Electric Heaters and Circuit Safety
How to Safely Dealing with Increased Electrical Loads – To avoid circuit overload and creating a potentially dangerous condition circuit breakers or fuses should never be removed and replaced with one that is a different type and or has a higher rating.
Adding Electric Heaters May Require Additional Circuits
I need to run electrical heaters to keep the area warm and comfortable, one in the bedroom overloads and trips the breaker.
- My home is a 20 year old 1300 sq ft bungalow with a walk out basement.
- The family room, bed room, utility room and workshop are in the basement and are quite cold in the winter.
- I need to run electrical heaters in the basement to keep the area warm and comfortable with out over heating the upstairs.
- Running a heater in the family room and one in the bedroom overloads and trips the breaker.
- Trouble is the whole basement is on one 15 amp breaker and the 100 amp breaker box is full.
- This was probably ok 20 years ago but now there are quite a few electrical items running, eg tv’s, computer systems, games, fridge and freezer, etc.
- I do not want to rewire or run another sub box. I had this estimated and was way too expensive.
The main electrical question is this:
- Can I change out the 15 amp breaker to a 20 amp to satisfy the extra load?
Thanks, Tom J
This electrical wiring question came from: Tom Jenkins, a Property Manager from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Tom Jenkins.
How to Safely Dealing with Increased Electrical Loads
- To avoid circuit overload and creating a potentially dangerous condition circuit breakers or fuses should never be removed and replaced with one that is a different type and or has a higher rating, this is extremely unsafe and could lead to a house fire!
- A 100 amp panel is marginal for a 1300 sq. ft. home, but this would need to be carefully evaluated by a qualified electrician.
- From what has been described, it does appear that some electrical circuit work will indeed be required.
- If electrical heating units are to be used, you may want to consider permanently installing 240 volt baseboard heating units and having dedicated circuits installed.
The Following will assist you with your Electrical Circuits
Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
How to Install Basement Electrical Wiring
Basement Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Basement Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
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My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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