I’m attempting to fact-check a seemingly very dubious claim from my landlord, but I’m having a great deal of trouble finding useful information on older electrical codes, especially in a form that I can easily cite.
I’m in the US, I’m renting a room in a home built in 1964, and while I’m far from any sort of expert, I think I have decent basic knowledge of modern residential wiring.
My landlord, in what I believe is an attempt to discourage me from installing an ac in the window, has claimed that my room and one other are on a single 5 amp circuit, and that even a very small ac is likely to overload it.
Now this sounds like total bs to me, and there are at least a couple other times that he’s told very obvious lies on subjects that I know much more about (computers and networking), but I’d like to hear from people who are more knowledgeable than I am.
The wires in the electrical boxes appear to be 14 gauge. And the receptacles are all standard 5-15r’s.
What I’m looking for is:
1) how likely is it that the “5 amp” claim is false?
2) what was the minimum size for a residential circuit, according to the NEC in 1964?
3) finally, when (if ever) was a 5 amp circuit legal to serve receptacles in bedrooms?
Thanks for the help.
Update: After I initially (politely) called bs on the 5 amp max, he came back about an hour later saying that it was actually a 10 amp maximum, shared between two rooms, for theoretically, 5 amps per room.
While perhaps not quite as blatantly absurd, this still seems quite odd to me, not to mention pretty dubious with the very-clearly 15 amp receptacles in the wall. That said, this is hardly the only example of questionable wiring here, but for the moment I'm just trying to pick my battles and move somewhere better when I can.
Even with 10 amps, I do not think it likely that my ac would cause any problems (I've actually used it before with no issues, part of why I think this issue is largely or entirely contrived on his end). Its rated for a peak draw of about 600 watts, though I think it will operate at considerably less once the compressor starts up.
I have purchased some inexpensive power-monitoring devices, and I'll be setting them up when they arrive, so that I have hard info available to back up my position. And, while I'd much rather not spend the money right now if I can avoid it, I can also purchase a newer ac that would peak at ~400 watts instead.
I have also offered to pay to offset the additional cost of operating the ac unit. Somewhat surprisingly, this didn't clear things up.