Sub-panel or ???

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  #1  
Old 07-04-06, 11:43 AM
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Exclamation Sub-panel or ???

The problem:
I live in Chicago and I have an office in my attic that houses 2 servers that have dual power supplies each. There's also a printer, a monitor, 2 computers, TV, DVD and stereo. In addition I have a 10,000 BTU portable AC unit which is driving the question .

The question:
Should I install a 60/100 watt subpanel or is there some other solution? I currently have the attic on its own circuit of a 200 watt main panel, but its on a 15amp breaker which generally trips during the daytime when the AC unit is on . At night everything is ok.

My first thought was to swap the breaker for a 20amp breaker. However, I'm not sure of the gauge of the wire run to the attic. I believe it's #14. I know I'll need at least #12 for 20amps. If I install a subpanel, would I have to upgrade the wiring anyway? So, would the subpanel make sense or is there another option???

Thanks,

Joseph
 
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  #2  
Old 07-04-06, 11:52 AM
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How about just a new dedicated receptacle for the AC?
 
  #3  
Old 07-04-06, 11:57 AM
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For what you are doing I would install a dedicated circuit for the A/C unit. I believe that a sub-panel would be a waste unless you believe that you will need considerably more power in the future.

I would also put an amp-meter on the existing circuit to see the exact current draw.
 
  #4  
Old 07-04-06, 11:57 AM
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How about just a new dedicated receptacle for the AC?
I was under the assumption that the load, without the AC unit, was a bit much for 15amps. Is that not the case?
 
  #5  
Old 07-04-06, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gilchrist-elect
For what you are doing I would install a dedicated circuit for the A/C unit. I believe that a sub-panel would be a waste unless you believe that you will need considerably more power in the future.
I will be adding a couple more servers and networking equipment in the near future.
 
  #6  
Old 07-04-06, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gwoods
I will be adding a couple more servers and networking equipment in the near future.
A small sub-panel would allow for future expansion.

If you have ample breaker space in your existing panel, you could just install a conduit. This would give you the ability to easily install more circuits in the future.

You definately need to get that A/C on a dedicated circuit and check the amperage on your existing circuit with the A/C off. I believe that your circuit, without the A/C, is already overloaded.
 
  #7  
Old 07-04-06, 01:53 PM
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He is in Chicago. He should already have conduit.
You could replace the exsiting wires with #12 and pull in some addtional #12 for two 20 amp circuits.
 
  #8  
Old 07-04-06, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by joed
He is in Chicago. He should already have conduit.
You could replace the exsiting wires with #12 and pull in some addtional #12 for two 20 amp circuits.
Yes I already have conduit. Changing the wire makes sense. Also, testing the existing current is a good idea as well. Thanks for the help!
 
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