Running wire to breaker box

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Old 04-17-11, 10:57 AM
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Running wire to breaker box

Okay here is the scenario, I own a two bedroom condo with a spare room that I want to run a 220volt outlet to in order to supply several light fixtures, these light fixtures run at 5 amps a piece at 220volts and I would like to be able to run three of them. Now my breaker box doesn't allow me to add a new dedicated breaker because all the space is filled. What I was thinking of doing was removing the 30amp dedicated washer dryer breaker and the lines to the washer dryer and replacing the breaker with a 60 amp breaker running new 6 gauge wire rated for 60 amps to the washer and dryer and from there put a junction or whatever and run the 6 gauge romex wire back up into the attic and back down into the room where the new receptacle will be. Is this sound wiring ? The washer dryer only consume 21 amps together so adding another 15amps to this should still keep me below 75% of the 60amps. Is there something I am missing ? Any alternative suggestions? Please don't tell me to hire an electrician or that I will kill myself. I have enough sense not to get shocked/electrocuted. I have some experience inside a breaker and always place safety first. I have a few years experience in the hvac trade as well so I am not intimidated to take on this project I just want to make sure I am doing it correctly. Thanks for your time.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 11:25 AM
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Welcome to the forums! If you tell us what you are really doing, maybe we can help. We see you are in the USA, so trying to figure why you want to run a 240 volt lighting circuit rather than regular lighting makes us a little leery of the situation. Leave the washer dryer circuit alone. If you want lighting, you can replace one of the 1" breakers with a 1" tandem breaker and run your circuit from there, protecting normally.
What you have proposed is not a safe alternative, and indicates there is something other than a normal lighting circuit going on.
Fill us in and we'll expound on a solution.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 11:31 AM
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They are metal halide lights for a large salt water coral tank. They each run 5 amps at 240volts but can also run at 120volts and run at 9amps.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 11:39 AM
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The core ideas in your first post are unsafe and definitely not code compliant. If you want to run a 15 amp dedicated 240v circuit for the lighting we can help you.

First step is to find the make and model of your breaker panel. From that the pros here can tell you if you can use half size breakers in your panel or if you need to add a sub panel.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 11:49 AM
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That would be great if I can run a dedicated line for the lighting. You see I have as they say "enough knowledge to be dangerous". I want it to be code complaint if possible and for sure safe.. My breaker box is a Murray E-26095
 
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Old 04-17-11, 12:07 PM
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upon closer inspection it appears that this box does allow tandem breakers. I have a tandem 240volt breaker for the A/C and water heater the AC is 30amps and the water heater 20 amps. So would it be acceptable to Replace my Washer Dryer breaker with a tandem breaker rated at 30 amps and 20amps(dedicated line for my lighting) ? Then I would just leave the wiring for the washer dryer alone and run the appropriate gauge wiring for my lighting.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 01:04 PM
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Try to forget modifying the washer dryer set up. You need to run a dedicated circuit to this room, period. If your box will accept the half breakers, and you don't have any spaces left, condense 4 single circuits to two half breakers, which will leave a space for a double breaker for your 240 volt circuit. You will need to control this circuit in the room which the lamps will reside, so plan on a disconnect as well. I think you are unclear on the difference between what I was referring to as tandem breakers. This only takes up one 1" space, yet controls two circuits.


 
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Old 04-17-11, 06:34 PM
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Can you confirm you have 26 full size slots? Usually a model number like Murray E-26095 would indicate it is certified for "26" full size breakers and "0" half size breakers. That mean a subpanel may be a good solution.

The pros will be in probably tomorrow and give you a definite answer on the box.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 08:55 PM
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GFI protection would not be a bad idea with it being an aquarium.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 10:26 PM
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[IMG] Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/IMG]

Okay that is a picture of my box. Notice how in the upper left hand slot there is a dual breaker that has 4 switches. Two are for either leg of a 30 amp circuit and one is to shut off both legs of a 20 amp circuit that is for my AC and water heater respectively. They are both on dedicated lines. I think they call this type of breaker a Quad breaker. This is what I would like to do with the bottom left hand breaker Replace it with the same type breaker one with 30amps and keep the same wiring for my washer dryer(maintaining its dedicated line and breaker) and the other switch being 20 amps for the lighting in the room. Would this be feasible? I do not think I can consolidate any more single spaces into half breakers because all my 120v 15 amp breakers are already like this.
 
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Old 04-18-11, 04:38 AM
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If you can find a tie bar for the outer two breakers, you may be able to use one like the third one over on this page. This is for picures only, as I have no way of knowing what they are selling. You will note some are used, so beware, and use the pictures only as a reference. Crouse Hinds | Buy Circuit Breaker Panels and Accessories
 
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