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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, thank you in advance for any help. My home was built in the mid 60's and up to this point the only issues I have had with the electrical is a breaker flops every now and then when a hair dryer is turned on. That being said, the home was not wired for all of the technology of today. There are no GFCI's except the ones I have installed. I have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a hall on one breaker. This continues throughout the house with multiple rooms on one breaker which of course the circuits get overloaded.

I do have nice copper wire so that is not an issue but I would like to find out if its possible for me to have 1 room per breaker without ripping out the existing wiring. Could I just go in the attic and splice at the beginning and end of each "room" and then run new wire down to a larger breaker box? Any other suggestions would be welcome also.
 

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flipping slumlord
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...up to this point the only issues I have had with the electrical
is a breaker flops every now and then when a hair dryer is turned on.

Could I just go in the attic and splice...
How about adding just the one (or two) new 20A circuits you may need?
Leave **everything** else alone.

One shared between the bathrooms... and maybe one for the kitchen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. We have oil heat and the cost of oil is a huge expense, we also do not have central air so in the summertime I have to choose a room in each "circuit " to plug in a window ac unit. I would love to be able to supplement the heat in the winter with some small electric heaters on the really cold days when the furnace runs constantly.

Really it comes down to wanting to have more things plugged in at one time then the electric will allow, I would love to fix this if possible.
 

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flipping slumlord
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Really it comes down to wanting to have more things plugged in at one time then the electric will allow, I would love to fix this if possible.
And I'm saying that there's nothing in what you described that needs a "fix".
You can supplement for convenience... but that's something else.

We have oil heat... do not have central air...
Do you have a boiler and radiators or a furnace and duct work?

I would love to be able to supplement the heat in the winter with some small electric heaters on the really cold days when the furnace runs constantly.
And you think that adding another dedicated receptacle into each room for a series of window shakers and space heaters is the best approach?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a boiler and radiators. I am interested in finding out if there is a cost efficient way to have each room on its own circuit so that what is going on in the other rooms is not interupted by a breaker flipping. Yes I do believe if this is possible it would be the best fix due to me not having 30k to redo all the heating and ac.
 

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flipping slumlord
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I am interested in finding out if there is a cost efficient way to have each room on its own circuit so that what is going on in the other rooms is not interrupted by a breaker flipping.
Going back to post #2 and the blow dryer problem you asked about...
leave **everything** else that is in place alone.
Do NOT add to or change what is there.

As you already own 5 or 6 window shakers and space heaters...
Add separate dedicated circuits as needed; even one per bedroom.
15A on 14ga wire will probably be fine (and cost less too).

How many spare slots do you have in your breaker panel?
 

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I have a boiler and radiators. I am interested in finding out if there is a cost efficient way to have each room on its own circuit so that what is going on in the other rooms is not interrupted by a breaker flipping. Yes I do believe if this is possible it would be the best fix due to me not having 30k to redo all the heating and ac.
Yes, but you would have to place a junction box to serve that room, then run a line back to the breaker panel, for just that room.

If your panel dates back to the 60's, and it is one of those that has been recalled, you need to look at doing an update on the breaker panel, and if you wish, you can install AFCI breakers for the Bedrooms & living room areas, gfci outlets in the Baths, Kitchen, outside, garage, basement/crawl space.

Post a picture of your current panel, along with the label showing manufacturer & model info. Also update for your location. As for the heating, there are more efficient Oil burning Boilers & furnaces out there, that would allow you to not only save money, but also would use less energy to achieve the same output.

Personally, if electric is cheaper than oil, there is no problem with going with a hybrid system, that you use a Heat pump forced air system, or hydronic heating system to run until it is too cold, depending on where you are, then run the oil to take over.

Of course, there is always Solar, which allows you to achieve heating & hot water, along with electric to the home, saving further money in the long run.
 

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You could do what others have suggested and add a couple of new dedicated circuits to the rooms where you need more power. Messing around with old wiring can get messy. Also, out of curiosity, what brand and type of breaker/fuse panel do you have? Are there many spaces left?
 

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" Euro " electrician
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Ok I have posted a pic of the panel, please let me know if you need more info. I have 3 open slots.
Maybe so but if I did read the panel correct that you have split buss there so the upper 6 two pole spaces are resvered for main portion so you will have a 50 or 60 amp breaker to feed the lower part of panel box the rest it can be used for electrique stove, electrique dryer or electrique water heater etc.

Do you have any thing hevey loaded circuit on the lower half that something we should be aware about it ??

Merci,
Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok I have taken a pic with the cover off, there is a label in there but a crapload of wires are in front of it and I'm not messing with them. That being said there is nothing heavy on the bottom only 15, 20 and one 30 amp. The top however is a different story, they are as follows:
2- individual 60 amp to barn
1- double 40 to dryer
2- double 60 to main
1- double 50 to stove
1- double 20 to well pump
1- double 30 to swimming pool

Stupid questions:

How many times can a breaker flip and still be safe?
Is there supposed to be any type of corrosion on the contacts of the breakers?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me.
 

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" Euro " electrician
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Ok I have taken a pic with the cover off, there is a label in there but a crapload of wires are in front of it and I'm not messing with them. That being said there is nothing heavy on the bottom only 15, 20 and one 30 amp. The top however is a different story, they are as follows:
2- individual 60 amp to barn
1- double 40 to dryer
2- double 60 to main
1- double 50 to stove
1- double 20 to well pump
1- double 30 to swimming pool

Stupid questions:

How many times can a breaker flip and still be safe?
Is there supposed to be any type of corrosion on the contacts of the breakers?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me.
To answer your question that is split buss panel the third top left breaker ( postion #9 et 11 )

40 amp for dryer IMO that is little high for that purpose it should be 30 amp double pole.

You may want to check that single pole 30 amp breaker what that goes for to make sure what it is connected.

Genrally it should not have any corroson on the bussbar at all the key issue is look at the main service entrance cable ( SVP do not touch them that is alive <hot> all the time ) and see if any water is dripping from them if so you will have to get a electrician come out and assit you on this one due something getting water from meter socket to the breaker box.

And whever you have extra free time it will be good time to map out the whole panel to see what it is connected and where it ran so you will know what to do when you do add new circuit in there.

You have more than 3 empty spots you can add to it more like 10 spaces you can use for sure.

Merci,
Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There doesn't seem to be any corrosion on the buss bar just on a handful of the contact screws on the outside of the breaker where the wire connects.

Did you read my original post on wanting to know if I could go in the attic and dedicate each room to its own breaker without ripping out the existing wiring? In your opinion do you think that's a possibility? I understand that I would bring in an electrician to hook everything up at the panel and I would probably need a new panel.

The issue with mapping everything out is the previous owner did things a little strange. I had to replace a burnt outlet in the laundry room (3 ft from where the panel is located) and when the threw the breaker that outlet was still live, I proceeded to continue with different breakers and finally the power cut when the threw the one for the attic. So this has been a learning experience everytime I have to mess with it.
 

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" Euro " electrician
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There doesn't seem to be any corrosion on the buss bar just on a handful of the contact screws on the outside of the breaker where the wire connects.

Some case it may show a little but as long the termations ( screws ) are tight and clean it should be ok.

Did you read my original post on wanting to know if I could go in the attic and dedicate each room to its own breaker without ripping out the existing wiring? In your opinion do you think that's a possibility? I understand that I would bring in an electrician to hook everything up at the panel and I would probably need a new panel.

Ya can do that route but before you start that route verify the exsting wiring if have grounded conductor aka bare conductor or green conductor in the cable.

If so ya should be good to go but the issue what will happend is some case with new extened circuit you may end up put in a AFCI ( arc fault circuit inturpter ) breaker in depending on how how your state / local code is writeen for the code cycle ( note there are few variations so check with them to see what year the NEC / State code cycle they are using )

As far for the exsting panel I think it will be much wiser to install the new panel so you have a clean legit main breaker in there instead of spit buss panel which per modern codes it is no longer legit due it too easy to abuse the 6 throw rules ( will discuss on that in little bit later )

The issue with mapping everything out is the previous owner did things a little strange. I had to replace a burnt outlet in the laundry room (3 ft from where the panel is located) and when the threw the breaker that outlet was still live, I proceeded to continue with different breakers and finally the power cut when the threw the one for the attic. So this has been a learning experience everytime I have to mess with it.
Yeah I know what ya mean and it will take time to sort out the mess what the former owner left and some case it can be pain in butt.

However I did catch one pretty serious volitation right there is the conductors between the panel and time clock is A) flying splice which that is a major no-no. B) the conductor between the time clock and panel do not have any type of protection as I can see like no NM sheath or a short peice of conduit to protect it.

But I will advise ya if you see some thing that don't right just go ahead and post the photo we will tell ya what is legit ou pas.

Merci,
Marc
 

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flipping slumlord
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Did you read my original post on wanting to know if I could go in the attic and dedicate each room to its own breaker without ripping out the existing wiring? In your opinion do you think that's a possibility?
It was rather universally suggested that you avoid this approach.
Leave everything that is in place exactly as it is.

The issue with mapping everything out is the previous owner did things a little strange....
If anything needs repair then absolutely deal with that... but do so in ways that keep things as originally laid out. If you need help with determining where that line is drawn... then get that help.

As for the problems originally reported by you... by all means go ahead and ADD the 3 or 4 new circuits that the several bedroom air conditioners and the bathroom blow dryers would need.
But do this without interconnecting with or changing anything already there.
 

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" Euro " electrician
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The biggest thing you will have to address soon is the bathroom circuit that is the first thing you will need to get that seperated.

The NEC code say that you can run one circuit for both bathroom receptales ONLY ., nothing else on this ., OR other option .,

Have each bathroom it own circuits so you can have light ahead of the GFCI's so that way if the GFCI trip the light stay on ( beside if the exhaust fan is above the bathtub foot print then it have to be on GFCI as well )

Be aware as I mention the bathroom have to be 20 amp circuit not 15 amp circuit ( only in USA side the Canada may be little diffent )

Merci,
Marc
 

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" Euro " electrician
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It was rather universally suggested that you avoid this approach.
Leave everything that is in place exactly as it is.

If anything needs repair then absolutely deal with that... but do so in ways that keep things as originally laid out. If you need help with determining where that line is drawn... then get that help.

As for the problems originally reported by you... by all means go ahead and ADD the 3 or 4 new circuits that the several bedroom air conditioners and the bathroom blow dryers would need.
But do this without interconnecting with or changing anything already there.
I make this part bold due THP is correct on this one and it will really save yourself alot of headahce and greif so that way in the orginal circuit it can be zigzaged or crossed connection and if you make the wrong connection it will compound the issue so do as THP mention first that I will done in first place then once you get that part done then you can expand more when you know how it goes.


Normally I do in reverse manner with crisscrossed circuits start at far end and work it way back so I know where is the source of oringal one is and kill it properly. ( it is not easy but that is the only way you can do this with criscrossed circuit or tube et knob < they are at it own game so that diffent subject >)

Merci,
Marc
 

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Ok I have taken a pic with the cover off, there is a label in there but a crapload of wires are in front of it and I'm not messing with them. That being said there is nothing heavy on the bottom only 15, 20 and one 30 amp. The top however is a different story, they are as follows:
2- individual 60 amp to barn
1- double 40 to dryer
2- double 60 to main
1- double 50 to stove
1- double 20 to well pump
1- double 30 to swimming pool

You should definitely identify ALL your breakers and circuits, as even your top section may not be accurate.

Based on your photos, it appears to be a split-bus panel. That means from panel top to bottom your busses are not electrically continuous, which means they are separated into sections. Your panel appears to have 3 sections. The top-third section is your mains. There should be at most 6 breaker throws in this section; yours appears to have 7 (note the single-pole, untied, breakers upper right). The breakers in this top section are considered mains because flipping them all off must cut all power to everything in your entire home. This top section, however, remains energized. Only the physical removal of the meter will cut power to the busses in this section.

The middle-third group of breakers should be controlled and protected by one of the main breakers in the top section. Likewise, the bottom-third set of breakers should be protected by yet another main breaker in the top section. (See attached photo. Markup based upon how the wires from the respective mains appear to run within the panel. You must confirm.)

Based on your photo of the covered panel, the knock out patterns indicate that you should have available 5 spaces in the middle section and 1 space in the bottom section where additional circuits and breakers may be possibly installed (see attached). When deciding how many additional circuits and in which section to install, the load of that section must be determined and considered relative to the size/capacity of the main breaker/feeder wire that is protecting/feeding that bus section.


Stupid questions:

How many times can a breaker flip and still be safe?
Is there supposed to be any type of corrosion on the contacts of the breakers?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me.
Any corrosion would lead to greater resistance. Any resistance would lead to greater heat. And great heat would lead to fire.
 

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