increasing electrical capacity?

Hi,
I have a question. I live in a rented house, which has three bedrooms on the same electrical circuit. One of these rooms has a window A/C unit. I'd like very much to add A/C units to the other two bedrooms, but I suspect that the electrical system may not be able to handle this, since there's a lot of other electronics on that circuit -- 6 computers and monitors, multiple TVs, stereos, etc.
I don't know much about electrical systems, and I'm just curious: how plausible is it to increase electrical capacity, i.e., add another circuit, that would be to accomodate additional a/c units? Is it a very difficult and costly proposition? If it's not, I would ask the landlord if he could do this for us, but if it's a huge, expensive process, I guess I'll just deal with it.
Thanks Martin
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It is a job for the landlord. I likely would be illegal for you to do it yourself.
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It would be most unusual for all the outlets in 3 bedrooms to be on the same circuit in modern construction. A 5K unit can exist with other items on the same circuit. Not smart if computers are on that circuit.
Worst case 2 new circuits, one to each room. Not a job you should attempt. Landlord should do the work and add the cost to the rent or a one time charge. That is how I would handle it. Cost will vary widely depending on where you are.
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The big work is in snaking the wire and drilling some holes in the correct places. DO a search for "old work electrical box" and find pages like http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/elect/remodel1/lighting/track2ft/oldworkbox.htm and tell the landlord you will help with the wire installation if he will get the electrician access the breaker panel.

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Use NEC-listed staples every 4 feet and within 1 foot of every box or junction that the cable enters, and it is more likely that an electrician will turn down the remainder of the job because it's too small than it is that the electrical inspector will say you are an illegal wiring monkey. Ask the inspector in advance! Actually it sounds like you need more than one new circuit.

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wrote:

Legally, ask your landlord to hire an electrician.
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In alt.home.repair on Tue, 05 Aug 2003 10:18:20 -0400 Gary Tait

Just for the record, when Martin says at the end that he'll deal with it, he means he'll accept the fact that he can't have another circuit.
He's not planning to do it himself.
No one has mentioned actual prices yet, which is what he asked about.
Depending on other factors of the property, I think many landlords will not expect you to pay the entire cost. Because they get to keep it after you leave.
Have you looked at the breaker box to see how many breakers service those three rooms. Turn one off at a time, and see what no longer works. Maybe you don't need these circuits after all.
Meirman
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wrote:

The expense depends on the distance from the panel and whether there is an easy way to run the outlets. If there is an open ceiling basement below, it may be fairly easy. There is no way to know without seeing the place. I'd install one seperate outlet on it's own breaker by each window ehere there will be and AC. Just leave the other wiring alone. An AC should have it's own circuit. They consume most of the power a 15 or 20 amp breaker can supply. Having electronics on that same line is bad for the electronic items.
But, as others suggested, talk to the landlord first. Some may pay for it, others will make you pay, and still others will split the difference. Maybe he will let you do the work yourself, maybe not...
Mark
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quoting:

Last summer, a buddy of mine put in an a/c unit, and the breaker kept tripping. There's an outlet already near the window, so I gave that outlet its own circuit for the a/c. It worked out wonderfully. I didn't even have to cut out a new hole in the wall, and the run back the breaker panel was only 20 feet. We drilled up through the botton of the wall, and fished the cable up into the existing box.
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