branching off a 50 amp circuit?

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Old 05-01-06, 03:40 PM
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branching off a 50 amp circuit?

Question branching off a 50 amp line?
I have a 50 amp line in my kitchen that used to power an oven. Now I have to put a rangetop in it's place and put an oven across the kitchen. From what electrictions tell me, each requires it's own circuit. In my main box I don't have room for another so I was going to use a split breaker. No problems, but I have to punch holes across my house's ceiling to do that. Another electriction told me I could split the 50 amp line to power both. That doesn't seem right to me, but it would save me a huge hastle. If I split the 50 amps up, wouldn't I need another sub panel and two breakers anyways? Would it be overkill to put another subpanel in my kitchen which just powers the two appliances or is it possible to split the 50 amp line without it. Or should I go to the main box and install a split breaker- for there is no more room in my main box. I have so many different ideas- but I want the safest and most cost effective and mainly up to code way of solving this problem. Thank You
 
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Old 05-01-06, 04:11 PM
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You have not provided sufficient information to answer the question. It _may_ be possible to do this, but there will be several details to figure out.

1) What are the 'nameplate' ratings of the new appliances and the old appliance? In particular, how many kW are they rated for, and do they specify a minimum or a maximum circuit (or breaker) size?

2) Is your current circuit a 3 wire (2 hots and a neutral) or a 4 wire (two hots, a neutral, and a ground)? If it is a 3 wire, are the wires in conduit, or is the neutral bare?

3) Where do you live and what are your _local_ code and inspection requirements?

4) Are you going to do this yourself, or are you trying to get things planned so that you can work with an electrician?

-Jon
 
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Old 05-01-06, 06:22 PM
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Question 50 amp circuit

Thanks for the response. I'm not at the house now, but I know one thing. To code, each appliance requires at least a 40 amp wire running to it (#8 copper or #6 aluminum). And if that is true, I can not, like one electrician told me I could, split a 50 amp line. correct? if I did it would only be 25 amps to each appliance which would be illigal. Please let me know if my info is correct. I need to go to the house to see if there's three or four wires, but still, reguardless, I still don't think I can split 50 into two. Or if I still can or if there is still more information you need, please let me know. Thank You so much.
 
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Old 05-01-06, 07:25 PM
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The code is rather more complicated than 'each cooking appliance needs 40A'.

In general, the minimum circuit size for a single electric range is 40A. But there are quite a few calculations involved when there is more than one appliance involved. So depending upon the appliances involved, and their individual ratings, it is quite possibly legal to connect both appliances to the same circuit, but not certain to be the case.

In a nutshell, this needs to be a valid circuit for extension under current code(proper separate ground and neutral), the appliances must both be safely protected by the breaker (both appliances must be listed for use on a 50A circuit), and the total load of the appliances, adjusted by demand factor calculations in the electric code, must be met by the circuit (you must have less than a 12kW calculated load).

There are many more details to an electrical installation, all of which need to be correct. From your questions, it sounds like you may need to do a bit more background reading on the subject; right now you don't even know all of the questions to be asking. My advice is that you are not ready to do this installation on your own.

If your goal is to confirm that the electrician was correct about splitting this circuit, then we can probably give you a good yea or nay based upon the information that you provide. If your goal is to do this installation yourself, then I strongly recommend that you read a couple of books on electrical installations, and find out what your local codes and inspection rules are, prior to starting this work.

-Jon
 
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