Overdrawing? Overheating? Remodeling with can lights?

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by dekebell, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Jul 24, 2009 #1

    dekebell

    dekebell

    dekebell

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    I am installing (7) 60 watt IC rated can lights in our living room remodel. Using the formula I learned here- I can theoretically run 32 fixtures.

    3 lights are on a dimmer, 2 lights are on another and the remaining 2 lights are on yet another dimmer switch. The dimmer brand that I am using is LUTRON (dimmer, TOGGLER, Part number TG-600PH-WH, incandescent/halogen 120V 600W)

    In the same (plastic) gang box as these three dimmers, there is another dimmer switch for (2) 40 watt sconce lights.

    I installed all these yesterday, and after powering (running) all the lights for 4 hours- the switches reached between 80-93 degrees F.

    I am using the same lead, from a 20 amp breaker to power all the lights. This circuit also carries all the living room receptacles. The receptacles will power all the usual garbage: big flat screen, cable box, dvd player, kid’s games, wife’s worthless pretty lights, etc.

    I turned the breaker off before I left for the night last night. Can someone ease my mind about this set-up, or advise of a different approach? I am not an electrician, but I am trying to follow code (Houston, Texas) and research everything I do.

    My concerns:
    I’m using a plastic gang box.
    I’m powering four dimmers with one 110v supply wire.
    I had to remove the “tabs” from both sides of the dimmers to make them all fit the box.
    I am overloading the circuit.

    Thanks!
    Deke Bell
    07/24/09
     
  2. Jul 24, 2009 #2

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

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    Take an amp reading on the supplying breaker.
    At 20amps, you should be using 12AWG wire for the entire circuit.
    Make sure your not using 14AWG.
    Make sure the amp draw with everything on, does not exceed 16 amps.
    Add up all the watts and check it against the amp readings.
     
  3. Jul 24, 2009 #3

    dekebell

    dekebell

    dekebell

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    Dang it! I did forget to mention I used 12 gauge througout.

    I will do the amperage test tonight when I get to the house. I need to stop at one of the box stores and pick up a tester. Any recomendations on brand or size? I don't know what they have, but I believe I saw a selection at one time.

    Do I "clamp" around the supply wire going into the gang box for all these lights? How do I test at the breaker itself?

    Thanks,
    Deke
     
  4. Jul 24, 2009 #4

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

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    Clamp around the feed wire inside the breaker box to get an accurate reading of the circuit. There may be other items on the circuit that you may not be aware of unless this is a new circuit and you know for sure what's on it.
    I'm a big fan of Fluke but, they can be on the expensive side.
    When a Fluke is not available, I would go w/Greenlee.
     

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