Can I combine 2 electrical lines into 1 circuit?

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Old 11-16-19, 05:01 PM
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Can I combine 2 electrical lines into 1 circuit?

Hello!

In my living room I have 4 plugs on one circuit (15AMP) and 4 plugs plus 2 ceiling lights on another circuit (15AMP).

I would like to wire the living room so that the plugs are on one breaker (for simplicity).

Is this possible without having to re-wire all receptacles with a single run from the the breaker box and assuming that 10 receptacles on a 15AMP line is okay?

For example:

CURRENT:

Breaker panel -- Plug --- Plug --- Plug --- Plug -- Back to breaker panel

Breaker panel -- Plug -- Plug -- Plug -- Plug -- Ceiling -- Ceiling -- Back to Breaker panel

IDEA:

Breaker panel -- JOIN -- Plug--Plug--Plug--Plug -- Return to junction box (then back to breaker panel)
............................. I---Plug--Plug--Plug--Plug--Ceiling--Ceiling -- Return to junction box (and then back to breaker panel)

OR do I have to re-wire and do:

Breaker Panel -- Plug -- Plug -- Plug -- Plug -- Ceiling -- Ceiling -- Plug -- Plug -- Plug -- Plug -- Back to breaker panel

The Join would be done in a junction box where I join a black wire from the panel box to the black wire for circuit one and the black wire for circuit two. I would likewise join the neutral from each circuit (originally leading back to the breaker panel separately) together with a neutra wirel leading back to the breaker panel.

Thanks for the advice!

Justin
 
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  #2  
Old 11-16-19, 07:08 PM
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There is nothing wrong with branching off to separate run of cables.

Why is the cable going back to the panel at the end?
I thought UK was the only country that does this. Are you in the UK?
As far as I know that is not considered safe in the US and illegal. Canada is probably the same.
 
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Old 11-16-19, 07:26 PM
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Being in Canada you have a limit of 12 outlets(lights, receptacles, fans, etc.) on one circuit. If there is nothing else on the two circuits you are fine with 10.
There should only be connection on the circuit back to the breaker panel.
 
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Old 11-16-19, 07:47 PM
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My advice: Leave it the way it is.

With all of the wall plugs (receptacles) on one run (on one branch circuit) there is a bigger chance you will trip the panel breaker because you (or a grand gathering or party of relatives or friends) had too many things plugged in and turned on at the same time in your living room.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 09:11 AM
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I too would leave it as-is. I would usually recommend more circuits rather than less. If you're in need of extra breaker spaces, a subpanel is usually a better solution.

BUT... if you do want to do this, why don't you just combine both circuits into one breaker in the panel? A wire nut and pigtail to a 15A breaker will do what you need without any oddities for someone to figure out in the future.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 09:23 AM
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Hi everyone!

Thanks for the helpful replies. Plenty more questions coming as I take on the task of re-wiring my home!

I will leave as-is as I do have the space.

However, I love the wire nut and pigtail idea to go from 2 breakers to 1 breaker. Easy!

Out of that concept - what if I wire nut and pigtail the black wires together but leave the neutrals separately attached to the panel. What worries would this create? (Vs. Combining them in a wire nut followed with a pig tail to one slot on the neutral bus).

Cheers
 
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Old 11-18-19, 12:01 PM
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Better to leave the neutrals the way they are, individually attached.

This would prevent someone at a later date separating the two hots back onyo separate breakers and forgetting to separate the neutrals back onto individual attachments on the panel, this immediately preceding situation is a no-no.

Now, if two circuit cables are combined to become one branch circuit in a separate junction box just before the panel, then a single hot and a single neutral continue the rest of the way into the panel. If this were separated at a later date into two branch circuits and the junction box stays there then two hots and two neutrals, for the respective circuits, must continue into the panel.

A short length of wire is called a pigtail when both ends are in the same box.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 02:53 PM
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Connection within the breaker are not permitted under Canadian code.

6-212 Wiring space in enclosures
(1) Enclosures for circuit breakers and externally operated switches shall not be used as junction boxes, troughs, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other apparatus
 
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Old 11-19-19, 05:45 AM
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Grey area. You can add wire nuts in a panel.
you can't just use the load center as a pass through.
connections from a breaker to a wire nut are permitted.
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Last edited by qwertyjjj; 11-19-19 at 07:51 AM.
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