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Old 04-11-2011, 11:43 AM   #1
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


Hello Ė
Iím planning the install of ceiling fans in our bed rooms. There is no current power source in the ceiling so I will need to pull off a current circuit.

What is the best way to find out how load is on that circuit so I can 1. Know that I can pull from it and 2. Donít overload it?

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David

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Old 04-11-2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


To answer your question, turn off the breaker to the circuit you're thinking about using and see what all dies (lights, recepts, etc.) If your bedroom doesn't already have any ceiling light boxes, you must have some switched receptacles and a switch on the wall already? Are you wanting to keep those?

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Old 04-11-2011, 12:10 PM   #3
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


Thank you for the fast response..

I was planning on just using a remote for the fans and not worry about a switch since the fan is not going to have light with it.

We live in a house that was built in 1969 which is not old but I was concern with the load on the breakers since I cannot add any more breakers. The panel is full.

If I understand right a fan pulls about as much as a 100w light bulb?

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Old 04-11-2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


Yeah, in general fans alone don't draw much...couple amps +/- If you find a circuit nearby that's lightly loaded, you should be ok. Just don't use the kitchen plug, laundry plug or bath plug circuits.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


Great advice Thank you..

Is there anything special I need to do as far as wiring when just controlling it via a remote?

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Old 04-11-2011, 01:40 PM   #6
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


Nothing special. Follow the instructions with the remote.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:06 PM   #7
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


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Yeah, in general fans alone don't draw much...couple amps +/- If you find a circuit nearby that's lightly loaded, you should be ok. Just don't use the kitchen plug, laundry plug or bath plug circuits.
Why not use those circuits?

I "mapped" my whole house buy pulling a breaker or a fuse (I have 2 sub panels) and checking each outlet or light individually. Annoying as heck to reset all the clocks on things but now it's all mapped out.

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Old 04-12-2011, 11:58 PM   #8
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


code says you can't use those circuits for any thing else.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:48 AM   #9
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


OK gotcha! I was planning to wire in a new outlet for an aquarium and was thinking of tapping into the kitchen plugs, I'll rethink my plan, thanks!

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Old 04-13-2011, 07:39 AM   #10
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


You can't tap into kitchen counter plugs for anything else. You can tap into a circuit that has outlets elsewhere in the kitchen...but if the fridge is on it, i wouldn't.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:07 AM   #11
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


By code you can't tap into the kitchen small appliance receptacle circuits, counter top or not, for use in any other room except pantry, dining rm, nook, similar area, etc.

The small appliance circuits are for the receptacles only, and only in one kitchen & associated rooms.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:08 AM   #12
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


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By code you can't tap into the kitchen receptacle circuits, counter top or not, for use in any other room except pantry, dining rm, nook, similar area, etc.
I didn't know that.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:30 AM   #13
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


That's cool. The key thing is whether it's a SABC or not. Usually any kitchen recept is on a SABC. I know...in a perfect world.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:27 PM   #14
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


Is there any one better tool to test my plugs to see if they are hot besides holding a lamp and plugging it in to test?

Once I map out the items that are on that circuit then I use the math of figuring out the watts?

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #15
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Tracing what is on a circuit?


I generally use a circuit tester for that; the small ones that plug into the receptacle. They have 3 lights, indicating whether the receptacle is wired properly, and if not, where the problem is, so you can accomplish two tasks at one time. A few bucks at any hardware or home center, and they fit in the palm of your hand, so easier to carry around than a lamp. Every DIY'er should have one anyway.

Yes, as for the rest of it, do the math. Just don't overlook things like attic or crawl space lights, gable vent fans, etc., just to name a few, as they can be easy to miss sometimes.

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