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My husband says I have too much plugged into my side of the bedroom- 1) lamp 2) laptop 3) cell charger 4) a blow dryer. All are plugged into a Phillips box that plugs into an outlet. I am no Thomas Edison ( or Nikola Tesla) but I think the only thing that really pulls the power is the blow dryer, followed by the lamp. My guess is that the laptop or cell charger don't use much power.? If I forget to unplug a space heater across the room in winter when I use the blowdryer all bets are off and have to unplug everything, go to the basement and reset the breaker. I want to call an electrician and get (I GUESS) another breaker switch for the bedroom so that I can run two "power pullers" (heater, vacuum cleaner, blow dryer. etc) at the same time. Is this really expensive? * What can I expect to pay?* The house is 6 years old- 3 bedrooms 2 baths on a basement. In Georgia, not Manhattan. Would I just say "I need a second breaker for the bedroom" ??"... Yall?.. Thanks!

closed as off-topic by Speedy Petey, BMitch May 23 '16 at 12:27

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  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about the price of a project. – BMitch May 23 '16 at 12:27
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A cellphone charger is an inconsequential load. The lamp would also be inconsequential if you'd put LED bulbs in it. The laptop certainly uses less than 10% of the circuit's capacity, maybe even 3-5%.

A blow dryer is a huge load, and takes 80% of a circuit's capacity.

A heater is also a huge load that takes 80% of a circuit's capacity.

Those two devices take so much because their mission is to create heat. They want to make as much heat as possible, so they use the circuit up to its limits.

Most bedrooms have 1 circuit, so it's effectively all the same side.

Now that you know, you could try living with it.

Or you could use the blow dryer in the bathroom, which usually has a separate circuit for this reason.

You could use the house's own heating system instead of using space heaters, gas is cheaper to heat with.

You could install hardwired electric heaters on their own circuit, the heaters are cheap, the power to run them is expensive.

Other than that, yeah, you'd have your electrician pull another bedroom circuit. We cannot begin to speculate what that would cost, because it totally depends on the particular construction of your home. It will be at least $100 and likely a whole lot more. This varies too much to even guess at.


Details... Household power in North America is 120 volts. That switch downstairs (called a breaker) will have a number on it, probably 15, which the curcuit's capacity in amps. Useful power is measured in watts, which is volts x amps. 15 amps x 120 volts is 1800 watts. Most devices will state their watts. Some will state amps, and you must multiply by 120.

Watts are often abbreviated W, or sometimes you see a similar unit called VA.

Your cell phone charger is probably 7-10 watts -drop in the bucket.

Your laptop is probably somewhere between 35W and 150W.

Your lamp - anyone's guess. They made 500W halogens. LED bulbs are as little as 7W.

Your hair dryer will say, but expect to see 1500W.

Your heater, ditto.

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You need 'an additional circuit' installed in the bedroom. I would recommend you use the new circuit just for the space heater, and have it rated for 20A.

$500ish if you're lucky. (your breaker panel has capacity to be expanded, your breaker panel is in a completely unfinished basement, your bedroom is on the first floor)

$2500-5000 if you're unlucky.

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I agree with Harper's assement but not the cost,, depending on the the of construction Billy may be closer or even low. Is there room in the panel for more AFCI breakers in a bedroom that is the standard now. How much material (wire) from the breaker box? The cost of time and materials, last the cost of the permit. Some times these items can up to well over 500$ for a job like this. In most cases with a newer house the access is easy compared to older homes but there is still the permit paperwork parts material,,, so the cost goes up as it really wipes a full day out for a small job. Just my professional opinion. The cost may be cheaper in your state but wire boxes and the AFCI MAY be more than 100 + permits and the time to do the job.

  • I know. It varies too much to even guess. I know jurisdictions that don't want you to pull a permit for something that small. – Harper May 24 '16 at 3:16

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