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Old 02-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #1
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


Hi all, thank you in advance for any help. My home was built in the mid 60's and up to this point the only issues I have had with the electrical is a breaker flops every now and then when a hair dryer is turned on. That being said, the home was not wired for all of the technology of today. There are no GFCI's except the ones I have installed. I have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a hall on one breaker. This continues throughout the house with multiple rooms on one breaker which of course the circuits get overloaded.

I do have nice copper wire so that is not an issue but I would like to find out if its possible for me to have 1 room per breaker without ripping out the existing wiring. Could I just go in the attic and splice at the beginning and end of each "room" and then run new wire down to a larger breaker box? Any other suggestions would be welcome also.

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


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Originally Posted by gml218 View Post
...up to this point the only issues I have had with the electrical
is a breaker flops every now and then when a hair dryer is turned on.

Could I just go in the attic and splice...
How about adding just the one (or two) new 20A circuits you may need?
Leave **everything** else alone.

One shared between the bathrooms... and maybe one for the kitchen.

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Old 02-09-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


Thank you for your response. We have oil heat and the cost of oil is a huge expense, we also do not have central air so in the summertime I have to choose a room in each "circuit " to plug in a window ac unit. I would love to be able to supplement the heat in the winter with some small electric heaters on the really cold days when the furnace runs constantly.

Really it comes down to wanting to have more things plugged in at one time then the electric will allow, I would love to fix this if possible.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


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Really it comes down to wanting to have more things plugged in at one time then the electric will allow, I would love to fix this if possible.
And I'm saying that there's nothing in what you described that needs a "fix".
You can supplement for convenience... but that's something else.

Quote:
We have oil heat... do not have central air...
Do you have a boiler and radiators or a furnace and duct work?

Quote:
I would love to be able to supplement the heat in the winter with some small electric heaters on the really cold days when the furnace runs constantly.
And you think that adding another dedicated receptacle into each room for a series of window shakers and space heaters is the best approach?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:45 PM   #5
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


I have a boiler and radiators. I am interested in finding out if there is a cost efficient way to have each room on its own circuit so that what is going on in the other rooms is not interupted by a breaker flipping. Yes I do believe if this is possible it would be the best fix due to me not having 30k to redo all the heating and ac.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:26 PM   #6
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


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Originally Posted by gml218 View Post
I am interested in finding out if there is a cost efficient way to have each room on its own circuit so that what is going on in the other rooms is not interrupted by a breaker flipping.
Going back to post #2 and the blow dryer problem you asked about...
leave **everything** else that is in place alone.
Do NOT add to or change what is there.

As you already own 5 or 6 window shakers and space heaters...
Add separate dedicated circuits as needed; even one per bedroom.
15A on 14ga wire will probably be fine (and cost less too).

How many spare slots do you have in your breaker panel?
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:30 PM   #7
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


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Originally Posted by gml218 View Post
I have a boiler and radiators. I am interested in finding out if there is a cost efficient way to have each room on its own circuit so that what is going on in the other rooms is not interrupted by a breaker flipping. Yes I do believe if this is possible it would be the best fix due to me not having 30k to redo all the heating and ac.
Yes, but you would have to place a junction box to serve that room, then run a line back to the breaker panel, for just that room.

If your panel dates back to the 60's, and it is one of those that has been recalled, you need to look at doing an update on the breaker panel, and if you wish, you can install AFCI breakers for the Bedrooms & living room areas, gfci outlets in the Baths, Kitchen, outside, garage, basement/crawl space.

Post a picture of your current panel, along with the label showing manufacturer & model info. Also update for your location. As for the heating, there are more efficient Oil burning Boilers & furnaces out there, that would allow you to not only save money, but also would use less energy to achieve the same output.

Personally, if electric is cheaper than oil, there is no problem with going with a hybrid system, that you use a Heat pump forced air system, or hydronic heating system to run until it is too cold, depending on where you are, then run the oil to take over.

Of course, there is always Solar, which allows you to achieve heating & hot water, along with electric to the home, saving further money in the long run.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:06 PM   #8
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


You could do what others have suggested and add a couple of new dedicated circuits to the rooms where you need more power. Messing around with old wiring can get messy. Also, out of curiosity, what brand and type of breaker/fuse panel do you have? Are there many spaces left?
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


Ok I have posted a pic of the panel, please let me know if you need more info. I have 3 open slots.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


That looks suspiciously like a split-bus panel.
Maybe an electrician here can confirm this.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:34 PM   #11
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


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Ok I have posted a pic of the panel, please let me know if you need more info. I have 3 open slots.
Maybe so but if I did read the panel correct that you have split buss there so the upper 6 two pole spaces are resvered for main portion so you will have a 50 or 60 amp breaker to feed the lower part of panel box the rest it can be used for electrique stove, electrique dryer or electrique water heater etc.

Do you have any thing hevey loaded circuit on the lower half that something we should be aware about it ??

Merci,
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #12
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


Can you repost a picture straight on, not at an angle towards the panel.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Ok I have taken a pic with the cover off, there is a label in there but a crapload of wires are in front of it and I'm not messing with them. That being said there is nothing heavy on the bottom only 15, 20 and one 30 amp. The top however is a different story, they are as follows:
2- individual 60 amp to barn
1- double 40 to dryer
2- double 60 to main
1- double 50 to stove
1- double 20 to well pump
1- double 30 to swimming pool

Stupid questions:

How many times can a breaker flip and still be safe?
Is there supposed to be any type of corrosion on the contacts of the breakers?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:35 PM   #14
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


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Originally Posted by gml218 View Post
Ok I have taken a pic with the cover off, there is a label in there but a crapload of wires are in front of it and I'm not messing with them. That being said there is nothing heavy on the bottom only 15, 20 and one 30 amp. The top however is a different story, they are as follows:
2- individual 60 amp to barn
1- double 40 to dryer
2- double 60 to main
1- double 50 to stove
1- double 20 to well pump
1- double 30 to swimming pool

Stupid questions:

How many times can a breaker flip and still be safe?
Is there supposed to be any type of corrosion on the contacts of the breakers?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me.
To answer your question that is split buss panel the third top left breaker ( postion #9 et 11 )

40 amp for dryer IMO that is little high for that purpose it should be 30 amp double pole.

You may want to check that single pole 30 amp breaker what that goes for to make sure what it is connected.

Genrally it should not have any corroson on the bussbar at all the key issue is look at the main service entrance cable ( SVP do not touch them that is alive <hot> all the time ) and see if any water is dripping from them if so you will have to get a electrician come out and assit you on this one due something getting water from meter socket to the breaker box.

And whever you have extra free time it will be good time to map out the whole panel to see what it is connected and where it ran so you will know what to do when you do add new circuit in there.

You have more than 3 empty spots you can add to it more like 10 spaces you can use for sure.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:52 PM   #15
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Rewiring question- mid 60's home


There doesn't seem to be any corrosion on the buss bar just on a handful of the contact screws on the outside of the breaker where the wire connects.

Did you read my original post on wanting to know if I could go in the attic and dedicate each room to its own breaker without ripping out the existing wiring? In your opinion do you think that's a possibility? I understand that I would bring in an electrician to hook everything up at the panel and I would probably need a new panel.

The issue with mapping everything out is the previous owner did things a little strange. I had to replace a burnt outlet in the laundry room (3 ft from where the panel is located) and when the threw the breaker that outlet was still live, I proceeded to continue with different breakers and finally the power cut when the threw the one for the attic. So this has been a learning experience everytime I have to mess with it.

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