In my basement I currently have old electric wall heaters that are on a 60 amp circuit. I'm getting rid of the heaters and want to reuse the circuit and redirect the wiring to all my electrical outlets only in my basement. Knowing that residential electrical outlets carry 120 - 120v, is it safe to use the same 60 amp circuit? What would be the upside /downside by doing it this way if any?

  • No, an outlet circuit must be supplied by a 20A breaker; but you can re-use the wiring as using a bigger wire for lower load is correct. – DDS Nov 2 '18 at 12:47
  • @DDS -- no, you can have a 30A circuit with multiple 30A outlets on it; it simply wouldn't be all that useful for plugging things in, that's all – ThreePhaseEel Nov 2 '18 at 23:37
  • Have you ever seen 120V 30A outlet? I didn't. So 30A is excessive for an oulet circuit. Just in UK you can see such big fuses on outlet circuits (@250V) but that's possible because there all plugs are fused so ther's no risk to over-load a single outlet. – DDS Nov 3 '18 at 10:51

If the circuit is in good shape there is no reason you cannot change out the breakers and turn it into 2 120V 20 or 15 amp circuits. I am assuming of course that the 60A circuit is a 240V circuit and has a neutral and ground. If it does not have this configuration then you could use the circuit as 1 20 or 15 amp circuit, assuming of course that you have a ground connection also.

Another option would be to leave it in place and install a sub panel in the basement and use it to distribute power throughout the basement and leave extra spaces for future work. Once again you must have the correct number of conductors.

Good luck.

  • 3
    +1 for the sub panel idea that is what I’m going to do – Kris Nov 2 '18 at 14:20
  • 1
    I would go with the sub also making up the boxes on 20 amp with that huge wire may excede a standard box fill and you would need to pigtail down to number 10 or 12 to the outlet for the wiring to fit.+ – Ed Beal Nov 2 '18 at 15:32

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