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Does adding more electrical outlets require to increase breaker amps/condiut?

Finding out if you need to increase amps if you add more outlets to your home. And typically how much amps to increase by, and after how many outlets would require to increase amps.

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Yes maybe, depending on what you are doing.

1) Electric Code generally says Maximum 12 boxes per electric circuit controlled by 1 circuit breaker. If you have more boxes, then your house can fail inspection IF inspector finds problem. But it is a minor problem if wire size, breaker size, and amp loads are safely matched.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-switches.html#add

2) Reason for the code: so there is not power loss to last box when many things are drawing power from same circuit, which can cause overheating of circuit and trip breaker, and cause heat damage to some electronic devices and motors.

Which is why you are asking the question.

3) In practical terms, if you are adding outlets to run another light bulb, then you will probably not notice any problem.
However if you are adding plugs so you can run shop tools, or blower motor, or compressor etc, then that can be a problem.

For example if wire is too long, there will be power loss to motor which will cause motor overheating and shorten life of equipment.

4) Solution.
Calculate total amps and watts expected on that circuit.
Add up watts of everything running at same time.
Volts x amps = watts
120 volt microwave uses 1500 watts, how many amps?
Amps = watts divided by volts, so 1500 watts divided by 120 volts = 12.5 amps.
Compare your total expected amp usage to charts on following link.
Make sure you have correct wire and circuit breaker for expected amps. Oversizing wire and breaker are good idea.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html

Posted on Oct 27, 2012

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SOURCE: No electricity in all bathroom outlets

you may have agfi outlet in the circuit. the outlet has 2 push buttons in the middle. it maybe an outside outlet that is tripped some contractors hook up the circiut like that

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SOURCE: Lights & outlets in addition, how many on 20 amp breaker?

I would say something a little different than SmithBrother. You said you are putting on an addition and you asked how many outlets can you put on a 20 amp breaker. Because of the date on your comment, it is probably a little late to be replying but whaat the heck ... here goes.

I think there is a rule of thumb that you can put about 12 "holes" in a 15 or 20 amp circuit. A "hole" is a hole in the wall where a box would be put for a outlet or a light or a switch. I presume you know to use #12 wire on a 20 amp circuit and while you may use #14 on a 15 amp circuit, I prefer to shy away from #14 wire even though I MAY protect a given circuit with a 15 amp breaker. You can over protect but not under protect. 30 amp is #10 and so forth.

There are lots of other considerations ... too many to do justice in this short comment. However, I will hit a few hi lites. As SmithBrother says, a micro wave should have its own circuit as should a AC or a frig - I think that may go without sayng. I think you are speaking more general use. I believe the electric code says every wall must have a plug in it and you can go no more than 6 feet to get to a plug. So, if you have a 12 foot wall, one outlet in the middle will meet the requirement. There is nothting preventing you from puttine two outlets in that same wall. From my perspective, I want to have lots of outlets and I want them to be convenient for me to use. (There are more than 200 outlets in my home) Another thing, you cant put a outlete over a electric baseboard heater. You can put one at each end of such a heater but not where a lamp cord would lay in top of the hot heater surface.

Regarding the 12 hole rule ... if you have two switches that control the same light, you only count those two switches as one hole even though, obviously, there are two holes in the wall for the two switches. Count a second hole for the light. Conversely, if there is a light and a fan, you should count that one hole in the ceiling as two.

Posted on Oct 07, 2009

  • 122 Answers

SOURCE: I have a GE sub

just open the box on the panel there will be the correct type to buy good luck been a electrician for so time now

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My condo came with an already stacked electric washer and dryer combo which only required one 3 prong outlet. Now that we want to replace the broken machine to a stackabled front loading washer dryer,...


If the "3-prong" outlet to which you refer is a standard 110V outlet then adding another is very straightforward. It is quite common, though, for dryers to require a 220V outlet which is a different deal entirely (washers normally require only 110V). If that's the case (one needs 110, the other needs 220) then you probably want to consult a handy neighbor or a pro. If both need 110, then the first potential complicating factor is the size of the junction box the outlet is in. If it's a 2-gang box with one outlet in it, adding another outlet is easy - just add it to the box. If it's a 1-gang box (i.e., it's filled by the one outlet) then you'll have to replace the box before adding an outlet and again you'd probably want to enlist a handy neighbor or pro to help. The second potential complicating factor is the size of the breaker. If both machines want 110 and you add an outlet you might - *might* - be overloading the circuit (without knowing what machines you're talking about, it's an open question), in which case you'd have to add another circuit to the box for the additional outlet - again, a handy neighbor or pro can help with that.

So, in summary: if both machines use a standard 110V 3-prong plug adding another outlet is usually simple - you could even use a heavy-duty outlet multiplier. If either machine needs 220, see a pro or a DIYer.

As to what getting a pro might cost: I'm sorry, I have no idea. That depends on where you are and how difficult the job is. I can't even give you an estimate of how much it would cost me here 'cause I do all that sort of stuff myself.

I hope this was helpful to you, Helen! Good luck!

May 23, 2014 | Washing Machines

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House Electrical Need Work? Try These Home Improvement Ideas


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on Aug 08, 2013 | Fluke Networks Fluke 179 Electricians...

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No lights upstaires circuit breaker keeps tripping


Jan 2013
1) Move wire to another same-size circuit breaker to eliminate bad circuit breaker as suspect.
Do NOT increase size of breaker or it will cause fire.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html

2) Put hand on each appliance and outlet to see which ones are warm. Outlet should never be warm or hot. Replace outlet. Inspect wires for loose and burned connections.

3) If the breaker is good, then add up total watts being used by checking watt rating on each device. 100 watt light bulb is 100 watts. Big screen TV has a label that shows 300 to 500 watts. Computer has label. Space heater has label showing 1500 watts. Iron has a watt rating label. Take total watts and divide by 110Volts and this will give amp load. Total watts used = 2000 and then divide 2000 by 110 volts = 18.8 amps
Compare amp load with circuit breaker.
20 amp circuit breaker has 80% safe maximum, or 16 amps.
If amp load is 18.8 amps, then 20 amp breaker is starting to get hot, and weak breaker will start tripping.
If amp load is 18.8 amps, and breaker is 15 amps, then you are overloaded and breaker is feeling the heat, and tripping because of heat.
Solution is to reduce amp load.

4) If you have short circuit, that can also trip breaker.
Unplug everything and then plug things back in slowly to see which plug or appliance is causing the problem.

Jan 18, 2013 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I have a Challenger 15amp breaker that is carrying my tv, lights & phone in the living room and the microwave in the kitchen. It clicked off and will not stay on when I try to reset it. What do I do?


1) First of all, you are overamping that breaker.
Look at label on each appliance for watt rating.
1200 watt microwave, 120 volts draws 10 amps.
500 watt tv, 120 volts draws 4.1 amps.
15 amp breaker rated for 80% safe maximum is 12 amps
Do not install larger breaker without increasing size of wire.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html

2) Tripping breaker will not reset.
Jiggle breaker and see if there is crackling sound and check for burned smell.
Breaker might be bad. Move wire to another same-size breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html

3) Other problem could be electrical short, caused by Melted wire, melted outlet, bad appliance, bad surge protector
Unplug everything and see if breaker rersets.
Check each outlet to determine which are out.
Inspect each outlet and switch for appearance of burning or small of burning.
Then plug each item in one at a time, and see what is tripping breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html

Oct 29, 2012 | Challenger Circuit Breaker

1 Answer

1 question can Cutler Hammer breakers have the amperage feed through the breakers. To the breaker box and from the box grid to the load. Does it matter which way the amperage is fed through the breaker?...


There seem to be several questions mingled in with those 2 questions.

1) Amps can go either way

2) Breakers trip when heat exceeds certain level. Heat is caused by amps.

3) You want to add a subpanel in garage.
I do not know the code in your area for installing a subpanel.
Your plan will work by connecting 6 gauge wire to main breaker, and new 60 amp breaker will protect wires between main box and subpanel.
Remember, wires going into main breaker cannot be turned off without pulling meter.
Some areas require license to pull meter.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html

4) To work around license and meter-pull, simply replace a 240V breaker in main panel with your new 60 amp breaker.
Then move breakers around to match new set-up.
New subpanel can accommodate two new 240V breakers and one new 120 Breaker
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-a-subpanel.html

5) 6 gauge wire is correct for 60 amp breaker.

6) I'm not sure what you mean by the box rails?

7) Do you need more amperage on main service?
This means adding a larger service panel with 150 Watt or 200 Watt main breaker.
Some areas require service upgrade when remodeling or adding circuits.

8) How to figure total amp draw at your house.
Add up total watts being used.
For example you have 1/2 Hp motor
754 watts per Hp
1/2 Hp = 377Watts
Volts x Amps = Watts
Amps = Watts divided by Volts.
377 Watts divided by 240Volts = 1.57 amps (plus a bit more amperage when motor starts)
40 watt light bulb divided by 120Volts = .33 amps
Double oven has label located inside door that shows upper and lower wattage.
Dishwasher, dryer, big screen TV, satellite receiver all have labels that show wattage.
Water heater has label that shows wattage of each element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Figure-Volts-Amps-Watts-for-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/See-inside-main-breaker-box.html

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Feb 18, 2011 | Cutler Hammer 100 Amp Main Breaker...

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