Electrical question


  #1  
Old 03-09-04, 07:40 PM
Jeff144
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Electrical question

My house was extensively remodeled in 2000. The electrical panel is all new. Most of the wiring is all new. One of the rooms added on at the time was wired up all on one 15 amp circuit. That was fine for it's original purpose, but we have since decided to turn the room into a home hair-salon. Problem is, that lil ole 15-amp circuit just can't handle even one salon hair dryer if anything else is on.

Another thing about this circuit is that it has a GFCI outlet, because the original purpose of the room was a hot-tub room, and it was required by code. If the main breaker doesn't pop, the GFCI pops.

We want to be able to power more electrical devices on this circuit. Can I simply replace the 15-amp breaker with a 20 or 30 amp breaker in the main panel, and replace the GFCI outlet with a regular outlet? If not, what can anyone suggest I do? I need to keep costs as low as possible. But I also don't want to create a fire hazard. Do I need to check what kind of wire was used? What kind of wire would I need to support a 20 or 30 amp circuit?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Jeff
 
  #2  
Old 03-09-04, 08:34 PM
J
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Can I simply replace the 15-amp breaker with a 20 or 30 amp breaker in the main panel?
Well, this part is easy and non-controversial. The answer is, "absolutely not."
replace the GFCI outlet with a regular outlet?
Maybe, maybe not. Depends on why the GFCI was installed in the first place. Often GFCI is used because there is no grounding wire. If that is the case, you may not remove the GFCI.
What kind of wire would I need to support a 20 or 30 amp circuit?
12-gauge copper can support a 20-amp circuit. If the panel has a 15-amp breaker, there is virtually zero chance that you have 12-gauge wire now. And there is no wire that will support a 30-amp breaker. You are not allowed by code to put regular receptacles on a 30-amp breaker, not matter how big the wire.

I suggest you have an electrician install a few new circuits to this room. The cost should be nominal.
 
 

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