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# Question on 15 amp circuit

#1
10-23-06, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 49
Question on 15 amp circuit

i think I already know the answer to this question, but here goes. I am wiring a basement and am trying not to add an additional circuit.

the questions is, I have a 15 amp circuit with 17 60 amp lights and 6 15 amp recepticles. Is this circuit overloaded. I know it is technically w/in code since the lights draw 1080 watts on fixtures for 1440 max, and as i understand it in non commercial setting recepticles are not counted.

#2
10-23-06, 01:28 PM
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In my opinion, yes it is overloaded with the receptacles. It is not written in code, but a good rule of thumb is to count 3 watts per square foot of the area the general receptacles serve. So if your receptacles serve a 10x10 room, you have 100 square feet therefore 300W of load to consider in the calculation. A 10x20 room yeilds 200 square feet and 600W of general load.

#3
10-23-06, 02:32 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Yeah i knew it, but just did not want to admit to myself. When I planned the circuit I was only going to have a few lights. My wife interjected there was not enough light (she was right, I'm no interior designer).

Not that big of a deal to add a circuit, but i just did a really knock out job wiring the two rooms together (had to go through a convoluted beam and structural wall to hook them togehter.

#4
10-23-06, 03:08 PM
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Look at it from a practical point of view. If all the lights are on, that doesn't leave a lot of amperage for other stuff before you hit the 80% mark.

#5
10-23-06, 04:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chesapeake, VA
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If it's on less than 3 hours, he can go up to 100%.

And if it's on less than 30 seconds, he can go to 200%! (ducks)

#6
10-23-06, 05:01 PM
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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you get the point though. Whatever number you are shooting for. Subtract the lights and figure out how much is left and how much you need.

#7
10-23-06, 06:34 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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If you are adding a circuit (which I do think you should do), make it a 20 amp circuit.

#8
10-23-06, 09:32 PM
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Location: United States
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Everybody seems to want to skimp with the electrical circuits when finishing a basement. When I finished mine, I tried like the dickens to make do with existing circuits. I tried to make this work for some time, and then I realized that it was never going to work reasonably. Once I had to add one circuit, it wasn't that much of a big deal to add more, so I added seven new circuits. Now I never need to worry about overloading a circuit, and I can do whatever I want in my basement. If you don't have room for a bunch of new breakers in your main panel, it's easy and inexpensive to add a subpanel in your basement.

#9
10-23-06, 10:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 49
Thanks for all the replies. I guess it's one of those things where I knew the answer, but needed somebody else to tell me so I would stop being lazy and do it. BTW the inspector said it would be ok. But of course he only grades for bare minimum code requirements.

I really just wanted to save the trouble of having to add a circuit breaker to the box. But i am already going to have to rearrange and add slimlines, so what's one more.

It worked out ok though. I ran the new wire and luckily, the wire I had to remove from that cnnected the two rooms was exactly the right size for my switch loop run in another room. So i did not even waste the romex.

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