Setting up a room that uses 15 amps of power without tripping circuit breakers or catching anything on fire

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Dominus Atheos
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Setting up a room that uses 15 amps of power without tripping circuit breakers or catching anything on fire

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2018-12-14 04:52am

The more I think about it, the more impossible it seems. There is a room that I would like to install several electronic devices in, but the circuit breaker is only rated for 15 amps. I'm pretty sure all of my stuff tuned on at once will draw more then 15 amps and trip the beaker. Worse than that, I also need to figure out what kind of power strips to get. There are only 2 outlets in this room, so I'm going to need a visio diagram to even plan this, and then figure out what extensions cables and surge protectors can handle the loads without catching on fire.

Help?

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Re: Setting up a room that uses 15 amps of power without tripping circuit breakers or catching anything on fire

Post by LaCroix » 2018-12-14 08:07am

Most important - get someone who knows what you are dealing with - I have done a lot of wiring but I am not a licensed professional, and I am not aquainted with US electrical infrastructure, apart from the basics.

I'm not sure what electric standards you are using, but one outlet (European standard) is usually rated at ~3500 watts over here - 240V and 15 amps max. (Do not assume his would mean that a similar standard outlet should be fine to run 30 amps at 110V. It most likely isn't.) Also, having a circuit breaker installed with 15 amps rating means that whoever installed that does believe you shouldn't use that much, which implies each outlet should at maximum only be able to handle sligtly less than 15 amps. (~1600-1800 watts @ 110-120 V)

It seems a bit low wattage to me - though, my vacuum cleaner takes 2000Watts, but then again, if run on 110V, it would only consume a 1000 watts.

Anyway - running that much current (the max xour cb allows) long term through a single outlet is not sensible though. Cables do get hot when current is drawn.

I am assuming the worst case - your outlets are both wired to the same fuse in the box, so my suggestion would be to run a second set of wires through the hoses, and wire one of the outlets to it's own fuse. This has to come first, or you are risking cable meltdown inside the wall.

Apart from preventing y house fire, that measure distributes power between outlets and causes colder wires, which cause less resistance and less amps flowing in total.

This might already be enough to let the cb be fine with it, as long as you do switch on the devices one by one or group by group, slowly, to avoid the peaks in power most appliances do have on startup.

Second step if that is not enough - get a stronger cb installed, after checking with an electrician if your line to the house will be fine with it (we do have standards over here that require 50-100 amps nominal for the main, but I don't know how that is in the states/your hometown. )

Do not go overboard - stick to the minimum needed, because you are risking the cb not breaking a single outlet being overloaded (which it is among other things designed for). I would recommend 20 amps.
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Re: Setting up a room that uses 15 amps of power without tripping circuit breakers or catching anything on fire

Post by Alferd Packer » 2018-12-14 09:00am

I'd get a surge protector with a long cable, rather than an extension cord and a surge with a short one. I use this Belkin model a lot at work, because it's robust and it guards against the shitty wiring in our building. It's actually a violation of the fire code in our jurisdiction to use extension cords, so this model's long cable really helps.

Also also, if you're in a residential building, especially an older one, odds are good that outlet shares a circuit with some others. You should test other nearby rooms/light fixtures, if you haven't already.
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Re: Setting up a room that uses 15 amps of power without tripping circuit breakers or catching anything on fire

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2018-12-15 12:02am

Not the answer I suspect you want, but I am going to suggest you contact an electrician to have more outlets professionally put into the room. Tell the electrician your plans so that they can get things set up in a manner that won't start fires. It'll be expensive, but much less expensive than burning down your house. And it'll be done in a way that no circuits are drawing 15 amps.
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Re: Setting up a room that uses 15 amps of power without tripping circuit breakers or catching anything on fire

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-12-22 02:27am

What are you actually trying to plug in? A 15 amp sustained draw at 115v is considerable.
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