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My home has too many receptacles and outlets to one circuit breaker. For example i have three bedrooms, hall lights and even some bedroom Lights connected to this circuit. My question is that I want to take some of those receptacles/outlets and place it to another circuit breaker. What is the best way to split them to another circuit breaker? Do I need to go to the panel to trace originally that one circuit breaker goes to first? Can i intercept these wires at the junction box locating those that mostly belong to that circuit (split them there) and then run new wires to the panel box to create a second circuit breaker? Or what would you suggest to lower the number of outlets/lights (22 of them) belonging to that one circuit? I do know exactly where all the wires belong to each receptacle and light fixture-that belongs to that circuit including end runs? In short how do i change that single circuit breaker so i could have two breakers to reduce the load on that circuit breaker?

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    Is that breaker tripping (often)? – mmathis Apr 27 '17 at 18:22
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    Considered LEDs? These can dramatically reduce load. – Kris Apr 27 '17 at 19:09
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    You need to choose the cut point(s) carefully. Suppose 2 people want to each use a 1500W heater for their room, and you make the cut and surprise -- they're both still on the same half of the circuit! Hence you really need to know what your challenging loads are going to be. It's possible there are no challenging loads and you don't need 2 circuits. There's no magic number, you can have 44 outlets if they're all LED lights and iPhone chargers. – Harper Apr 27 '17 at 19:26
  • @mmathis hate to say it but it never tripped – larry pinsky Apr 28 '17 at 3:34
  • @Harper no it never tripped for the last 9 years. But i thought for safety reasons it wouldn't hurt to use another circuit breaker and because i heard it so often on this forum you should have maybe 15 at most. Again thank you as usual. It would make it also easier to handle as well without shutting down three rooms etc. – larry pinsky Apr 28 '17 at 3:39
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Yes, you can run a new cable directly from the panel to a junction box and split it there. Getting the new cable to that box might be a problem, but you can figure that out.

Splitting a load

  • Hooray! I thought you could and know it is tricky. – larry pinsky Apr 28 '17 at 3:40
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I would look at where the loads are possibly not in the center of the string. Remove the feed at that point now comes the hard part running a new cable to the string that was disconected make sure to use 12 awg for 20 amp breakers , 14 for 15 amp breakers matching the size wire that is being used now. If you are out of breaker slots tandem breakers may be an option if your panel is rated for them.

  • Thank you Ed! Can always count on your wisdom. So i should stay away from that junction box which is at the end of the string? When you say center, what do you mean exactly? – larry pinsky Apr 27 '17 at 19:15
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    At some point you will need to disconnect the daisy chain or string of outlets in the middle or where 1/2 of the load is. For example if the first 7 outlets are heavily loaded disconnecting the link to outlet #8 then re feed to the 15 that are left so both circuits are about 1/2 the load where ever that point may be. If you can get to a junction box at the end or some place of the. Remaining string you are lucky because once the original circuit is disconnected the new breaker can feed the remaining outlets from that junction box. – Ed Beal Apr 27 '17 at 21:43
  • That was also what i had in mind and easy to do except running a new 14 ga wire through conduit to it. Outside of that i think i found a loophole to do that. Can you run in conduit a 14 ga and a 12 ga wire in the same conduit? And if so then that would be easy to hook up. The 12 ga wire is just a passthrough to reach some other part of the house from the panel box through an outlet nearby. So i would assume it shouldn't be a problem...right? – larry pinsky Apr 28 '17 at 3:47
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    If the conduit is 1/2" you should be fine more than 3 conductors requires a derate but 12 & 14 awg THHN/ THWN wire will be fine as the higher ampacity values can be used for the derate. make sure to de energise the existing run when pulling a new set in just in case. some times I will use one of the existing wires to pull a string then use the string to pull the new wire set and the original wire back in. I don't usually pull a set of wires with a wire because I have had wires break because they usually are some what tangled in the conduit. – Ed Beal Apr 28 '17 at 13:08
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    More than 3 current carrying conductors requires wire capacity to be reduced or wire gauge increased This is called derate. With 12 & 14 gauge wire code limits there ampacity to 20 & 15 amps. With romex and thhn wires these are both listed for 90 deg f at higher ampacities than code allows to be used (except for derate value) for derating the as long as 20 & 15 amp working value is not exceed. Example: 4 to 6 current carrying in 1 conduit thhn 80% derate. Use 90F collum table 310.15. 14awg =25 amps x .8= 20a. Or with 7 to 9 conductors 70% derate needed 17.5 amps both derated values above OCPD. – Ed Beal May 1 '17 at 2:31

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