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Old 01-11-2019, 06:49 AM   #1
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Additional circuits?


Like a lot of modern families ours we have a lot of computers and electronics. We are a bit "deeper" as we have five power hungry computers (one excessively power hungry) plus TVs, game consoles, etc. in the bedrooms.

We're going to have easy access to the fuse box in addition to the walls in the bedrooms/office so I was wondering what the thoughts are on running some additional circuits from the fuse box while I've got it pulled apart.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:53 AM   #2
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Re: Additional circuits?


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We're going to have easy access to the fuse box in addition to the walls ...
On this basis... absolutely.
One 20A circuit split between the several 'electronics' walls is probably enough.
But if you know you have some specific high draw appliance... provide for that too.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:09 AM   #3
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Re: Additional circuits?


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On this basis... absolutely.
One 20A circuit split between the several 'electronics' walls is probably enough.
But if you know you have some specific high draw appliance... provide for that too.

I kind of figured.

So should I take out the existing... 15A(? I think that's the usual yeah?) circuits and completely redo the rooms entirely, or should I just add a 20A line or two in?

*I was kind of thinking to move the existing circuits onto the non-electronics walls in the one room (which will be a permanent computer room/office/recording studio), and to add a new circuit into the other bedroom(s).
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:31 AM   #4
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Re: Additional circuits?


Depending on the layout of your new receptacles, I would be inclined to leave the old circuit there.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: Additional circuits?


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So should I take out the existing... 15A
Nope. Leave the existing as it is.
What you asked about is accommodating the New/Extra load.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Additional circuits?


I guess technically I was asking about overloading the existing circuits, but I also wasn't sure if I could run additional circuits along side the old - with Ethernet cable you're supposed to cross electrical wires at 90 degrees and not run parallel to them
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:03 AM   #7
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If you "moved" the existing circuit, you would be rewiring as any wires in the area would not reach anywhere else as they go from plug to plug.
Although it may not be as beneficial as it was one time, having an isolated circuit for the electronics with nothing else on it such as a ceiling fan would help eliminate interference.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:22 AM   #8
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Re: Additional circuits?


@Wiredindallas oh I'll be running new romex between the outlets on the 'old circuit' so no worries with that. I might need to pull the old circuit to the box just to replace the wires regardless - we found old two wire (type R I think they called it) in the kitchen and I'm not cool with that.

I'm pretty sure there's no fans or anything crazy on the two circuits we'll be doing this spring, but that remains to be seen given how hap-hazard the wiring has been in this place heh
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:46 PM   #9
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Re: Additional circuits?


Don't get tunnel vision on any single option. Use what's applicable to the situation.

If you just need to add a couple more receptacles, those can be added to the existing circuits. Bedroom circuit loads are not very high, even though there may be a lot of things plugged in. More often than not, you just don't have receptacles in the most convenient locations, but you're not actually increasing the load on the circuit.

The next easiest option is to run a new circuit(s) for the new receptacles, and leave the original circuits alone. This will give you more receptacles in convenient locations without fear of overloading the previous circuits.

The most extreme option would be to completely rewire the old and new circuits for 20-amp wiring/breakers. With 20-amp circuits, the likelihood of ever tripping a breaker is very low. In some cases, doing this is possibly easier than messing around with old wiring, but the downside is the added cost.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:50 PM   #10
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Re: Additional circuits?


@BrownEyedGuy I'm not worried about cost. I just want to make sure we don't have issues. I think we've only ever had to reset the fuse box one time in 17 years, don't recall why it popped nor what room unfortunately.

That said, I went to check out the fuse box to see if we even have any openings and look! It's all 20s! (Top 4 are the upstairs bedrooms, and the yellow one says it's the upstairs bathroom GFCI. Not that I especially trust what's written down...)

Additional circuits?-20190111_120244.jpg

Awesome! So what's "too much" for a 20amp circuit? Am I okay to assume that if I've got all this stuff on the same circuit right now, and it's never been a problem (that I'm aware of,) then there will be no problem upstairs either?

It is stupid to want to over do it and have way more "overhead" than I need, rather than have a problem down the line, in this case?

I've never put a meter on any of the rigs, but mine can draw 1325W on my CPU and four GPU's alone according to the specs, also two water pumps running. My husband's rig is probably around two thirds what mine draws. Also almost always on is my Onkyo receiver (specs say its 700W), my sub woofer, 40" plasma, four 37" widescreen monitors, printer & laser printer, cable modem & cable router, my two personal routers (high end) + a switch, plus phone/mouse/camera/etc chargers (if those even matter at this point lol) Occasionally I use my soldering iron or dremel at my desk for tinkering as well.

My son and our "adopted" refugee both have rigs similar to mine, they get all my hand-me-downs when I upgrade, but they're each on their own circuits and don't have all the networking, printer, or home theater equipment.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:12 PM   #11
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Re: Additional circuits?


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Awesome! So what's "too much" for a 20amp circuit? Am I okay to assume that if I've got all this stuff on the same circuit right now, and it's never been a problem (that I'm aware of,) then there will be no problem upstairs either?
Yes, for the most part. That's why there is no limit on how many outlets you are permitted to have on a residential circuit.
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I've never put a meter on any of the rigs, but mine can draw 1325W on my CPU and four GPU's alone according to the specs, also two water pumps running. My husband's rig is probably around two thirds what mine draws. Also almost always on is my Onkyo receiver (specs say its 700W), my sub woofer, 40" plasma, four 37" widescreen monitors, printer & laser printer, cable modem & cable router, my two personal routers (high end) + a switch, plus phone/mouse/camera/etc chargers (if those even matter at this point lol) Occasionally I use my soldering iron or dremel at my desk for tinkering as well.
There's a big difference between what something is spec'd at versus actual demand. The stereo is probably the best example. Even though it is capable of drawing 700 watts, unless you are shaking the plaster off the walls, it will only draw a small fraction of that in normal use.

That being said, your work area sounds about like mine. (Hey, if you ever kick that guy to the curb, let me know...you sound like my kind of person. ) There are times that I wonder how close my office circuit gets pushed to capacity, but so far, I have never tripped the breaker. So while your walls are opened up, it may not be a bad idea to consider putting in another circuit to serve the high-demand areas. All you'd have to do is take one load away from the old circuit, and could then be assured you'd never have a problem no matter how much playing you did. Put a quad outlet where your workstation is located.

Knowing that you already have 20 amp circuits is great. It is very tough to overload one. Like you, I have never tripped a 20-amp breaker due to load in 20 years. That even includes my workshop, where I play with even bigger toys.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:21 PM   #12
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Re: Additional circuits?


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Yes, for the most part. That's why there is no limit on how many outlets you are permitted to have on a residential circuit.

There's a big difference between what something is spec'd at versus actual demand. The stereo is probably the best example. Even though it is capable of drawing 700 watts, unless you are shaking the plaster off the walls, it will only draw a small fraction of that in normal use.

That being said, your work area sounds about like mine. (Hey, if you ever kick that guy to the curb, let me know...you sound like my kind of person. ) There are times that I wonder how close my office circuit gets pushed to capacity, but so far, I have never tripped the breaker. So while your walls are opened up, it may not be a bad idea to consider putting in another circuit to serve the high-demand areas. All you'd have to do is take one load away from the old circuit, and could then be assured you'd never have a problem no matter how much playing you did. Put a quad outlet where your workstation is located.

Knowing that you already have 20 amp circuits is great. It is very tough to overload one. Like you, I have never tripped a 20-amp breaker due to load in 20 years. That even includes my workshop, where I play with even bigger toys.
I OC so I don't doubt I get into the 1k range with my rig, but yeah I think it's more about amps on the home circuits, right? I've never gotten the hang of figuring that part without six calculators and an excel spreadsheet hahaha



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Old 01-11-2019, 07:28 PM   #13
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Your panel is full already. That is a fairly old one as well. I would say before 1980. Is there another main panel? That box doesn't have a main breaker to protect the service. It is a good brand, however. I would not worry about it until you trip breakers.
P.S. BrownEyedGuy is wrong about no limit on number of plugs in residential. Each plug is to be assumed to have a load of 1.5 amps. or 13 plugs on a 20 amp circuit. Actual load is more important, though.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:46 PM   #14
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Re: Additional circuits?


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Your panel is full already. That is a fairly old one as well. I would say before 1980. Is there another main panel? That box doesn't have a main breaker to protect the service. It is a good brand, however. I would not worry about it until you trip breakers.
P.S. BrownEyedGuy is wrong about no limit on number of plugs in residential. Each plug is to be assumed to have a load of 1.5 amps. or 13 plugs on a 20 amp circuit. Actual load is more important, though.
Not true. The 1.5 amp is actually only only used for commercial and not residential.
NEC does not limit the number of receptacles expect in certain areas.Local codes may apply.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:48 PM   #15
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Re: Additional circuits?


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Your panel is full already. That is a fairly old one as well. I would say before 1980. Is there another main panel? That box doesn't have a main breaker to protect the service. It is a good brand, however. I would not worry about it until you trip breakers.
P.S. BrownEyedGuy is wrong about no limit on number of plugs in residential. Each plug is to be assumed to have a load of 1.5 amps. or 13 plugs on a 20 amp circuit. Actual load is more important, though.
No, BEG is NOT wrong. You're quoting commercial requirements of the NEC, not residential.
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