Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Half of my house on one breaker!
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Daniel B.
Half of my house on one breaker!

Hello all,

My house (1300sq feet), was built in 1957 and had 60 amp service. We had a new 200amp service panel installed and the electric company came out and buried the cables.

So now, we have a nice new panel, and the existing breakers were all installed. My Kitchen, washer/dryer/furnace/ac all seem to be on dedicated circuits.

My living room, all bedrooms (3), basement (living room and office) and bathroom are connected to one 15amp breaker. We discovered this when my wife tried to use the blow dryer, we also encountered issues using the vacuum (obviously).

The panel has alot of breakers in them, but I really don't know where they are going.

I'd like to split the bedrooms, living room and bathroom onto their own 15 amp circuit.

Can someone please either provide me, or direct me to information to determine how all these rooms are on one breaker? Am I going to have to run new lines direct from the breaker into the rooms themselves?

Thank you for your time!

A. Spruce
Re: Half of my house on one breaker!

It depends on your electrical abilities. If you are familiar with basic wiring, this may be something you can accomplish with some guidance from the fine folks here. If you have no electrical experience at all, my recommendation would be to hire a professional to split the circuits for you.

Daniel B.
Re: Half of my house on one breaker!

I've wired ballasts for fixtures and ceiling fans and stuff like that, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be hiring a pro.

I guess I'd also like to know, how would all this stuff all wind back up to one breaker. Is there a term for how this would be wired? I'm really curious and would love to read more so I fully understand whats going on within the walls and attic of my house!

Thanks!

Ernie_Fergler
Re: Half of my house on one breaker!
Daniel B. wrote:

I've wired ballasts for fixtures and ceiling fans and stuff like that, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be hiring a pro.

I guess I'd also like to know, how would all this stuff all wind back up to one breaker. Is there a term for how this would be wired? I'm really curious and would love to read more so I fully understand whats going on within the walls and attic of my house!

Thanks!

My take on the one breaker serving much of the house back in 1957 is on the load calculations done at that time. The rooms may have had a few outlets for floor lamps, a radio and a sewing machine, etc. I am sure I have missed a few appliances, but you get my drift. Now fast forward to 2010 and with progress along came TVs, sound systems, VCRs, PCs. The list is endless, and load demands have increased with time.

xyxoxy
Re: Half of my house on one breaker!

My house was built in '56 and when we upgraded the panel we faced the same issue. The old panel had 8 breakers. One serviced the electric oven and the clothes dryer. One serviced the entire kitchen including the electric stove. One was for the boiler. And the rest were a hodge podge. One 15 Amp breaker could shut off the outlets in 3 rooms. Another covered one bathroom, half of a bedroom, and the lamp post outside. One 15 amp breaker serviced ONLY one outlet that was installed later in a closet behind my bathtub.

Fortunately, the wiring in the house was done well and the problem was mostly how things were wired together at the panel. Adding a new panel (properly rated for the street service) with more breakers allowed us to split things up more appropriately for our needs and allowed us to bake cookies and dry our clothes at the same time.

Cleanerthanclean
Re: Half of my house on one breaker!

I would never recommend to tackle any wiring jobs by yourself, this is not a DIY thing at all...

schwma
Re: Half of my house on one breaker!

My house was built in the 60's. same thing. I had a porch light on one fuse, and the 3 bedrooms on another. Its just shotty work and likely the contractor did not have the inspection done / cronism. Cynical but I'm betting its true. Have the work looked at by an electrician.

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