COMMUNITY FORUM

lisa

07:50AM | 05/13/99
Bvelectrical
Here I am asking for help again. This time I'm looking to correct a wiring problem in my house. It seems that the kitchen overhead light, frig, stove, 9 recepticles and 2 overhead lights on 1st floor, 2 bedrooms and 4 recepticles on the 2nd floor are all on one circuit breaker. I'm amazed that it has not tripped once in six months.

This is too much for one circuit, especially since I want to put AC in the bedrooms. Here's the deal. I had four electricians come it and estimate breaking up that circuit. I've estimates ranging from $800 to $3500!!! I have no desire to be ripped off and the price range seems excessive to me.

I need to know a) what should an electrician do in this type of job and b) what is a reasonable price range for the job. I live in the Hudson Valley.

Thanks for any and all assistance!

TomR

09:14PM | 05/16/99
Lisa:

There are so many variables in house wiring that predicting what needs to be done in a home I have never been in would be next to impossible. Same goes for the cost. Depending on the proposals the electricians gave you; the price spread can be believable. The best I can do is give you an idea of the things that might have been proposed, and what you should have.

The kitchen is your biggest problem. Basically, a modern home would have at least one 20-amp circuit for the counter outlets, plus separate 15-amp circuits for the fridge and garbage disposal. They would not be combined with any other part of the home. Generally, the 20-amp circuit would also be protected with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which is a safety system for wet areas. In our area, they are required to be retrofitted in older homes before one can sell it. That 20-amp circuit will also require heavier gauge wire. 18-amp usually uses 14-guage wire, while 20-amp uses 12-guage. When dealing with gauge, smaller numbers mean bigger wire.

You mentioned the stove was on the same circuit. This means you have a gas stove. Otherwise this would have to be on its own 40 or 50-amp circuit. When gas, the electric is used only to power stove lights and controls. Often it is okay for the power for a gas stove to be tied to the rest of the house. Sometimes you find it along with the fridge. It all depends on your local code requirements. Last, overhead lights in the kitchen can be mixed with other rooms’ outlets and lights.

Since your house has so many things on one circuit, it must be old. If not, it must have had many additions, without the benefit of electrical code inspections. Electrical code variations depend on your locality, so check with your municipality. Also, you are usually not required to upgrade your electric unless you are remodeling, but in your case, what you described could be very dangerous.

A word about wiring. If your home is old, it may not have a third wire, also known as a ground wire. If it is really old, the wiring may be obsolete. In any case, running new wiring in existing walls is very time-consuming and costly. Your $3500 estimate probably included new wires, and no-doubt included steps to bring the house up to modern code. Your $800 estimate probably only entailed splitting off the kitchen from the rest of the house. Based on those assumptions, the range can be accurate. Make sure each estimate details the work to be done. The work should go along with what I have described. Your municipality is a good source for information on requirements and qualified electricians.

It really is up to what you want to do. For example, you could simply add an outlet under each window that you plan to have an a/c unit, and put them on a new circuit. That might be a good, inexpensive first step. Then, you can plan the rest as your budget allows. Ultimately, you are going to want to do more. Like you, I am amazed that you don’t trip circuits more.

Good luck

lisa

04:32AM | 05/19/99
TomR
Thanks for the info. One thing that is frustrating to me is that all the estimates are just for splitting the circuit only. None of them are for new wiring. Yes the house is over 100 years old, however the wiring was updated about 15 years ago when it was last sold. So it has the GFCI outlets in bath and kitchen and believe it or not the kitchen GFCI outlets are grounded, though the overhead light and other outlets are not(go figure). Well I'll keep checking into this and might just add an outlet in each upstairs bedroom for the AC. Thanks again!
Click_to_reply_button
Inspiration_banner

INSPIRATION GALLERY



Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply_choose_button

captcha
type the code from the image

Anonymous

Post_new_button or Login_button
Register

Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... For windows, doors, and mirrors that could use a little definition, the Naples Etched Glass Border adds a decorative flora... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Follow_banner_a
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon
 
webapp2