Garage, bathrooms and outside on 1 breaker

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  #1  
Old 01-16-07, 07:50 PM
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Garage, bathrooms and outside on 1 breaker

Recently I purchased an air compressor that would trip my breaker in the garage. In doing this I noticed power shuts down to all the upstairs bathrooms, garage and outside sockets. From what I was told this is a NO-NO in wiring up a house. The garage at least should be separate from each bathroom. Since I really don't know much about wiring throughout the house how exactly is everything wired together like that. Is there anyway to separate the garage outlet for a dedicated circuit itself at the breaker box? Its a 120v 15amp breaker controlling all those outlets. Also the breaker that trips has a TEST button on it. I just have no way of easily running a dedicated line to my garage so this is why I ask if anything can be done at the box itself. Just thought I would ask you guys since obviously you know a lot more than me.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-07, 08:03 PM
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You're right, all those receptacles on one circuit would certainly lead to an overload. If your house was built recently, then this would be against codes, but I would assume your house is 50-70 years old, and this was typical back then.

The only way to resolve the issues that you're noticing is to run a new (or several) new circuits, especially to the garage. Though it'll probably be a pain to run a new wire (or 2 or 3), where there's a will, there's a way. Crawlspace, attic, etc are all options.

Suggest you get a good book if you're looking into doing this yourself or contact an electrician.

Good luck!
 
  #3  
Old 01-16-07, 08:26 PM
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House was built around 25yrs ago so its not that old. I have a friend who is an electrician but its just hard to really talk to him because both our jobs take up most our time. I work 6days a week 12hrs a day normally so the last thing I want to do when I get home is think about wiring. He said he would run the line and everything as long as I paid for the items needed which is fine by me just time is a factor and we never seem to have the same open schedule. I also feel bad for dumping a million questions on him so I thought I would do it here. Main problems is no direct route to run the lines, my breaker box in on the complete opposite side of my garage and my basement is only half the house so there is no crawl space or attic to get it over there. Would have to do a PVC run from what I understand.

I was hoping there was a way to just section of the garage outlet to its own breaker without having to run all new stuff but I guess everything is tied in with each other throughout the house? I guess I was hoping somehow there was a direct run from the garage to behind the breaker box that tied into everything before it connected to the breaker itself.

Ok done rambling now,
Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 01-16-07, 08:29 PM
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Your wiring was legal 25 years ago.

Whether or not you can separate out the garage, or how easy it would be to do depends on the wiring that is in place. It probably is NOT going to be easy.
 
  #5  
Old 01-16-07, 08:39 PM
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Yeah I kinda figured that, but just wanted to check my options first or if there was an easier way of going about this situation.
 
  #6  
Old 01-16-07, 08:51 PM
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Wiring in a house is typically done daisy chained or serially, from one receptacle to the next, to the next, etc. Your wiring likely follows that pattern. Occasionally wiring is done in a start pattern out from one central place, but that is less common.

The only way to tell is to follow the wiring as best you can. Often wiring is unfinished basements can be followed, but once it gets into walls you need to start opening junction boxes and disconnecting wires.

As for you only discovering now that all of these are on the same breaker, that is not good. Within a short time of moving into your house you should have figured out exactly what is on each breaker, and what breaker controls each and every light, receptacle and appliance in the house. This information is invaluable in case of a problem with a circuit, and could save your life some day.

I strongly urge you (and everyone else who hasn't done this in their residence) to take the time some afternoon to completely and thoroughly map out their circuits. You don't need to know what paths the wires take, but you do need to know what each breaker controls.
 
  #7  
Old 01-17-07, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for the info RACRAFT. As I am only 25 I never really though about this situation with all the other wiring since my parents moved into this house some time ago. The breakers are labeled for the most part, seemed this one is the only one which wasnt as far as I could tell. But I will be going over all them this weekend hopefully to check and see what controls what.

As for the wiring, the one thing I guess confused a little was, the bathrooms upstairs and the outside socket are completely away from the garage. I could see how those could be wired together but to tie in the garage one also seemed like it would be more of a PITA then to run a dedicated one from the start.

Will be going over a lot of it this weekend to see where I stand. It looks like Sunday my friend who is an electrician will be able to come check it out himself since we both have off for once. I will post my findings when that happens.

Thanks so far

Oh and the TEST button on the breaker also threw me off because I didnt know why that was part of the breaker since its the only one with it.
 
  #8  
Old 01-17-07, 08:46 PM
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Fox,
My house was the same way. I couldn't figure out why my bathroom(s) and my outside receptacles were not working. Tested power, nothing. I called the electric company out to check it out. Me and my wisdom did not realise that there was a GFCI receptacle in the garage that tripped and set them all off. I felt like a idiot.

I've then seperated the circuits.
 
  #9  
Old 01-18-07, 01:05 PM
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how did you separate it? Did you just run a new line to your garage?
 
  #10  
Old 01-18-07, 03:30 PM
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Yes, it was not that hard since I had good access to inner walls from the attic.

I kept the garage circuit on the same breaker and just disconnect the branch wiring off that GFCI receptacle that feeds the baths and outside.

I then ran new wiring from the panel up through the attack, and down the walls into each bathroom. (each bath on own circuit)

The outside receptacle was more tricky since it was an outside receptacle and had to deal with insulation. I killed power to that circuit, then disconnected the wiring from the receptacle. With the wiring dangling from the receptacle, I taped on the new wire to the ends of the old wiring, and pulled up the new wiring as I got rid of the old, if that makes sense. I didn't think this was going to work because I thought the old wiring would have been stapled to a stud or something, but it wasnt.

If you plan on doing this, just read up on residential wiring, and take your time.
 
  #11  
Old 01-18-07, 05:07 PM
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My friend will be doing it if anyone. Today I finally got up in my attic to see if I could get a path over to the garage but its not looking to good. This house is all messed up IMO. The thought crossed my mind about keeping the breaker everything is on now just for the garage and re-running the bathrooms, etc that are on the same line because they aren't to hard to get to. Will be looking into it a little more so we'll see. Just wish there was an easier way, my house layout is horrible for this type of thing apparently.
 
  #12  
Old 01-18-07, 06:43 PM
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Remember, you are still safe the way it is now. Just that in newer construction and if you are getting major electrical work done, these rooms need to be seperated.

I would say just keep your wiring the way it is.
 
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