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Old 04-11-2010, 12:00 PM   #1
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Too much pull on 15 amp?


Hi! I had a bad short in my downstairs area-out of box connection maybe done 30 years ago. Anyway, fixed and forgettable. I decided to go over all of the wiring, opened every box, traced everything, things look good, except there's 1 15 amp feed powering three bedrooms upstairs- 3 overhead lights, 3 closet lights, 8 sockets, and a WHOLE HOUSE FAN. Is that too much? DO I need to relocate things or should I leave it? I'm short on time, but will do it if necessary. THANKS FOR THIS SITE- I've used it hundreds of times to make sure I wasn't messing things up. great

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Old 04-11-2010, 12:12 PM   #2
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Too much pull on 15 amp?


You are not required to upgrade the circuit
If you are not tripping the breaker all the time then the load is not too much

If your load increases then I would adda 20a AFCI protected circuit to share the load

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Old 04-11-2010, 12:17 PM   #3
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Too much pull on 15 amp?


It will work as it has, so long as you don't plug in too many things.

Meanwhile at your convenience you should consider running a few more branch circuits.

It's a little too subjective for me to suggest what should go on what new circuit after you strung more cables, everyone will have his own opinion. Ordinarily one circuit can serve two bedrooms without having the ceiling fan share it too.

Bathrooms require a 20 amp (12 gauge) circuit for each bathroom lights, fan, and receptacles, or one 20 amp circuit can serve more than one bathroom, receptacles only.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-11-2010 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:23 PM   #4
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Too much pull on 15 amp?


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckles View Post
Is that too much?
Your circuit breaker will tell you.

To test your circuit breaker, find the trip curve for it. Load the circuit with two hair dryers or toaster ovens. For that total current draw [look on the nameplates], time how long it takes the breaker to trip and compare with the trip curve.
A 15A breaker at 30A might take 10 to 60 seconds to trip.

If the max time on the trip curve is X seconds for that current draw, don't load it for much more than X seconds.
But, I should tell you, I passed 30 amps through #14 copper in free air for 15 minutes and I needed a thermistor to detect the temp. rise, which was only about 4F above ambient.

With these loads and a DVM you can check your whole house's wiring integrity, if you'd like. It takes about 5 minutes per outlet.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-11-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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Too much pull on 15 amp?


where are you located....I know the majority of the folks that use this forum are from the U.S but there is the odd one from Canada and Europe that pop in and the code differs in respect to each country. Alot of questions seem to center around bedrooms and bathrooms and that is where the differences are most apparent.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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Too much pull on 15 amp?


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckles View Post
Hi! I had a bad short in my downstairs area-out of box connection maybe done 30 years ago. Anyway, fixed and forgettable. I decided to go over all of the wiring, opened every box, traced everything, things look good, except there's 1 15 amp feed powering three bedrooms upstairs- 3 overhead lights, 3 closet lights, 8 sockets, and a WHOLE HOUSE FAN. Is that too much? DO I need to relocate things or should I leave it? I'm short on time, but will do it if necessary. THANKS FOR THIS SITE- I've used it hundreds of times to make sure I wasn't messing things up. great
Gross estimate:
3 overhead lights (each with 2 100watt bulbs) = 600watts
Whole House Fan = 250watts +/- (perhaps as much as 800watts)
3 closet lits (each with 1 100watt bulb) = 300watts
sockets (3 clock radios + 3 desk lamps) = 200watts +/-
Total = 1350 watts

Sounds like a fair number for a 15 amp circuit, and that is assuming everything is turned on.

The real issue would be anything plugged in that pulls lots of power. Add a space heater to each room, or anyone even THINKS about plugging in a hair dryer... you're going to be tripping breakers.

But so long as the plugs are limited to small-low-power appliances, it sounds ok to me.

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Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 04-12-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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