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Too many circuits on each breaker

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  • Dec 24th, 2019 9:01 am
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 19, 2019
3 posts
1 upvote

Too many circuits on each breaker

House built in 1989 but kitchen moved from one side of house to another prior to me buying in 2002. Form what I can tell dishwasher, microwave, two other outlets in kitchen and then one room upstairs all on one breaker! It only just tripped today due to space heater in that room upstairs. Reset and all is fine again.

Obviously need to spread out this load. My question is can this be done at the panel or will new cable have to be run? Generally I want our entire electrical looked at as the panel isn't even labelled and previous owner was a hack who did this on his own. Obviously will not do myself but just wondering if this is a day job or a week job type ordeal

Basement is unfinished and kitchen literally above the panel. Could I just deal with the kitchen and leave upstairs as is?
Last edited by yoyo99 on Dec 20th, 2019 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
15 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
New panel and rewiring can be very expensive, due mainly to electrician's time. If you can get a newly-ticketed electrician.....

As for kitchen wiring, it all depends on where the lines to all the various feed off. If you are lucky, the previous owner had separate power lines all from the panel box.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2007
666 posts
179 upvotes
thriftshopper wrote: New panel and rewiring can be very expensive, due mainly to electrician's time. If you can get a newly-ticketed electrician.....

As for kitchen wiring, it all depends on where the lines to all the various feed off. If you are lucky, the previous owner had separate power lines all from the panel box.
Define expensive. I was thinking three days at 1000 per day?
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
yoyo99 wrote: House built in 1989 but kitchen moved from one side of house to another prior to me buying in 2002. Form what I can tell dishwasher, microwave, two other outlets in kitchen and then one room upstairs all on one breaker! It only just tripped today due to space heater in that room upstairs. Reset and all is fine again.

Obviously need to spread out this load. My question is can this be done at the panel or will new cable have to be run? Generally I want our entire electrical looked at as the panel isn't even labelled and previous owner was a hack who did this on his own. Obviously will not do myself but just wondering if this is a day job or a week job type ordeal

Basement is unfinished and kitchen literally above the panel. Could I just deal with the kitchen and leave upstairs as is?
It should be "relatively" painless to run new wire from the panel to the different locations of the kitchen as required. Each appliance is likely going to have to have it's own circuit, and the two outlets will have their own circuit as well. The fun might be the room upstairs.

The other "fun" part might be controlling the scope of the project. You might only want to do XXX, but the inspector comes along and says a whole bunch of other stuff needs to be brought up to code. And suddenly you're talking about big bucks. But you are improving the safety of your electrical system, which is a good thing. It could even mean a whole new main panel and/or electrical service into your house, as a worst case scenario.

C
Last edited by CNeufeld on Dec 20th, 2019 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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retireat50 wrote: Define expensive. I was thinking three days at 1000 per day?

$1k per day sounds right.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
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Jun 12, 2007
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yoyo99 wrote: House built in 1989 but kitchen moved from one side of house to another prior to me buying in 2002. Form what I can tell dishwasher, microwave, two other outlets in kitchen and then one room upstairs all on one breaker! It only just tripped today due to space heater in that room upstairs. Reset and all is fine again.

Obviously need to spread out this load. My question is can this be done at the panel or will new cable have to be run? Generally I want our entire electrical looked at as the panel isn't even labelled and previous owner was a hack who did this on his own. Obviously will not do myself but just wondering if this is a day job or a week job type ordeal

Basement is unfinished and kitchen literally above the panel. Could I just deal with the kitchen and leave upstairs as is?
Kitchen outlets are suppose to have special wiring - called “split receptacles” , dishwasher should be on its own circuit. Fixing this will be expensive

Depending on the province, in ON you cannot just hire an electrician. It must be a licensed electrical contractor
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Most kitchen receptacles are GFCI and 20 Amp. I would rewire.

The other point, most space heaters are 1000 - 1500 Watts. You probably have a 15 Amp breaker, the max would be 1800 Watts. It is relatively easy to trip if you're running the heater and another high draw appliance.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3409 posts
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OP - you will need to call in an electrical contractor to go over what needs to be done. Most definitely you will need to have the dishwasher on a separate circuit and check about your microwave. We do not have one but I know that depending on where you live the type of microwave type/installation can affect whether it needs a dedicated line.

You will have to have an inspection done, and as pointed out the inspector may well point out other things that were not part of the scope of the work done. I would have all of the electrical connections checked. You may even find that some of your plugs are not grounded.

Unless you are very lucky you will have holes in the walls which can't be closed until post inspection. Obviously we have been through this.
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Oct 19, 2008
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thriftshopper wrote: New panel and rewiring can be very expensive, due mainly to electrician's time. If you can get a newly-ticketed electrician.....

As for kitchen wiring, it all depends on where the lines to all the various feed off. If you are lucky, the previous owner had separate power lines all from the panel box.
Well yeah a new panel is expensive, what in OP's post indicates he needs one? A newly ticketed electrician would be working for an LEC....

Its not separate power lines back to the panel-that is the issue. Previous homeowner trapped into a circuit overloading it. Op needs to have an electrician(s) in to quote, with basement open below the kitchen there might be an economical way to fix this.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2015
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Durham Region
First step is to label the whole panel (I had to do this in my house after buying when half of it was mislabeled - this was after some work was done and inspected by a master electrician (guy screwed up 3 way lights - some master))

If the basement is not finished and the panel is right under the kitchen then then running a line for the dishwasher is super simple (line/ outlet doesn’t have to be in the wall)

The biggest challenge might be the line that connects upstairs, as running a new line is harder and you don’t really want a junction box

Also if outlets are in exterior walls, then you have to run new ones beside insulation which is never ideal
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
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It was all working fine until you overloaded it with the heater. Just don't use the heater and everything is fine. Wallet safe.
Banned
Dec 17, 2019
136 posts
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Electrical is one thing the home owner can do. Draw out the circuits and decide what to change. It will take three days just to draw circuit and decide what to do. The hardest part is not nicking wires.

For space heaters run some yellow 20 amp wire.
I have crawl space so put 20 amp receptacle in every room. Or just don't turn so many things on at once.
The so-called hack knew he would be burned alive if he got it wrong so likely got it 90 percent right.
Newbie
Mar 15, 2012
56 posts
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TORONTO
Pretty simple to do on your own but will be tedious and time consuming depending how big your house is but you can turn off each breaker and record what outlet/lights turn off. Plug in a phone charger at each receptacle and if it doesnt turn on you know which breaker it is. Then you can label the panel.
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Apr 18, 2005
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jriggz wrote: Pretty simple to do on your own but will be tedious and time consuming depending how big your house is but you can turn off each breaker and record what outlet/lights turn off. Plug in a phone charger at each receptacle and if it doesnt turn on you know which breaker it is. Then you can label the panel.
Maybe an old style radio will help as you can hear it go off when you get the right breaker.. saves from running up and down..
Newbie
Mar 15, 2012
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TORONTO
TLSRULZ wrote: Maybe an old style radio will help as you can hear it go off when you get the right breaker.. saves from running up and down..
Still would need to run up and down with a radio moving it to each outlet. Better way would with a two way radio with a second person helping you.
Last edited by jriggz on Dec 24th, 2019 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Oct 19, 2008
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Two way radios.....nicking wires....this thread from the 60's? Waiting for someone to suggest OP put a copper penny in the fuse socket and call it a day.

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