21 posts / 0 new
Last post
Re: Completely Perplexed.

Thanks Semi-Retired Electric I did some testing yesterday and found that they used one neutral for all the lights in this branch. Seeing how some of this K&T gets wired I was relieved and happy to see that. I capped the neutral and hot in the main box and now I'm trying to figure out how to group the new wiring. I think I'm going to have a separate breaker for each room. So for the bedroom I'll have 3 receptacles and the light on one breaker. For the living room I'll do the same thing. Does code allow this?

That sounds fine.

Which leads me to my next question;

Quote:
Each bath should have it's own 20A circuit and the receptacle should be GFCI protected.
The bath does have it's own GFCI BUT it's a 15 amp GFCI/breaker. They didn't run anything downstairs at 20 amp. All the old K&T was 15 amp. Is that OK?

The Code calls for 20A

Here is how the bathroom is currently wired; The GFCI is on its own 15 amp breaker.

That might be adequate, but not quite up to Code.

The heated floor is very small (3' X 2') and is only 1 amp. It is also on its own 15 amp breaker.

Sounds like it’s very lightly loaded.

The bathroom lights were on the old K&T wiring that I'm replacing now.

Good

Would it be OK to tap off the GFCI for the bathroom lights?

I would tap off the heated floor circuit, since the bath receptacle is already marginal

Or does the GFCI need to be on its own breaker?

The bath receptacle should not have anything on it except the bath

Can I tap off the heated floor thermostat to feed a nearby hallway light?

That’s what I would do

Generally, AFCI breakers are required in all areas that do not require GFCI protection. When in doubt install them, they're designed to offer superior wiring protection and some shock protection as well.
Yes I want to use AFCI throughout the house. However it's a Square D panel and I'm trying to find out if I can use GE or Eaton Cutler Hammer AFCI breakers.
You will have to use SQ D AFCI Homeline or QO AFCI’s depending on the model #
Also the main panel is now full and I need to add 3 more circuits to it to replace this old K&T wiring.
Can you create space in your panel by replacing a 2 pole full size breakers with a ½ space 2 Pole?

I've never seen a tandem or dual circuit AFCI, so I may need to add a sub-panel.
True, if you go w/ a GE or CH you can put in their AFCI’s

THANKS for all of your help in sorting all of this out
My pleasure, let us know how your project is coming..be sure to turn off all power before changing breakers, panels etc. A short in there can create not only a shock hazard but a huge fireball.
BTW, how large is the transformer feeding your house and how far away is it? You may need a panel(s) with a higher than normal (22 Kaic rating). Usually, if it’s an overhead feed and more than 50 ft from your house a standard 10 Kaic panel is fine.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Completely Perplexed.

The reason for 20a in the bath room is because of hair dryers which in many cases is a full load for a 15 amp circuit. Running the bath lights off the 15 amp circuit could leave some one in the dark if a hair dryer trips the breaker.

Jack

William
Re: Completely Perplexed.
The Semi-Retired Electric wrote:

I would tap off the heated floor circuit, since the bath receptacle is already marginal

Quote:

Can I tap off the heated floor thermostat to feed a nearby hallway light?

That’s what I would do

So just to clarify, I can tap off the floor thermostat (15 amp breaker) for both the bathroom AND hallway lights? Just pigtail the connections in correct?

Quote:

BTW, how large is the transformer feeding your house and how far away is it?

I don't know. What (or how) would I find this out at?

William
Re: Completely Perplexed.

Oh my god, I just figured out that our 1875 watt hair dryer is 15.62 amps :eek:

Time to upgrade that outlet to 20 amps....

Re: Completely Perplexed.
MyMilan wrote:

Oh my god, I just figured out that our 1875 watt hair dryer is 15.62 amps :eek:

Time to upgrade that outlet to 20 amps....

True, the only reason you haven't had tripped a breaker is because the 15A breaker can run in an overloaded condition for several minutes without tripping.

Short term it would be better to get a smaller hair dryer until you run a 20A circuit.

Yes, you can use the floor heater circuit, if it's 120V and only pulls 1A, to power your hall and bath lights.

You can call your power company engineering dept. they will be able to tell you the short circuit available current to your home. Chances are it's well below the 10Kaic number you need to worry about. The answer will be free and if it's too high it's better to know sooner than later.

William
Re: Completely Perplexed.
The Semi-Retired Electric wrote:

Short term it would be better to get a smaller hair dryer until you run a 20A circuit.

Luckily it has a lower fan speed option that I will use. Was really surprised to see how many amps it was pulling. Because of this I have decided to run 12/2 for all the new main floor recepticle wiring. I will only use 14/2 for lighting. The only exception will be the living room lighting because one day I plan to install a fan in there, so I'll run 12/2 for those lights.

Quote:

Chances are it's well below the 10Kaic number you need to worry about.

So I want a lower number?

What does this number tell me about my house wiring?

Re: Completely Perplexed.
MyMilan wrote:

Luckily it has a lower fan speed option that I will use. Was really surprised to see how many amps it was pulling. Because of this I have decided to run 12/2 for all the new main floor recepticle wiring. I will only use 14/2 for lighting. The only exception will be the living room lighting because one day I plan to install a fan in there, so I'll run 12/2 for those lights.

So I want a lower number?

What does this number tell me about my house wiring?

Yes the lower setting would solve the problem short term.

I carry #14 wire but have not used any for years. True it's easier to wire and box fill is less of a problem but you're limited to about 10 receptacles (or lights) with 15A (#14 wire) so you would have 20% more "home runs" and now that we have to install $45 AFCI's (15A & 20A cost the same) so IMO there is no good reason to use #14 anymore.

Pages

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.