Temporary circut, is it safe?


Old 01-17-07, 09:50 PM
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Temporary circut, is it safe?

I am a computer nerd so I require a bit more power than an average person, I recently moved into an older (1930s) house with very suspect wiring. My computer room is upstairs and fishing new wire through would be a task, the house will be re-wired this year so I needed a quick fix and I didn't want to tear down a bunch of drywall just to do it again in 6 months or so.

I decided to install a dedicated 20a circuit using 12-3 wire. I ran the wire through the basement to the first receptacle for my cable modem and main wireless router, I continued up the laundry shute (that we don't use) inside a pvc, up the molding for the doorway on the outside of the wall, over 2 doors still on the molding, drilled a hole into the room I needed the wire to be in, ran the wire to the middle of the wall and then down to an external wire box with a 20a receptacle which is about a foot above the floor. Everything is secured and there are no pinch points, the wire run is about 70ft, will this be safe? If not what problems could I expect?

I am also a bit worried about the load, I have two 900va ups's on the receptacle upstairs, I have 3 good computers, 19" LCD, 32" LCD, 3 external HD's, and another wireless router split up between the two UPS's, is this too much? I have never tripped the breaker even when I have everything running which is rare, generally only 2 computers are on at any given time.

I plan on re-wiring the house myself with the help of a friend who is licensed, I'm in for it because this house has some problems with everything.

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-18-07, 03:33 AM
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Your wiring is not to code. Some will argue that not to code means not safe. What is important is whether or not the cable will be damaged.
Old 01-18-07, 10:04 AM
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No one will bless your installation, although it does not sound much different from running a 12 AWG extension cord. I used to have an apartment with old wiring and I figured that running 12-2 Romex direct from the breaker to the window A/C was safer than plugging it in to the wall.

If you're concerned about load, when you do the permanent wiring, put two or more 20A circuits in the computer room. You can usually get a pretty reasonable estimate by looking at the equipment nameplates or specs and converting as needed from VA and watts to amps. Or, you can borrow your friend's DMM and amp clamp and "Carefully" measure the actual usage at the breaker or somewhere downstream where the wires can be separated safely.
Old 01-18-07, 02:32 PM
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> I decided to install a dedicated 20a circuit using 12-3 wire.

You probably mean 12/2 which has a black, white and bare wire. Actual 12/3 has black, red, white and bare.

> will this be safe?

It's not to code, but it's safer than putting a 20A load on the original 1930s wiring. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

> two 900va ups's

At max load on the UPSs, you're running 80% of the 20A circuit capacity which is acceptable.

> I have 3 good computers

[email protected] (probably 200W)

> 19" LCD, 32" LCD, 3 external HD's, and another wireless router

80W, 150W, [email protected], 60W

Estimate = 1490W / 120V ~ 13A
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