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Old 02-04-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
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Two "simple" electrical questions...

I need to free up a slot on my panel. It is full and will not take half sized breakers. Fortunately my breakers are UL approved to take two wires, so it is code acceptable to run two circuits to them.
I have many circuits that are way underutilized, but the two that seem cleanest to me are two 15a circuits.

The first has 6 recessed lights on it. With them all on, I measure 3.15a.
The second has a ceiling fan, an exhaust fan, and two ceiling lights. With everything going I measure 2.8a. That seemed low to me, but I looked it up and both fans are less than an amp each.
Nothing could be added to either circuit.

So, unless I am just missing something, running both circuits to the same breaker will have a maximum of 5.9a at the breaker. It seems fine to me. Any issues?

Second question: the bulbs in the first circuit are PAR30, 75w, 130v, all on dimmers. I would expect to see about 3.5a.
I am thinking that even full on, perhaps the dimmers reduce the current a bit, or maybe 130v bulbs draw less current at 120v than might be expected.
What do you think?


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Old 02-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #2
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Sounds fine, but you also need to check and see if any receptacles are on that circuit.

I have done this many times to free up space.


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Old 02-04-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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You also need to consider carefully if any of these circuits you are moving around are multi-wire circuits. If they are, you will run into problems with your circuits.

A multi-wire circuit is a circuit that has two hots and a shared neutral. The two hots need to be fed from two different phases of your system.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:32 PM   #4
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They didn't mix outlet and lighting circuits, and didn't use any multiwire circuits.

At my old house I found both sides of a multiwire circuit on the same leg; fortunately they were both lightly used.
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