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Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 19, 2015 08:13PM
Heres my scenario -- I work in my garage.

Ive got everything coming out of one outlet -- cause thats all there is.

So iMac, 2 screens, 2 externals and small lamp.

Other outlet is running a small desk fan.... AND a portable AC unit. If I turn on my giant color laser and the G4 iMac that serves it -- the GFI blows.

Going to need to add more later. 1000Bt swtich -- and possibly an old 32" LCD that I know sucks power

So I cant run both the printer and the AC unit at the same time. Which isnt really a huge issue... but wonder ing if theres a way to "boost" the plugs power. Can I put a bigger fuse in the fuse box? add a second plug next to the first one (or is that the same load on the same line)

thoughts?





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 19, 2015 08:20PM
Can I put a bigger fuse in the fuse box?

if you want to destroy the house.

thoughts?

based on the questions you asked, here is my definitive advice: do not do anything yourself. Hire an authorized electrician.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 19, 2015 08:27PM
Quote
space-time
based on the questions you asked, here is my definitive advice: do not do anything yourself. Hire an authorized electrician.

Yeah, but before I pay some yahoo $75 to come out an tell me ____________ Im gonna ask here. =)

I just realized there is another plug in the garage -- 2 plugs on the ceiling for the garage door opener. Prob on the same circut? I could concieveably plug my AC unit into it...





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 19, 2015 08:30PM
that "yahoo" knows what he is doing, can determine if you have 12 or 10 gauge wires, what the amperage of the circuit breaker is, how many things are hooked up to the same circuit, if the outlets on the ceiling is on a separate circuit or not, and inspect the electrical panel, and in particular the breaker that jumps to see if it still good.

Here I am going to take the Robert M. approach: go with a pro, money well spend and definitely worth it.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: billb
Date: June 19, 2015 08:44PM
The AC and the laser printer would both be best served with dedicated lines. That would be your "boost".

fuses ? time for an upgrade



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Re: The science of why stepping on Legos makes you want to die
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: June 19, 2015 08:44PM
1. What size wire is in the walls? Is it big enough to up,the capacity without burning your house down?

2. Is that outlet the ONLY thing on that circuit? Or does it go on to power half the house?

3. What ampereage breaker is on that circuit? Is it a 10 amp? 15? 20? And this goes back to the first two questions... Is the wire adequate? Is there anything else on that circuit?

Have at least a clue what the answers to these questions are, THEN get the electrician to come in. Or at least a contractor you trust (if he's not a licensed electrician, make sure you trust his opinion...).



Paul F.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: June 19, 2015 09:07PM
During the day, so you have light, trip the GFI. It has a test button to do just that. Then see if your garage door openers work. If they do, then run a heavy line to your air conditioner. A good 8 gauge extension cord will do the job assuming you can find one. Otherwise, splice together two smaller gauge extension cords in parallel.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 19, 2015 09:12PM
My house is wired with 14/3 on 15 amp circuits. Current code is 16/3 and 20 amps. So, for my office circuit, I put in a 20 amp breaker, AND went to CFL bright white bulbs. Just the bulbs alone got me 100 watts back to use for other stuff. I went from 2 75w incandescents to 2 "100w" bright white CFLs.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: bruceko
Date: June 19, 2015 09:43PM
Quote
Racer X
My house is wired with 14/3 on 15 amp circuits. Current code is 16/3 and 20 amps. So, for my office circuit, I put in a 20 amp breaker, AND went to CFL bright white bulbs. Just the bulbs alone got me 100 watts back to use for other stuff. I went from 2 75w incandescents to 2 "100w" bright white CFLs.
I think it is 12/2 not 16/3. Lower the # thicker the wire. 20 amp is allowed on 12 ga wire
the /2 or 3 is the Number of hots and the common. The ground wire is not counted
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 19, 2015 09:53PM
current code in Seattle is tiny 16 guage 20 amps. My home was wired with 14 guage, and 15 amp breakers. I just went to a 20 amp breaker. Plenty of power to the house. 200 amp service with 4/0 from the pole to the house. The outdoor detached garage has a 60 amp sub panel.

My kitchen outlets are split on 2 circuits. The uppers on one 15 amp breaker, the lowers on another. I can run the toaster and the microwave at the same time. Or the waffle iron and coffee maker, that sort of thing. GREAT that it was done that way.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2015 09:54PM by Racer X.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: billb
Date: June 19, 2015 10:04PM
12 gauge /20 amps

16 gauge is speaker wire



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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: June 19, 2015 10:27PM
Would really like a link to that code Racer X, because under the NEC the minimum wiring for a 20 A circuit is 14 AWG over a short run of cable. They even are phasing out that short run exception as of the last update I read information on. Generally at least wiring of 12 AWG is required for a 20 A circuit, longer runs require 10 AWG.

So if Seattle is actually allowing that much smaller a gauge of wire, they are out of compliance with the NEC. The biggest issue that may cause you in the future, fires related to wiring will increase your insurance rates.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: June 19, 2015 10:39PM
I worked for an electrician for a while and I've never ever heard of any home being wired with 16ga. wire,
not even in the 1950's or 60's. Our '56 ranch was most 14ga. but most of it has been rewired with a sub
panel near the center of the house. I wouldn't wire an outbuilding with 16ga. Like Bill said that's speaker
wire. I don't think you can even buy 16ga. Romex NM type wire around here.



Grateful11
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 19, 2015 10:46PM
Bigger fuse in the box?

No, you'll fry the wires and possibly worse.


Fuses? What rating are they? 15A or 20A?

The only way to boost your supply is to have additional service added to the garage from the meter. This would be a separate circuit from whatever you already have. An electrician could run heavier gauge wire and you could have greater capacity on the new circuit than the older one(s).

If you know exactly how many circuits you have in your garage and their capacity, you can get a pretty close idea of your options, here.

Then, you can decide whether to do nothing, or call an electrician to tell you exactly what your options are, as your code allows.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

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Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

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by believing all possible evil of evil men.

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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: davester
Date: June 19, 2015 10:55PM
Quote
Racer X
current code in Seattle is tiny 16 guage 20 amps. My home was wired with 14 guage, and 15 amp breakers. I just went to a 20 amp breaker.

No, that's wrong. Amperages for circuits depend on wire gauge and distance, but in general, 14 gauge is sufficient for a 15 amp circuit and a 20 amp circuit requires 12 gauge wiring. There is no way that you have 16 gauge 110 v wiring. National electric code trumps any local codes. The local codes are only allowed to be stricter, not more permissive.

Pay attention to what space-time says. You cannot change the fuse size upwards without risk of fire. Upping the circuit capacity means running new wire to the box. Probably better to have a new 20 amp circuit or two run, including a dedicated one run for the AC (which is probably a code requirement).

Also note that if in your current situation you are blowing fuses or tripping breakers on a regular basis, you are in a dangerous situation. Fix it ASAP.

This is all about safety, and many a house has burned down due to overtaxing circuits. Any money you spend on upgrading or adding circuits safely is money well spent.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2015 11:15PM by davester.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 19, 2015 11:17PM
Quote
billb
12 gauge /20 amps

16 gauge is speaker wire

Yes, but oddly enough, its code.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: June 19, 2015 11:19PM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
billb
12 gauge /20 amps

16 gauge is speaker wire

Yes, but oddly enough, its code.

I very much doubt it, post a link.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 19, 2015 11:21PM
Quote
davester
Quote
Racer X
current code in Seattle is tiny 16 guage 20 amps. My home was wired with 14 guage, and 15 amp breakers. I just went to a 20 amp breaker.

No, that's wrong. Amperages for circuits depend on wire gauge and distance, but in general, 14 gauge is sufficient for a 15 amp circuit and a 20 amp circuit requires 12 gauge wiring. There is no way that you have 16 gauge 110 v wiring. National electric code trumps any local codes. The local codes are only allowed to be stricter, not more permissive.

Pay attention to what space-time says. You cannot change the fuse size upwards without risk of fire. Upping the circuit capacity means running new wire to the box. Probably better to have a new 20 amp circuit or two run, including a dedicated one run for the AC (which is probably a code requirement).

Also note that if in your current situation you are blowing fuses or tripping breakers on a regular basis, you are in a dangerous situation. Fix it ASAP.

This is all about safety, and many a house has burned down due to overtaxing circuits. Any money you spend on upgrading or adding circuits safely is money well spent.

I only did it to handle the power surge when the laser printer warms up. I think I am only drawing just over 2000 watts at peak, so its only bout 17 amps. I tested the system with a kill a watt meter, and that extra load for about 30 seconds isn't a concern.

NEC says 20 amps on 14 guage is fine. [lugsdirect.com]

I was wiring commercial passenger boats when I was 16. Coast Guard passed them for their 3 year inspections at haul-out, so I must have been doing something right.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2015 11:25PM by Racer X.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: davester
Date: June 19, 2015 11:35PM
Quote
Racer X
NEC says 20 amps on 14 guage is fine. [lugsdirect.com].

Only for extremely short runs, and that is currently up for revision because it's considered unsafe in a number of circumstances.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: bruceko
Date: June 19, 2015 11:43PM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
davester
Quote
Racer X
current code in Seattle is tiny 16 guage 20 amps. My home was wired with 14 guage, and 15 amp breakers. I just went to a 20 amp breaker.

No, that's wrong. Amperages for circuits depend on wire gauge and distance, but in general, 14 gauge is sufficient for a 15 amp circuit and a 20 amp circuit requires 12 gauge wiring. There is no way that you have 16 gauge 110 v wiring. National electric code trumps any local codes. The local codes are only allowed to be stricter, not more permissive.

Pay attention to what space-time says. You cannot change the fuse size upwards without risk of fire. Upping the circuit capacity means running new wire to the box. Probably better to have a new 20 amp circuit or two run, including a dedicated one run for the AC (which is probably a code requirement).

Also note that if in your current situation you are blowing fuses or tripping breakers on a regular basis, you are in a dangerous situation. Fix it ASAP.

This is all about safety, and many a house has burned down due to overtaxing circuits. Any money you spend on upgrading or adding circuits safely is money well spent.

I only did it to handle the power surge when the laser printer warms up. I think I am only drawing just over 2000 watts at peak, so its only bout 17 amps. I tested the system with a kill a watt meter, and that extra load for about 30 seconds isn't a concern.

NEC says 20 amps on 14 guage is fine. [lugsdirect.com]

I was wiring commercial passenger boats when I was 16. Coast Guard passed them for their 3 year inspections at haul-out, so I must have been doing something right.

Thanks for the link. Look at the bottom of the page you referenced

It Says "The load current rating and the overcurrent protection for conductor Types shall not exceed 15 amperes for 14 AWG, 20 amperes for 12 AWG, and 30 amperes for 10 AWG aluminum and copper-clad aluminum after any correction factors for ambient temperature and number of conductors have been applied."
Boat wiring is completely different that residential wiring Grounding and color code requirements are different.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 20, 2015 12:18AM
Oh, yeah. Know the huge differences between low voltage DC stuff on a boat, vs AC stuff.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: June 20, 2015 12:51AM
jdc, you might be lucky to get an electrician to charge only $75 to put in a new circuit, unless the panel is right there in the garage and it only takes 30' of cable.



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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 20, 2015 02:15AM
Thanks all.

Panel is on the outside garage wall, so might be simple.

Going to see if the garage door is on a different run, thanks speedy.

Its a portable AC unit, nothing special, but im sure its got some heavy duty power suck. Same with the laser. Both of them make a ton of noise, dont really want either of them on at the same time. Especially the printer, its a beast.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 20, 2015 03:43AM
Quote
space-time
based on the questions you asked, here is my definitive advice: do not do anything yourself. Hire an authorized electrician.

Good advice.



It is what it is.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 20, 2015 03:44AM
Quote
space-time
that "yahoo" knows what he is doing, can determine if you have 12 or 10 gauge wires, what the amperage of the circuit breaker is, how many things are hooked up to the same circuit, if the outlets on the ceiling is on a separate circuit or not, and inspect the electrical panel, and in particular the breaker that jumps to see if it still good.

Here I am going to take the Robert M. approach: go with a pro, money well spend and definitely worth it.

Really good advice.



It is what it is.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: June 20, 2015 08:33AM
Quote
jdc
Panel is on the outside garage wall, so might be simple.

On an outside garage wall but, of course, inside the garage. Then it will be quite easy to run another circuit assuming your service panel has space for another breaker. If you do it yourself, pull the main breaker. Never mind, hire an electrician, worth every penny.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: billb
Date: June 20, 2015 08:38AM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
davester
Quote
Racer X
current code in Seattle is tiny 16 guage 20 amps. My home was wired with 14 guage, and 15 amp breakers. I just went to a 20 amp breaker.

No, that's wrong. Amperages for circuits depend on wire gauge and distance, but in general, 14 gauge is sufficient for a 15 amp circuit and a 20 amp circuit requires 12 gauge wiring. There is no way that you have 16 gauge 110 v wiring. National electric code trumps any local codes. The local codes are only allowed to be stricter, not more permissive.

Pay attention to what space-time says. You cannot change the fuse size upwards without risk of fire. Upping the circuit capacity means running new wire to the box. Probably better to have a new 20 amp circuit or two run, including a dedicated one run for the AC (which is probably a code requirement).

Also note that if in your current situation you are blowing fuses or tripping breakers on a regular basis, you are in a dangerous situation. Fix it ASAP.

This is all about safety, and many a house has burned down due to overtaxing circuits. Any money you spend on upgrading or adding circuits safely is money well spent.

I only did it to handle the power surge when the laser printer warms up. I think I am only drawing just over 2000 watts at peak, so its only bout 17 amps. I tested the system with a kill a watt meter, and that extra load for about 30 seconds isn't a concern.

NEC says 20 amps on 14 guage is fine. [lugsdirect.com]

I was wiring commercial passenger boats when I was 16. Coast Guard passed them for their 3 year inspections at haul-out, so I must have been doing something right.


16 gauge is too small for 12vdc runs too.
For a VHF radio you'll get a voltage drop and you won't get 25 watts out.
The short pigtail on the radio might be 16 gauge and work direct connect to the battery with no extension.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: davester
Date: June 20, 2015 10:48AM
Quote
davester
Quote
Racer X
NEC says 20 amps on 14 guage is fine. [lugsdirect.com].

Only for extremely short runs, and that is currently up for revision because it's considered unsafe in a number of circumstances.

Also, you didn't read the footnote to the NEC chart you posted, which says...

Quote

Unless specifically permitted in Section 240.4(E) through (G), the overcurrent
protection shall not exceed 15 amperes
for 14 AWG, 20 amperes for 12 AWG, and 30 amperes for 10 AWG copper; or 15
amperes for 12 AWG and 25 amoeres for
10 AWG aluminum after any correction
factors Tor ambient temperature and number of conductors have been applied.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: vision63
Date: June 20, 2015 12:54PM
If you add a dilithium crystal unit you could sell electricity "back" to the power company.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 20, 2015 10:00PM
If you add a dilithium crystal unit you could sell electricity "back" to the power company.

You could kick it old school and just run a wire from the clock tower to your garage.

But you'd have to be ready to work as soon as the lightning struck.The work window would be a short one.

And you'd probably need something heavier that 16ga wire.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: vision63
Date: June 20, 2015 10:25PM
Quote
RAMd®d
If you add a dilithium crystal unit you could sell electricity "back" to the power company.

You could kick it old school and just run a wire from the clock tower to your garage.

But you'd have to be ready to work as soon as the lightning struck.The work window would be a short one.

And you'd probably need something heavier that 16ga wire.

Then he could collab with Elon Musk for battery tech retention. Dream!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2015 10:26PM by vision63.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: June 21, 2015 08:39AM
didn't read the whole thread but 20 amps in #16 wire is wrong, super wrong..

even in -wherever you are- any of you.

#10 wire gets 30 amps

#12 wire gets 20 amps

#14 wire gets 15 amps

The Garage...Is your Garage physically connected to your house JDC?

If so, is the breaker panel near the Garage?

If it is and you have an empty slot..it's easy enough to wire something into a breaker and then plug it into the panel when you need it..like what Floor Sanding guys do when they need power...a glorified, protected extension cord...very simple.

you could still do it if the garage is not connected..just make the run to your garage nice and neat



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2015 08:40AM by Kraniac.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 21, 2015 08:43AM
The portable AC should be on its own circuit; 20W should be OK. If the box is old enough for glass fuses, it's time to have an electrician evaluate all the wiring in the house.

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: tenders
Date: June 21, 2015 08:52AM
We added a dedicated breaker and line to our kitchen microwave a year ago. The house had not originally been equipped with a microwave, so the outlet for it had weirdly been tied to the upstairs bedroom circuit, and tripped the breaker whenever the bedroom's window AC kicked on.

This was a simple job for a pro, who was in the house to do some other stuff. He ran the line through the attic and I think he only charged me $150.

I love home repair and consider myself pretty handy but breaker-level work fails my "sleep well at night" test.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: June 23, 2015 07:00PM
Quote
mrlynn
The portable AC should be on its own circuit; 20W should be OK. If the box is old enough for glass fuses, it's time to have an electrician evaluate all the wiring in the house.

/Mr Lynn

I agree. Time to get rid of the fuses and have everything checked over. Except mylynn meant 20A, not 20W.

There is a good chance that your entire garage is on the same circuit.
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Re: Can I add more power to my outlets?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 23, 2015 08:46PM
"Except mrlynn meant 20A, not 20W"

Right, I did. Thanks.

/Mr Lynn
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