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# Figuring out how many appliances can run in room

#1
04-24-18, 04:27 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 283
Figuring out how many appliances can run in room

I'm trying to turn a bedroom into an Air BnB rental space with Office refrigerator, Mr Coffee machine, 1200 watt microwave, and space heater. Also running a TV, TV receiver, alarm clock, some low wattage lights and lamps, iron for pressing clothes, and guests will presumably run their laptop and charge their cell phone. Assuming all of this stuff could be running at the same time, I'm thinking that I might need to just leave out the microwave.
So in figuring out how much load the room can handle I'm guessing that I first need to determine which circuit breaker is for this room then see how many amps it's rated for?

#2
04-24-18, 05:40 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 492
This is going to be mainly a "load calculation" only difference is instead of doing it for a home it is going to be for one "room" besides the home itself.

You are planning on having many "watt" hungry devices in that one single room. The microwave is not going to be the only one chewing up the power possibly kicking the breaker. A person can turn on the iron after just setting up the coffee pot to perk their coffee and trips the breaker. You may end up with many dedicated circuits in the room to prevent this from happening as the guests will be annoyed that they are constantly losing power or you have to tell them what appliances they can use together and which ones they can't use when another one is being used.

Besides finding out what breaker the room is on you will also have to find out if there are multiple circuits in that room and also if the circuit/s in that room may also extend to other rooms.

It will not be as simple as finding the breaker/s that control that room - although that will be the first step.

I would suggest doing a search on the watt consumption of the appliances you plan on having in that room. Read up on Ohm's Law so you can do the simple calculations of amp/volts/watts etc.

You will also have to find out if this "BnB Room" will need to be inspected before you can rent it out. If so the inspector may require additional changes etc in the way of electrical.

#3
04-24-18, 05:49 AM
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Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,616
Most household circuits are 15 amp. The maximum recommended continuous load is 1'440 watts.

Several of the items on your list should be on their own circuit. The fridge, coffee maker, microwave and space heater can each pull almost the maximum recommended load for a 15 amp circuit. The fridge might be OK as it only pulls a very heavy load when it first turns on. The other items though pull a high continuous load. One could run at a time but if two were used on the same circuit it will likely trip the breaker.

---
My kitchen is wired with heavier duty 20 amp circuits. I have the coffee maker and toaster oven plugged into the same outlet/circuit. I can run each one independently without problem but if I try to brew coffee while toasting something then the breaker trips.

#4
04-24-18, 08:19 AM
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Several of the appliances stated are between 1000 and 1500 watts. You will only be able to use one at a time on the same circuit. Your rentreservation will not appreciate this limitation .

#5
04-24-18, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
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Each breaker says "20". So I assume that means 20 amps -- not 15. So what is the max wattage I can run ( I know that you're also supposed to subtract an additional 10% or 20% or something like that)?
Also I found out that the room is split onto 2 breakers.
I would like to be able to run the Mr. Coffee, refrigerator, TV and receiver and 3 low wattage lights on one of the circuits.

Mr. Coffee = 900 watts
Microwave = 1200 watts
Space heater = TBD
Office refrigerator = TBD

https://www.target.com/p/whirlpool-1...a/-/A-17304430 It says "energy used (watts): 37.0".

Refrigerator specs
Draws 0.8 amps
Rated voltage 120 V
High side 320 psig
Low side 120 psig
Rated frequency 60 Hz

Last edited by AndyRooney; 04-24-18 at 01:41 PM. Reason: additional info
#6
04-24-18, 01:40 PM
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Before putting heavy loads on circuits and especially on something used as a semi legal/illegal rental I would check the size of the wire in the wall. Remove an outlet and look to see if the wire is 14 ga or 12 ga to make sure someone didn't just swap out 15 amp breakers for 20's. If it's 12 ga then it is good for a 20 amp circuit. If the wiring is 14 ga then the breakers should be replaced with 15 amp breakers.

If you truly have 20 amp circuits then they can be continuously provide up to 1'920 watts (16 amps). The recommendation is to only use a circuit continuously up to 80% which allows some buffer room for the surge current some devices have when turning on.

As for your microwave wattage make sure you look at the data sticker on the back for it's power consumption. The 900 watt microwave in my office consumes 1'350 watts. The 900 watts is what gets pumped into warming the food but the actual consumption is considerably higher. Making microwaves wastes a good bit of energy as heat then it also has to power the display, turn the rotating platform and power the light.

#7
04-24-18, 04:36 PM
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You do not need to limit yourself to the 80% of the breaker. The code considers continous to be 3 hours or more.

#8
04-25-18, 06:09 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 492
Again it would benefit you to learn a bit about Ohms Law so you can calculate the max watts you can pull on a certain rated breaker. Meaning how many watts can run on a 15 or 20 amp breaker.

Total watts divided by 120v = amps

And as mentioned already don't be swapping 20amp breakers for 15amp breakers thinking you will be increasing the watts ability on the circuit. If you have a 15 amp breaker with 14 gauge wires/romex you can just put a 20amp breaker in.

The other thing I mentioned is you state the room is on two separate circuits but you have not answered if those two circuits extend past that room or only service that room alone. If any of the two circuits extend past the room and feed another room then you have to compensate for what will be running (plugged in) on those receptacles also even if the "renter" is not using that portion of the house they will still be affected by what is plugged in somewhere else in the house because it will be sharing the same circuit.

More than likely with these power (watt) hungry devices/appliances I would think that dedicated circuits would be the best route to go or you will be hearing from the renter "a lot" about breakers tripping.

Depending on the code cycles in use in your area and what the inspector may require you may end up with dedicated circuits and having to use AFCI breakers for all of them. This can get quite expensive. Also, the age of the breaker panel may be a factor. If it is quite old AFCI breakers may be hard to come by.

How much room do you have in your present breaker panel for more breakers if needed for the extra circuits you may need to run to that room.

The other issue that would bother me is the space heater (assuming you mean a plug and cord), not only because it is an energy hog but that they can be very dangerous. It is one thing having one for yourself which you can monitor regularly but to have a renter use one I would use extreme caution. They can be fire hazards. Leaving a space heater plugged in and leaving a room for an extended period of time is not a safe thing to do. The plugs are known to heat up and actually melt receptacles and unfortunately the breakers don't trip. I don't like them at all!!

#9
04-25-18, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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The other thing I mentioned is you state the room is on two separate circuits but you have not answered if those two circuits extend past that room or only service that room alone.
One does but to outlets in a room that is not being used.
The other issue that would bother me is the space heater (assuming you mean a plug and cord), not only because it is an energy hog but that they can be very dangerous.
I'm only holding this room and bath on Air BnB for the summer. I might be one and done after this summer. My area is not a high demand area. The heater is just a backup for guests if the central heat is not enough. It's an oil based heater.
Depending on the code cycles in use in your area and what the inspector may require you may end up with dedicated circuits and having to use AFCI breakers for all of them. This can get quite expensive.
No inspectors are coming here.

#10
04-25-18, 01:49 PM
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Location: USA
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Start renting a room and along comes the inspectors. Then there is the question of do you need an occupancy permit. Have you talked to your insurance agent? you will definitely need insurance. The insurance company will probably have their own set of requirements.

#11
04-25-18, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 492
AndyRooney I reviewed what it takes to be an AirBnB Host. Long story short it is up to the host to find out what the local code requirements are. That is not something we on this forum can tell you nor preach to you about. Just remember the liability you are taking on; if you are willing to accept it then we are not here to debate it with you.

You came here for electrical advice and you have been given a lot of useful information from many of the members. If this "hosting" will be a short term thing such as only during the "summer" then from the information we have so far given you and the advice I guess according to your responses that you are not really willing to install more circuits in the room/bathroom that you will be renting out. Therefore you will need to make the "renter" very mindful that they can only run certain appliances at a time so the breaker/s does not trip continously. This will not only upset the guest but will after a while shorten the life of the breaker/s tremendeously. They are not made to be tripped and reset many many times over a short period of time.

The "hosting section" explained that you should be as honest as possible to the "renter" when advertising your space for rent. You may want to include this portion of only being able to run certain appliances at one time or remove the appliances that may cause the breakers to trip all the time. Remember, being a renter means that if you lose electric at 2:30am you have the right to ask to have it reestablished (meaning the breaker reset). So expect many phone calls late at night or if you will be living there at the same time many knocks on your door. Could get to the point where they will have enough inconvenience to ask for a partial or complete refund.

Again, I have given you the simple formula of calculating what can be run on the circuits you have. Also some of the other members have given you their "trade knowledge"; take it or leave it. Once you determine the appliances you will make available to the "renters" then it is only up to you as to decide if you will invest in adding more dedicated circuits (costs wise) or put up with the calls or knocks on your door every time one of the breakers trip.

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