Rewiring an Older Home
How many circuits are needed when rewiring an older home? Planning the Electrical Panel Size and the Number of Circuits, and Local Code Considerations.
Electric Circuits for an Older Home
I am rewiring a 1200 sq. ft. 4 bedroom and 1 bath old house.
- Will 12 spaces for circuit breakers be enough?
- Are twin circuit breakers safe to use?
This electrical question came from: Flora, from Lawton, Oklahoma.
Thanks for your electrical question Flora.
Installing Circuits for an Older Home
Application: Upgrading Electrical Circuit Wiring
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord. All safety measures must be taken for your protection while working around environmental and construction hazards and when working with all types of tools.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the project area should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged. Old electrical wiring that will be replaced with new electrical wiring should be removed.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Electrical Panel Size and the Number of Circuits
The number of circuits that are required for a home rewire project will depend on a number of things, including but not limited to the size of the home, the number of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms, however this is just the starting point. The following items must be considered as well before determining the size of the panel and the number of circuit that will be required:
- Kitchen Circuits
Electric cooking appliances that require dedicated circuits, such as a microwave oven, electric range or cook top stove.
- 240 Volt Equipment
Special attention should be given to all electric equipment and appliances such as the Water Heater, Clothes Dryer, Heating and Air Conditioning.
- Local Codes
The building department in your area will provide a list of local electrical codes and requirements specific to the home location.
- Circuit Breakers and the Main Panel
Twin or tandem circuit breakers may be used where the panel specifically allows and the breakers are fully compatible with the make and model of the electric panel, however it is best to plan out the number of circuits and provide a panel with enough room for full size circuit breakers.
Home electrical rewiring projects should always be done with a permit and all the work must be inspected.
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