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Old 01-31-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
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Default anybody an electrician?

I need to plug in 1000-1500 watts worth of lights in my house. no i'm not growing weed. they're video lights. Now i'm worried about starting an electrical fire?

Can someone give me the basics of what to do/not do to remain safe?
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

1500 watts will pull about 14 amps of current at 110 V, less if there is no voltage drop at your receptacle. I'll assume worst case scenario here to help with safety.

Pulling that much current is gonna take a dedicated circuit. At your main breaker box you are probably gonna wanna wire in another circuit just for those lights 20 amps is pretty standard nowadays. I wouldn't risk them on a shared circuit. From that you are gonna wanna run some 12 gauge solid copper romex wire to wherever you need the power. Then wire in the outlet and from there you wanna use cords that are at least 12 gauge to power those lights.

Now, if you can't wire in a new circuit, you can turn a dedicated circuit into a shared circuit. Plug a radio into the outlet(s) you want to use. Turn off the breaker to that outlet, and the radio should go off. Now plug it in at ever outlet and record the ones that are off as well. If you don't use those then you have the equivalent of dedicated circuit for the outlet(s) you are using.

And the gauge of the wire should be printed on the wire. For example 12-2 has 2 12 gauge wires and a 12 gauge ground. 12-3 has 3 12 gauge wires and a ground.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

thanks so much.

I won't be wiring up a new line though. I'll do the radio thing you said.

most of the breakers in the basement are 15 amps. There are some 30 and there is one main one at the very top that is 100 but i think that is the max that the whole house can draw :P
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

can you explain the whole amps and volts and watts thing i always wanted to no that
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

Watts = Volts * Amps

Don't forget about refrigerators, dryers, etc which use electricity but you wouldn't think of being "plugged in".
I wouldn't worry though. Worst comes to worst, you trip a circuit breaker.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

yea, as long as the wire is thick enough you'll trip a breaker before a fire.


If most are 15, then that will work, but when you power the lights up be careful not to do it all at once or you may trip a breaker.

and the 100 amp is for the entire house.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber314Chicken View Post
yea, as long as the wire is thick enough you'll trip a breaker before a fire.


If most are 15, then that will work, but when you power the lights up be careful not to do it all at once or you may trip a breaker.

and the 100 amp is for the entire house.
yea thats what i thought (about the 100 amp breaker)

so where do i look on the wires to see how thick they are?
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

the ones in the wall should be 12 gauge or thicker be default. on the ones for the lights, they should be thick enough for the lights. If you need extension cords for the lights then it will say on the side of the cord.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

thanks man.

so you really ARE an electrician, eh?
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: anybody an electrician?

no, I just know my way around basically anything in a house.

Heck, my dad has asked about me rebuilding our garage.
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