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Old 08-21-2009, 11:07 PM   #1
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


I need to free up a breaker on my panel and thinking of removing the small light/socket circuit in my basement and just running it to the dryer plug and hooking it up to one of the 120 legs. Would this be a bad practice? In theory it's safe and will work, but what does code say about that? It does feel mickey mouse to do that but this is temporary until I can afford to upgrade my service and my panel.

I'm also thinking of maybe just getting a sub panel later on to give me more breakers but figure may as well wait till I upgrade completely.

Also I know it takes a qualified electrician to do a service upgrade, but what about a sub panel? Is that something I could do myself? That's option #2 for giving me more breakers, I could get a small panel and just hook it up to my existing panel. Even if it would just be like a 40 amp breaker, I could at least put the low usage stuff on it like light circuits.

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Old 08-21-2009, 11:12 PM   #2
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


Temporary stuff tends to be left in service for years. The only way it would be safe is if you changed the breaker to the right size for the wire supplying the fixture and made the connection in an approved box with a cover.

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Old 08-21-2009, 11:33 PM   #3
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


Would the dryer plug be an approved box? Plenty of room to splice 14/2 in there (the dryer portion is 10/3 though). The breaker would be more then enough for the lights/plugs (30 amps double pole). And yeah this is temporary as in, at least a year, so I want to make sure it's considered safe and to code.

Worse case is I might just hook in through the light in that room, but there's already lot of wires going in there so rather not bring in some more.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:43 PM   #4
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Would the dryer plug be an approved box? Plenty of room to splice 14/2 in there (the dryer portion is 10/3 though). The breaker would be more then enough for the lights/plugs (30 amps double pole). And yeah this is temporary as in, at least a year, so I want to make sure it's considered safe and to code.

Worse case is I might just hook in through the light in that room, but there's already lot of wires going in there so rather not bring in some more.
I'm sure there is enough room in the box, but you missed my point about the breaker. You have to change it out to a 15 A if you are using 14-2 for the lights.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:11 AM   #5
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


I don't know all the specifics of the Codes in Canada, but I believe that this scenario would not be permissible there.

Better to install a sub-panel, or feed that light from elsewhere.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:23 AM   #6
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


Remember that the 30 amp breaker will not protect the 14 gauge wire from overheating and possible fires. Do you feel lucky? Is your life really worth this chance?
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:29 AM   #7
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


I agree, a small sub-panel would be the best bet & safest
I had an Apt (old house split up) where they connected up a power strip to one leg of the 240v stove

Scared the heck outta me !! 50a breaker on the stove, of course the power strip/surge did have a small built in button breaker
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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Would it be bad to use a dryer circuit for other stuff?


Oh right I see, so if I was to plug too many things in the plug, it would overheat before it trips the 30 amp breaker. Makes sense. I'll find somewhere else to feed it from then, to be safe.

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