I think I overloaded circuit?

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Old 07-05-09, 01:25 PM
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I think I overloaded circuit?

I seriously underestimated the wattage of vanity lights. When I went to look at them, I found that they took 4 or 5 100 watt bulbs and I have two sinks so 800 to 1000 watts. so here is the circuit in order that in runs:

laundry 117 watt
walk in closet 6 x 60 watt
vanities 2 x 500 watt
toilet room light 75 watt
toilet room fan 60 watt
bath main lights 2 x 75 watt
shower light 60 watt
main bath fan 60 watt
bath closet light 60 watt
tub light 60 watt

this all adds up to 2002. it is 15 amp circuit.

I know I am not likely going to have all these on at same time, but I didn't know what was reasonable load. I know 80% for continous loads, but lights are not continuous so wasn't sure. And I took the max wattages for all the trims, so I may actually end up with smaller bulbs. Should the total wattage of lighting circuit just be under 1800 watt for 15amp circuit? I could bring a circuit starting at vanities so that would eliminate the laundry and walk in closet and bring it down to 1525
 
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Old 07-05-09, 02:34 PM
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What is in the laundry at 117 watts? and a walk in closet with 360 watts? Definitely cut down on the wattage of bulbs over the vanity. No way you would need 500 watts to light up your face. The total wattage should be somewhere in the 1400 range for a 15 amp circuit. Knowing you were going to have that much on it, why wasn't it wired for a 20 amp circuit? Just curious.
Taking out the laundry and closet and reducing the actual wattage to a reasonable size should bring you to well within 1400 .
 
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Old 07-05-09, 03:04 PM
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the laundry is overhead flourescent light. the walk in closet is very large (11 1/2' x 9') I used the guidelines from cooper lighting to come up with 3 x 2 recessed lighting. using the shower trim because in closet, the bulb max is 60watt. I guess overkill. I had anticipated putting dimmers about everywhere and then adjust light where I want it.

as far as why I didn't make it 20amp, I hadn't thought that the vanities would be so many watts! I thought maybe total of 60watt x 2 bulbs per fixture x 2 fixtures for 240 watts. the ones I looked at were 100watt x 5 x 2 fixtures for 1000 watt--so that is a big difference of 760watt! subtract that from my 2002 and I am right in good range. I had even planned on having a few hallway lights on here too and would have been around 1400 total.

taking out laundry and closet leaves me at 1525. would that trip the breaker if left on for some time? doesn't it trip at 80% (1440) if load left on over time and if so, how long would you need a load around 1440 to trip it?
 
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Old 07-05-09, 03:43 PM
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That is if everything was on all the time. Reduce the fixtures over the vanity and your 75 watters down to 65, even use cfl's if you like for a further reduction in wattage, separate the laundry and closet, and I believe you will be OK.
 
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Old 07-05-09, 03:57 PM
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According to the National Electrical Code a "continuous load" is one that is on for more than three hours. A 15 ampere circuit is rated for 1800 watts or 1440 watts if a continuous load. If you can transfer the laundry and closet to a different circuit you will be fine.

You can also try to calculate what the nominal load and the maximum expected load would be. For nominal figure everything that might normally be on at the same time and for maximum expected add in anything that might be turned on when the nominal load might also be in use. If these two figures are less than the 1800 watt figure then you should be fine. You can also take Chandler's advice about slightly reducing the sizes of certain bulbs. You might also consider not having a dimmer on the closet lights and using compact florescent bulbs in the fixtures.
 
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Old 07-05-09, 04:30 PM
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I would switch everything to CFL's but I have tried them in other locations and haven't really liked them. When I turn on light, it seems like it is very dim and takes maybe 2 minutes or more till the light is on full strength. Is this common, or maybe just something with the bulbs I am using. Bought at HD. N:vision is brand. maybe they are just junk?
 
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Old 07-05-09, 08:02 PM
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I know what you mean. I have two reflector version CFLs in my bedroom along with two standard R-30 incandescents. The CFLs take forever (at least two minutes, maybe three or four) to come up to full brightness. However, I also have regular spiral CFLs in my bathrooms and they start much brighter than the reflector type and come up to full brightness in less than a minute.

I think the newer CFLs are much faster getting to full brightness, the reflector ones I have are a few years old; I got them when they first came out.
 
 

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