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Handyman: temp wiring

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MollyD1953
Columbia, TN
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2010
2:36 PM

Post #7787452

I'm working on my kitchen and just ran a temp circuit. Why is it temp? Well I used an existing wire that had been used to run an AC. The wire is a heavier guage than the romex I used on the outlets. I have three outlets on this circuit one of which is for the fridge. The other two will run odd appliances like the coffee pot, mixer etc. At the end of the circuit I left a length to wire a future range hood.
As soon as I plugged in the fridge I noticed it ran faster and louder than ever before. The fridge bulb blew too. I set the stove timer to see if the fridge would stop running but it didn't in ten mins. So I unplugged the fridge and went back to the old socket.

Anyone know if what I observed were indications of trouble? I plan on replacing the larger wire soon (as in the next month or so) and moving it all to the proper size breaker. This house has some funky wiring and I can't tell the breaker size (nothing written on it) except that it is a double . My box is only 50 amps. Can I use a 15 amp breaker on this circuit and leave a slot open for another circuit? This will be my first time putting in a breaker. The box has the master switch alone in a smaller box before you get to the box itself.

MollyD

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 12, 2010
5:29 PM

Post #7787936

Sounds like the AC wire was a 220 volt circuit. You are lucky you didn't blow out the refrigerator.
I would hire an electrician or find a friend who is familiar with wiring.
Your box is to small if it is only 50 amps.
Coffee pot, mixer, & anything else in the kitchen needs 20 amp circuit. Refrigerator needs a circuit of it's own & that needs to be 20 amps.
The double breaker is a 220 volt breaker.
MollyD1953
Columbia, TN
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2010
7:40 PM

Post #7788375

Thanks for the info CG! Will re-do the layout on this then. How come the fridge needs a separate circuit? At my last house it wasn't on it's own and that was done by pros.
Can't help the box, budget won't allow for a bigger one right now. It does what I need since I'm not running the dryer or a freezer.

MollyD

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 12, 2010
7:52 PM

Post #7788414

Separate circuit is code in our state. Maybe code is different there.
MollyD1953
Columbia, TN
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2010
7:55 PM

Post #7788419

Could be. I lived in NYS at that time. Where I am now codes are more lax than anywhere I have lived before.

MollyD
DesertPirate
Fallbrook, CA
(Zone 10b)

May 17, 2010
12:16 PM

Post #7801169

Regardless of codes, safety is paramount. CountryGardens steered you right, but left out one important element. Even though you could "split" the 220 volt circuit and only use one leg to get 110v, you're still using smaller gauge wire on the circuit YOU installed.

With a 30 amp or higher breaker for the 220volt circuit and 12 gauge wire for the circuit you ran, if there was ever an issue...like using a toaster, microwave and a running refrigerator at the same time, a 30 amp breaker wouldn't trip, but the smaller gauge wire would be overloaded and potentially melt and cause an electrical fire in the wall.

NEVER OVERSIZE THE BREAKER!!!!! When the wire becomes the breaker for an overloaded circuit, you BURN!!!
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 4, 2010
8:09 PM

Post #7859849

I don't know how different thinks are different in TN than NY state, but I don't think I've ever seen an enterance less that 100 amps that was installed after the era of fuses. If you aren't running any 220 appliances you can get 2 20 and 4 15 amp 110 circuits out of the 50 amp box if you have the space to put the breakers in. I'm not trying to be insulting but since you managed to hook your 110v outlets to a 220v I think you should do a little studying about how house wiring works and also try to enlist a friend that understands electricity. Electricity isn't hard to learn, but errors can get you in deep trouble. The other advice I always give to someone is never assume older wiring is anything like it is supposed to be. I've seen some really wacked wiring in my time.
Delightful_Dawn
Altus, OK
(Zone 7a)

August 23, 2010
6:03 PM

Post #8058133

I agree with the others. Hire an electrician to do it right. Otherwise its a time bomb.

When I bought my house the FIRST thing I did was have an electrician deactivate the knob and tube wiring and run new wires to a new service.

I had visions of my preteen having all kinds of stuff powered up on the same circuit. A total disaster waiting to happen.

Circuit breakers are there to (hopefully) protect us and our equipment. Don't mix different gauge wires. Yuck. Like going from a superhighway down to a two lane country road.

I've seen the damage too high a current through a wire can cause. Melted parts and charred wires. I wondered why the circuit breaker didn't trip. There was major current flowing and it just start frying everything in its path.

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