03:52AM | 02/07/08
Member Since: 02/06/08
8 lifetime posts
Heres the deal. I have a 20amp dedicated line (10 gauge)that runs a 1200 BTU air conditioner in my living room. The AC unit draws 8.3 amps. It is used infrequently maybe three weeks out of the whole year. I want to tie in to the receptacle ans add two new receptacles and two new over head lites with switches. These are all low load. drwaing a total of maybe 3 amps. CAN I DO THIS? EVERYTHING I'VE READ SAYS I NEED A DEDICATED CIRCUIT FOR THE AC UNIT. IF MY UNIT DRAWS 8.3 AMPS AND THE EXTRAS I WANT TO ADD WILL DRAW 3 AMPS THATS A TOTAL OF 11.3. ON PAPER IT SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD NOT OVERLOAD THE CIRCUIT. Also the current receptacle has 10/2 gauge running to it. I have a spool of 14/2 I want to use. Can I do that or do I need to run 10/2 ???

Tom O

01:58PM | 02/07/08
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
As long as the air conditioner did not include instructions that required a dedicated circuit, you can add additional outlets to the circuit

If you want to use the 14-2, you should find another project to use it on or be prepared to change the breaker to 15 amps since that is the maximum allowable protection for #14 wire in this case. keep the 20 amp breaker in place and get some 12-2.


08:18AM | 02/08/08
Member Since: 02/06/08
8 lifetime posts
Hi Thanks for the response. i guess that's really the question. Why do some air conditioners need a dedicated circuit and others don't? Whay is the determining factor. I have a 1200 kenmore that draws 8.3 amps. Bob Villa says that larger air conditioners require a dedicated circuit but doesn't explain why. I asked Sears and they don't have an answer. I can't see that there'd be any problem adding a couple of outlets. Total load if everything is on is still less than 12amps.


10:29AM | 02/08/08
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Some circuits are dedicate because of the location or the type of load that they have.

But for window airconditioners and other fixed in place, but cord and plug connected appliances (dishwahser and garage disposals are the most common) if the fixed in place appliance(s) don't draw more than 50% of the circuit capacity then you can have other lighting or general purpose receptacles on the circuit.

Since this is a 20 amp circuit and the load less than 10 amps them you are OK.

But if it was a 15 amp circuit then you could not extend it.


11:01AM | 02/08/08
Member Since: 02/06/08
8 lifetime posts
Hi Thanks. That's exactly the information I needed. Now it's off to wiring. All the best
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