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#### frenchwine

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I know most houses have use of a 120 amp breaker panel - correct? What if a person uses alot of electrical power because of highly volted(right word?) lights (ie 300-1000watt stage and/or photography lights)? And other electrical machines such as a sound booth, audio mixer and possibly a lighting board. This is in addition to a 40" and 65" tv, 2 dvd recorders/players, 2 pcs with multiple hard drives (9). In future I may have the use of a high-functioning computer server with a raid setup (multiple harddrives in machine anywhere from 3-9 HDs in a server setup).... 2 stoves, 1 fridge, 16cubic ft freezer, panel lights in most rooms and 7 rooms (3-5 lights on strip), stobe lights 2-4 in living room,
Would a person have a need for a higher than 120 amp breaker panel?
What are the incremental steps that a breaker panel increases by? (ie is next one up a 150amp breaker panel?)
And how does one decide the number of spaces (or circuits - right word?) is on the breaker panel to be used (ie 20?) Do you have a circuit for every light in the house? Or (as I think it might be) a certain number of lights and/or electrical plugs will be routed to a specific circuit (ie. maybe 6 lights will go to one circuit???) We can assume that one light suggests a 60 watt light bulb - how does this 60 watt designation translate and calculate into the numbers for the breaker panel? :furious:
I know this is ALOT of questions. I am mostly a beginner and definitely willing to admit I don't know nowhere near enough. :thumbup: However, I probably know more than all of these questions may seem to suggest. The ?s are asked to confirm my knowledge and/or to expand upon it.
So everyone's help is much appreciated! :thumbsup:

#### Scuba_Dave

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Most houses built today have 200a service
Bigger houses have 400a or larger service
What you can get will depend upon the local Poco

20a breaker = 2400 watts
120w = 1a
Tons of rules/codes on how to wire a house

#### oleguy74

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first off you need load calculations.without that you won't know anything.sounds like a new house?either way you need to have an architect do load calcs.

#### frenchelectrican

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Most common North Americian service size useally 100, 150, 200 amp size for the average size house but for larger house it can get much larger size like 300, 320 Class ( 400 amp resdential service size ) , 400 true size and larger as need.

For high wattage luminaires you have to read the wattage and divided by voltage it run

For the rest of details there are few goggle search for load demand caluations and use one for resdnetil and you can able see how much load you are expecting.

For your server set up on your computer system this part can get tricky will need nameplate info due some will draw a bit of current.

For 20 amp circuit it will be max of 2400 watts on 120 volt system
For 15 amp circuit it will be max of 1800 watts on 120 volt system

And if you have exsting place you will have to verify the conductor size before you can do the figures the 14 AWG conductor size only limited to 15 amp load while 12 AWG conductor size will limited to 20 amp load. { that on copper conductor }

Any other high wattage or 240 volt load genrally will have it own circuit and there are few diffrent size conductor it use all it depending on the load itself.

Merci.
Marc

#### frenchelectrican

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first off you need load calculations.without that you won't know anything.sounds like a new house?either way you need to have an architect do load calcs.
Just give you a head up not always the case the Architect will do the electrical caluation and quite few Electrician can do this as well { I always run the figures real quick to make sure noting is missed }

Merci.
Marc

#### darren

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300-1000W light bulbs, what in the world are you trying to light up. Even at 3 phase 600V(Canadian voltage) that is almost 300A of lights. At 120V it is 2500A.

#### AllanJ

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300-1000W light bulbs, what in the world are you trying to light up. Even at 3 phase 600V(Canadian voltage) that is almost 300A of lights. At 120V it is 2500A.
A large theater stage could have 200 to 300 light fixtures of 500 to 1000 watts each installed and plugged in although rarely would more than half of them will be turned on at any given time and mostly far from full brightness.

A project of this size (excluding the mounting and plugging in of the individual fixtures prior to each performance) usually requires a licensed electrician.

Generally the theater stage light circuits go to one or a few dimmer boards which in turn are connected to the power source (or mains). There would be an ampere rating on each dimmer board that you use to do your building load calculations and determine the branch circuit sizes.

Sometimes the wiring from the dimmer board to the fixtures in the catwalks is all cord and plug (using long extension cords). Sometimes there is hard wiring from the catwalks down to a bank of male receptacles (inlets) near where portable dimmer boards are usually positioned.

A dimmer board of any significant size, whether portable or house owned, is hard wired into a subpanel. It is up to the performers' electrician and lighting crew to make sure that the current draw at any given moment does not exceed the power supply rating.

#### darren

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I was thinking he was doing this in his house, but it makes sense if it is a theater or a church.

#### frenchelectrican

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I was thinking he was doing this in his house, but it makes sense if it is a theater or a church.
Yeah but I just hope that guy did have good working smoke detector and good fire stopper device.

Merci,
Marc

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