(Electrical) How do I expand my breaker box?

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by Liammm, May 28, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    I built a cab but before I switched everything on I wanted to make sure I have enough juice to power it safely.

    The house I'm renting is quite old and suffers from shitty electrical. In fact the room i'm growing in doesn't even have a single outlet :yay:

    Soooooo I had to run an extension cord from the cabs power strip to the laundry room where it shares an outlet with *sigh* a washing machine and a mini fridge.

    Here's what I got:
    Item | Amps
    Washer | ~15
    Fridge | 1.8 (says max 6?)
    Bug zapper | not worrying about it
    Total | 21.6-25.8

    I want to add via extension cord:
    A/C | 4.8
    400W MH | ~3.5
    2xStanley BlowerFans | 1.7
    Total | 10

    Grand Total | 31.6-35.8

    Extension cord | 13
    Breaker | 20(?)

    Basically it all adds up to me not being able to run my cab. Rejoice.

    There aren't any outlets not being used in the house and so I'd figure I'd turn to :gc_rocks: for help!

    I'm planning on clearing everything out and hiring an electrician to wire a new circuit for that room. Is there an easier way that perhaps doesn't involve an electrician?
  2. How long is the extension cord running to your laundry room? You have to compensate for the power that bleeds out over a long length of cable. I do not know the conversion rates off the top of my head.
  3. The safest route would be to have an electrician put in a new outlet with its own breaker, maybe two.
  4. Boombox, 15ft.
    Yowler, do you mean 2 breakers or 2 outlets?

    I was going to tell him I want to add a new 20amp circuit to the room. I know the standard today for American homes is 15amps/room, but this is a freakin' tiny room! Would it seem weird asking for 20amps?

    On an unrelated note: I pray to god they legalize it. I have a big back/side-yard :ey:
  5. If you're going to the trouble of calling out an electrician, you might as well have him put in two outlets, each with their own breakers, that way you can have plenty of power with the least amount of death.

    I severely doubt he will be suspicious of you growing weed just because you want a room with no outlets wired for electricity.

    Ditto on the legalization thing, I wish I could use that big old free light source that isn't going anywhere for a while.

    Edit: Even if he wires them for 15 amps, you could always change the breakers out and put in whatever you wanted, up to 40 amps. Changing breakers is a piece of cake, it's just the wiring process that blows.
  6. Thanks for the advice.

  7. Well.....Ummm, NO. If you hire an electrician to put a 15 amp circuit in and you change the breaker you will have big problems, possibly the fire dept. The problem is a 15 amp circuit uses 14 ga wire, wire that is rated for 15 amps. If you put more than that accross it it will overheat possibly starting a fire. Your best route would be to tell em that you want a large window A/C unit or something that needs a dedicated 20 amp plug. You can by code load that circuit up to 80% of its rating or 16 amps. That would be sufficient for any lighting /fans you have in a small room. But please DO NOT change up breakers, or if you do at least replace the battery in your smoke detector.
  8. #8 stonedK1982, May 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2009

    NO! What are you trying to burn this guys house down? If he wires them for 15 amps chances are hes running 14 guage wire and using 15 amp duplex outlets. If you stuck a larger breaker in there he could draw more amps through the wire and outlets and end up causing a fire as neither of them are rated for that type of amperage. If you change the breakers you will have to change the wiring and the devices as they are not rated for that. Trust me I'm an electrician. Putting a 40 amp breaker inline with wiring and devices that only can support 15-20 amps will cause a fire eventually if he draws more than the 15 or 20 amps through it. Seen it happen thanks to homeowners who don't know what they are doing.

    Also P.S. as an electrician no I would not find it suspicious if somebody asked me to wire the room for 20 amp circuitry instead of 15. in fact a lot of people are opting for 20 amp wiring vs. 15 nowadays.

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