Recently during a storm a circuit breaker switched off half of our home's lights and sockets. Thinking it was due to moisture we waited for the house to dry and then reset the breaker. It would stay on for a while but then flip back off. Finally it would no longer switch on. We called an electrician who said there was a short but it would require troubleshooting to identify the exact location. He offered us two options:
- Troubleshoot the short only ($350)
- Split the circuit ($1200)
We counted all the lights and receptacles on the circuit and found 24. The 15A breaker should only support a load of 1400W (15A * 120V = 1800W * 80% max load). So it definitely seems there are too many junctions on the one circuit.
Is it possible to split the circuit without running additional wire through the house? The electrician seemed to indicate it was but I wasn't clear on his explanation. He mentioned using pigtails but I'm unsure if he meant pigtail connections or AFCI breakers.
I don't mind spending more money but I'd like to get the root problem solved. Would splitting the circuit and using two 20A breakers be sufficient? If so, what changes to the wiring are necessary?