Circuit Breaker Overload/Replacement

Old 10-18-03, 07:15 AM
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Question Circuit Breaker Overload/Replacement

I am TRYING to run a portable heater that requires 12.5 amps in a bedroom. The circuit for that room is 15 amps and it keeps blowing out. Someone told me I can increase the circuit to a 20 or maybe more, but then someone else told me that the circuit shouldn't be increased, as this would cause a fire hazard (neither of these people are electricians). Does anyone out there know the answer to this? I have NO electrical experience, but feel I could change the circuit breaker, after reviewing instructions on this website. The ceiling lights in the room are on a different circuit and I am considering calling an electrician and simply having an outlet run to the light switch and removing the light bulbs (we don't use the overhead light). Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated!! Simonne
Old 10-18-03, 07:20 AM
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You cannot increase the size of a circuit breaker without verifying that every piece of wire in the circuit is large enough for the new breaker. It is a fire hazard to have a breaker supplying undersized wires.
Find out what else is on the circuit and turn those loads off.
Old 10-18-03, 11:41 AM
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It is very, very unlikely that you could replace that breaker without creating a fire hazard. Don't do it! As brick says, get everything else off this circuit.
Old 10-19-03, 09:18 AM
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Circuit Overloan/Replacement

Ok - You have both convinced me - Since, these two outlets are in my sons rooms, I don't want to mess around and cause a fire hazard so I've decided to call in an electrician and find out about routing the overhead light switch to one of the wall plugs (overhead lights are on a different breaker for some reason). Thanks very much for your input - it REALLY helped! Simonne
Old 10-19-03, 10:36 AM
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Your best bet would be to have the electrician run a dedicated circuit for the heater. A 12.5 amp heating unit, plus the lights on that circuit would still likely create an overloaded circuit. If the lighting is on a seperate circuit it is likely that 1. all lights on that floor are on one circuit, or 2. the lighting for the room in question is on the circuit that provides power for an adjoining room. Either way, that circuit has the potential to carry more load than you are seeing.

To do as you are considering, the electrician would first have to trace out that circuit and find out what it serves. Once that knowledge is known, he may or may not be able to make use of it. At that level, it would likely be quicker to just run a dedicated circuit from the panel.
Old 10-19-03, 01:56 PM
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You could buy a smaller heater.

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