DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Combining Outlet Circuits Freeing up Breakers

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Old 02-19-2013, 10:06 PM  
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Default Combining Outlet Circuits Freeing up Breakers

When I originally wired my house in Ca. I ran separate circuits to each room. Each room has at the most 5 or 6 outlets. The kitchen and bathroom are not at issue here. I've added two extra rooms but have run out of breaker space in the main pannel. I want to combine circuits by adding an electrical box near the main box and running the 12-2 wires from two old rooms into the new box, joining them, and runing one wire out to 1, 20 amp breaker; thus freeing up 1 breaker. I would switch out all the 15 amp breakers and outlets for 20 amp b & os. We use mostly led lights so the combined amps should be low enough not to over load.

Anything wrong with this plan; would there be problem with codes?

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:35 AM  
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I think you would be allowed to connect them to a pigtail to one breaker in the panel.

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:29 AM  
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Use a "Tandem" breaker. This will allow for 2 circuits in 1 breaker slot.
Wire guage must be appropriate for the breaker amperage.
Meaning that you can't switch out 15 amp breakers for 20 amp breakers unless you increase the guage of the wire from 14-AWG to 12-AWG.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:42 AM  
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I think I would go kok's route. The breakers are more expensive but you get two circuits. You could replace a couple of your originals and have the space you need to power your sub panel. The other option is to pull a couple of your breakers out and power those rooms off of your sub panel. Either way you will keep your existing wiring at the rated amperage.

A friend of mine recently had a fire in his attic. The cause was someone running a 14 ga wire to a light from a 30 amp, 10 ga circuit in his kitchen. During his Super Bowl Party when he loaded the kitchen circuit heavily the light wire smoldered and burned because it could not trip the heavy breaker.
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