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Old 11-16-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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space heater circuit breaker decision


I want to set up a 15A circuit breaker for a small 10x12 room. My only problem is what if someone plugs in one of those small space heaters? They take up to 1800 watts = 15A in hi mode. That plus a television or what have you and the circuit overloads and breaks. So I'm thinking maybe I should use a 20A circuit breaker instead. But then I think that's overkill for a small 10x12 room.

What is usually done in these kinds of situations where there's a small chance someone might plug one of those portable electric heaters into a socket?

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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space heater circuit breaker decision


Most people never give it a thought.
They just plug the heater in and worry about it later.
If this is your place, you should know if there is a chance to plug in a heater.

Run the 20 amps and don't worry about.

Btw, most plug in heaters are rated for up to 1500 watts.

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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space heater circuit breaker decision


First off, overloading a circuit does not "break" it, it merely trips the circuit breaker. You unplug one of the items, reset the breaker, nothing damaged. Also, I don't know what you mean by "overkill" wiring a 20A circuit. Many 15A circuits are wired with 12 gage wire, so they are suitable for a 20A breaker. I wired all of my circuits using 12 gage wire, costs only a little more than 14g wire, and gives you the flexibility to have more devices on the circuit simultaneously, or to plug in a heavy duty appliance as needed. You may want to consider using a 20A receptacle if you plan to plug a high draw device in, the 20A receptacles only cost a couple dollars more than a 15A receptacle.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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space heater circuit breaker decision


All the space heaters I've ever seen go up to 1,500W max. I saw one old blow dryer that went to 1,800W but modern blowers all seem to top out at 1,500W, guess they got tired of 1,800W ones tripping breakers. 15A should be fine even with a TV and things, and 14ga wire is easier to work with.

However, I would not consider 12ga / 20A to be overkill. 15A will kill you just as dead or start just as hot of a fire as 20A, if something goes wrong.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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space heater circuit breaker decision


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
You may want to consider using a 20A receptacle if you plan to plug a high draw device in, the 20A receptacles only cost a couple dollars more than a 15A receptacle.
15 and 20 amp receptacles contain the same exact parts, only the face is different.
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