL Electrical 56 10-20-2009 09:33 AM
hooking up dryer....bronx ny code SURFBUG Appliances 6 10-14-2008 09:41 PM
Max amps allowed - electrician advice needed Des Electrical 27 06-05-2008 10:31 PM
Electrical Advice Caution!!! Mike Swearingen Electrical 12 03-05-2008 11:51 AM
Circuit breaker panel - Advice needed justtired Electrical 15 12-13-2007 05:55 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.