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richardlaskar
circuit breaker upgrade

My son and 3 of his buddy move into a house in the sunset area of San Francisco this week-end. All was fine until they plugged all their hdtv, computers, laptops, etc..... Is anyone out there that can tell me how many amps circuit breaker they need to sustain that kind of electrical demand all at once, or is more to it??
:)

Thanks

NEC
Re: circuit breaker upgrade
richardlaskar wrote:

My son and 3 of his buddy move into a house in the sunset area of San Francisco this week-end. All was fine until they plugged all their hdtv, computers, laptops, etc..... Is anyone out there that can tell me how many amps circuit breaker they need to sustain that kind of electrical demand all at once, or is more to it??
:)

Thanks

what happened?

richardlaskar
Re: circuit breaker upgrade

To NEC

Oops!Good question, the breaker trips constantly, it seems that they can not run too many appliances simultaneously, obviously i don't think they should, but within reason, let say what will it take to run a microvawe, two pc's and the clothes dryer at the same time, is this a question of amps? or is it a case of feeding on the same line going to the breaker?

Thanks for reply RPL

Re: circuit breaker upgrade

Most appliances list the actually demand on them. Its usually a silver stamp or sticker located on the side or back. It will say the watts (in thousands "k") and the amps. Use this to determine what you can plug in. Most older homes need additional branch circuits for modern day use.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: circuit breaker upgrade

Dryer should be on a 240 volt circuit, microwave should be on its own circuit. You should never change breakers to a higher value without upgrading wiring. The breaker is sized to the existing wiring to prevent fires.
Jack

NEC
Re: circuit breaker upgrade
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Dryer should be on a 240 volt circuit, microwave should be on its own circuit. You should never change breakers to a higher value without upgrading wiring. The breaker is sized to the existing wiring to prevent fires.
Jack

Ditto.............

winspiff
Re: circuit breaker upgrade

Please correct me if I am wrong here. My impression is this: most old houses had 60 amp service (which, in the best estimation you can make without seeing anything, it sounds like you have). Later, this needed to be upgraded to 100 amp. In modern houses, 200 amp is gradually becoming the standard, even in smaller homes.

As someone already mentioned, it looks like you're going to have to put in a lot more circuits if so many appliances, etc, are on the same circuits (and who wired the house? You better call in a licensed electrician, which you would have to do anyway to upgrade a panel). If so, in my humble opinion, upgrading to a 200 amp instead of going for 100 would probably make the most sense.

Just remember, however, that pulling a permit may mean you will need to bring other electric up to code (GFCI outlets near water, etc), but code is there for a reason.

Another thing to remember is that blowing fuses on occasion is not a big deal; however, in that house, you may have a problem that could lead to something serious, perhaps even when your son is asleep. I would not hesitate to do everything you can to make sure that electrical system is safe. Please don't underestimate electricity.

Updating a panel will cost you in the low ks.

winspiff
Re: circuit breaker upgrade

My impression is this: most old houses had 60 amp service (which, in the best estimation you can make without seeing anything, it sounds like you have). Later, this needed to be upgraded to 100 amp. In modern houses, 200 amp is gradually becoming the standard, even in smaller homes.

As someone already mentioned, it looks like you're going to have to put in a lot more circuits (if so many appliances, etc, are on the same circuits). (And who wired the house? You better call in a licensed electrician, which you would have to do anyway to upgrade a panel). If so, in my humble opinion, upgrading to a 200 amp (instead of going for 100) would probably make the most sense if you're going to the trouble. Someone already mentioned the need to upgrade wiring if that is done. I guess the question is this - what is the situation here? Do you own the house? Are you willing to invest in it?

Just remember, however, that pulling a permit may mean you will need to bring other electric up to code (GFCI outlets near water, etc) - but code is there for a reason.

Another thing to remember is that blowing fuses on occasion is not a big deal; however, in that house, you may have a problem that could lead to something serious, perhaps even when your son is asleep. I would not hesitate to do everything you can to make sure that electrical system is safe. Please don't underestimate electricity.

Updating a panel will cost you very roughly around 2K or so. Updating wiring is quite expensive. You can have a series of smaller panels as well. Please listen to everyone else on this forum first, though.

winspiff
Re: circuit breaker upgrade

Sorry about the double post.

electricianhelper
Re: circuit breaker upgrade

It might be either the wire or the breakers. It may be both. What size breaker is in there currently or is it fuses? Of my understanding HDTV's don't draw that many amps but computers may depending what is ran on them at that time. Check the wire size. If it's anything less that 14, that is your answer or if it's 15 amp breakers, swap them out and try a different one and see if that works. It might be just a bad breaker. What is said with breakers they must be exercised every 6 months to ensure they are working properly.

Ernie_Fergler
Re: circuit breaker upgrade
electricianhelper wrote:

It might be either the wire or the breakers. It may be both. What size breaker is in there currently or is it fuses? Of my understanding HDTV's don't draw that many amps but computers may depending what is ran on them at that time. Check the wire size. If it's anything less that 14, that is your answer or if it's 15 amp breakers, swap them out and try a different one and see if that works. It might be just a bad breaker. What is said with breakers they must be exercised every 6 months to ensure they are working properly.

I have never exercised my breakers !!!
Dang, I try to avoid exercising myself...

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