Electrical questions (1) 1000 HPS and (1) 400 HPS too much for a 20 amp home breaker?

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by BillyBudTricomes, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. #1 BillyBudTricomes, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2016
    Hey Guys,
    Just a disclaimer: My electrical practices have been stupid to date which is why I'm trying to fix it, I know I'm lucky to have a house still!

    Recently I did a DIY 2 closet grow setup, one smaller veg closet, and a larger flowering. I started with the 1000 HPS and ballast setup in the flowering (it's a good size closet) and ran two T5's in the veg.
    I would like to upgrade the veg from the T5's to a 400 HPS setup but am worried about the increase.

    A little background:

    The breaker that operates all of this appears to be a simple 20 amp breaker off of (2) one tied 100 amp main breakers. On this particular 20 amp breaker I also have a large TV, desktop computer, sound system<span></span> and a few other piddly outlet suckers (phone chargers etc).

    This setup has been operating under current weight flawlessly for many months. However....
    During the depths of the winter I ran a small Vornado heater to warm my adjacent living space and was able to do so, for more than 24 hours at a time without any surges, performance issues or breaker trips, this particular Vornado heater is rated on high for 1500 amps, it was on high always.

    Now the wired part, I added an 80 watt inline fan to the flowering setup for cooling and bang, trips the circuit. I unplugged everything and worked back up starting from the lights first and sure enough, it was that last 80 watt straw that tripped it again.

    I have since done away with the 1500 watt heater and use the light/ inline fan to heat parts.
    Did I take enough drain off the circuit by removing the heater to add a 400 HPS? Or am I looking at this all wrong...

    I would like to call an electrician but for i think clear reasons, i can't have the electrical inspector triapsing around my basement.

    Feedback much appreciated🎩

  2. So here is the new plan that I submit to the group for approval:

    It seems clear that there are too many electronics on the one outlet system/ circuit. And based on the layout of the house, the braker panel is on the opposite side of the room as the HPS,(25 feet or so) running a dedicated breaker to the HPS itself seems a bit tough as I would have to feed through insulated ceiling which sounds impossible or train wires around the ceiling which seems unsafe.

    My new solution is add a dedicated 15 amp breaker for the large TV/computer/sound/system which is less than 5 feet from breaker and has easy access through thin closet wall.

    So if I unload everything else off the 20 amp breaker and it's only used for a 1000 watt and the 400 watt HPS I have essentially made that its own dedicated breaker correct? That should be safe and under the 1800-1900 watt range correct?

    Again I may be looking at this totally wrong and I would love feedback. I am a novice with electrical but pretty handy otherwise. I am sufficiently scared however to proceed and as stated would appreciate an experienced voice.

    1000 HPS light and T5's are already running and have been for some time as detailed above. The ladies are enjoying a tan underneath, not sure I can just call an electrician at this point🌱🌴🌲🌳

    God Speed Gentlemen!


  3. Update that no one is interested in:

    Wired up successfully a dedicated 15 amp circuit/ outlet for the TV and crap. This leaves the rest of the 20 amp breaker I have been running the 1000 HPS on, open for a 400 HPS that I'm grabbing tomorrow... Fun in the sun ladies!
  4. Each 20amp breaker is rated for 1500 watts. The heater should get its own

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  5. I think if I remember correctly w/v=a 1400 /120v=11.67 amps so add in the wattage consumed of the other items in the circuit and as long as the total doesn't exceed 2400 watts you should be ok .
  6. Incorrect.

    Amps X Voltage = Watts

    So 20A X 120V = 2400 Watts. This is where the breaker should trip although most have a bit of overhead. But for Continuous Loads (on 3 hours or more at a time) you should derate by 20%. So a 20A breaker can support a continuous load of 1920 Watts and be compliant with the NEC. Remember breaks are there to protect the wiring, not what they are providing power to.

    Also, if you are going to run another circuit, go ahead and make it a 20A and use 12 AWG.

    Edit: I see Islandgrower beat me to it.
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  7. Yep. You've overloaded your 20 amp breaker. All those small things plugged in, each pulling so many amps, will quickly load up a 20 amp circuit. You're going to have to isolate your grow equipment from your various appliances, etc., for the home or this is going to continue to happen. I'm lucky and am married to a master electrician and he went up into the attic and isolated each of the circuits we were thinking about using...plotting exactly which plug-ins were connected to what, and rearranged everything so we didn't overload a circuit. We ended up using only 20 amp breakers for our grow setup...and it's pretty extensive. The trick is just to make sure that whatever you've got plugged into that circuit doesn't draw more amps than your breaker is rated for. You can load them up pretty good because they will actually take more than they're rated for, but if I'm not mistaken, you're not supposed to (by National Electrical Code) load them up with more than 80% of their rating. I would definitely get someone with some electrical experience to have a look at it for me. It needs tested with a meter and the draw calculated and everything gotten up to snuff so you don't burn down the house. No weed is worth that! LOL TWW
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Everyone has been correct don't go over the 80% 1920watts on 12 ga wire 20amp breakers
    Get a killawatt meter it will show you how much each unit pulls
    about 20 bucks from amazon.
    I used my dishwasher circuit its a 20amp dedicated breaker only wired to dishwasher.
    I just have to reconnect when we want to use the dishwasher, which we haven't use in years other than looking good and storage LOL
  9. Oh and just so you know old breakers in the breaker panel don't always blow at their rated safety levels as they get older.
    Thus causing over heated wires which is where the fire will start.
    Do it right or don't do it.
    Unless you rent , No just kidding
    • Like Like x 1
  10. My bad. My math is for 15 amp

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