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Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
...I am looking to put a dedicated circuit in my "fish room" and need some help finding the right person to do the job. I am maxed out on the regular circuit for that room and want to add more power. Thanks much Karen :)
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Hey Karen welcome to the board. Here is a couple of things u can do to see if its going to be a easy one or a hard one.
1st> check your breaker box and see if thier are any open breakers (breakers with no wires going to them)
2nd> does the breaker in the room you want more out of control any other rooms, or halls???

Mike
 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
Hi Mike,
Thanks for the reply. First there are no empty breakers in the box and second yes there are other areas in the house using that space on the breaker including the second bathroom. I am hoping to run a dedicated circuit from the main fuse box to the second bedroom via the attic space and add the new outlet(s) into the closet space of that room.
Any suggestions? :?:
 

MtnDewMan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
2,290
Location
Mukilteo, WA
Sounds like if every space is taken, you may need to run another breaker somehow ... I am not an electrician, so not sure how big of a job that would be ... I am interested in the replies :)
 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
Mtndewman,
I am thinking that in my case it is going to be relatively easy for the person who has the knowledge of electrical work. My breaker box is on the same floor as the "fish room" with attic crawl space to run the wire through then a fish tape to get the wire to the new outlet location should be a straight shot between the studs to attach the new outlet box(es). I personally have no knowledge of electrical work and one of the things I dislike most is to get shocked so I am really needing some help here.
Thanks,
Karen :)
 

OnTheReef

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2003
Messages
72
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Re: electrician needed

Karen,

I presume you own your home? If you think you might ever sell your home, then you will definately want to get a licensed electrician and a city permit for this work. Otherwise, you are legally required to disclose "unpermitted work" on your property disclosure when you sell. If the buyer makes it a contingency of escrow that the work be post-inspected, a city inspector could require that *any* part of your electrical system be opened up for inspection. That said, here is what a licensed elecrician will do in a situation such as yours. Two of the circuits in your existing electrical panel will have to be removed and a "double-wide", high-amperage breaker installed in their place. They will then install a second panel which is powered by the "master" breaker in the first box. The two ciruiits which were removed from the first panel will now be powered from the seond, as will the additional circuit for your tank room. I had this done on my home in San Francisco (for a computer room) and it cost about $1,300 for the project. Now, my wires had to be run through a garage and up the back of a two-story building and consider also that labor rates are higher in San Francisco than just about anywhere else, but you are still looking in the hundreds of dollars to have this done correctly. Another thing: your electrician and some aquarium reference books will harp all over the use of GFIs (Ground-Fault Interrupt circuits) This is great for protecting yourself from shock, but if you have any electronic ballasts, they will pop your GFIs so fast the lights may not even turn on.

Hope this helps,

Eric
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Hmm..I had my Icecap 660, as well as a tar MH ballast and almost everything else for the tank, plugged into a dedicated GFI and it never tripped it??
 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
OnTheReef thanks for the detailed reply. Let me make sure I understand what you are saying, the electrician would need to put an entire new electric panel in my house beside the current one? If this is the case, that is much more involved than I thought it would be. Why is it not possible to pop out an empty slot in my current box and wire it from there into the other room? And yes I plan to sell oneday so it is important to me that I do this properly. And yes I do have electronic ballasts and also have read many many times about the use of the GFI's. Thanks for any advice.
Karen
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
electrician

If you plan to sell soon it will be an issue. If you plan to sell in a decade or two it won't be as important(the rest of your house will be non-complient as well.) An additional shut-off is always nice in a fish(reef)room. Go with what the licsenced proffesional reccommends, that's what your paying for. Even if everything is up to code an inspector can still require state liscensed signature and they can charge full price by law even though it meets code.
 

OnTheReef

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2003
Messages
72
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Re: electrician

Karen,

In response to your query, you really have 3 options:
1) Rewire two existing circuits onto one breaker (probably changing a 15amp circuit into a 20amp) and use the freed up slot for your new circuit. This is only an option if you have a couple circuits that are running at under capacity.

2) Install a subpanel as described in my first post. A subpanel is not nearly as large nor as expensive/timeconsuming to wire as the primary one. This is in all likelihood your cheapest option.

3) Install a larger main panel so that you have room for more circuits. Depending on how cramped your current main panel is for space, you
*may* have the option of installing more circuit breaker clips, but most panels in recent years have been installed with the cabinet only barely large enough for the circuits they contain at construction time.

As another member suggested, I'd pose these ideas as questions to several different electricians and see what they recommend.

Cheers,

Eric
 

OnTheReef

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2003
Messages
72
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Re: electrician

Karen,

One more thing. Look closely at your existing panel. If you see perforations below and about the same size as your existing circuit breakers, then your current panel has room for more circuits to be installed.

Eric
 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
Dan,
Thanks for your advice and words of caution about he sale of my place. Last thing I need is something to screw up the sale which I hope for in the spring.
Karen
 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
Eric,
Yes I do have open spots in my current breaker panel 4 to be exact. I have contacted a friends husband that does commercial electrical work and hope to get some advice from him. He is currently signing off on his wiring for his new home today. I hope all goes well for him and that he will be available for me to pick his brain a little this evening.
I really appreciate all you thoughts and advice, if you think of something else or know of a licensed electrian in S. King County that would be awesome.
Thanks,
Karen :)
 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
Update!!

Well just to let you all know it only took a couple of hours with a qualified electrician and now I have two dedicated circuits with 20 amps each for a total of 40 amps dedicated to my fish/reef tank I had the electrician install the new outlets with GFIs and I can't be more happy with the peace of mind it gives me. Grand total $150.00. Thanks to everyone and all of the advice.
Karen :) :)
happy girl
 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Kent, WA
Eyelashes?

I thought it was my full 34C. Just kidding, my girlfriends husband is an electrician and he did the work and I forced them money on him after the bids from the local electrian were only $200.00. Although sometimes it helps to be a girl except at the mechanics shop.
:) Karen
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Good for you Karen! You probably have enough juice now to start up another thank, lol.

I spent one very long summer painting vacant apartments and would run in to Miller Paint once a week for supplies. I would wear a summer dress for these trips.. never had to wait in line or take a number and they always gave me carry-out service to my car! :D
 
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