Hi Folks, I've upgraded my electrical service to a 200 amp circuit breaker
system. I would like to add another circuit for some additional florescent
lights in my basement. I have several open slots for new breaker's in the
panel. My question is can I buy a new circuit breaker and install into an
open slot then run a new line to the lights ? or do I need a professional to
install new circuit's.
Should be no problem with DIY.
Just remember to run the lines before hooking into the panel
| Hi Folks, I've upgraded my electrical service to a 200 amp circuit breaker
| system. I would like to add another circuit for some additional florescent
| lights in my basement. I have several open slots for new breaker's in the
| panel. My question is can I buy a new circuit breaker and install into an
| open slot then run a new line to the lights ? or do I need a professional to
| install new circuit's.
Have you ever done any electrical wiring before? Do you mind working around
electricity? Does the possibility of starting a fire or killing someone
I'm thinking that if you have to ask this question, then you should be
calling in a professional to do the work.
Just do it. I know what you mean.
However, that large switch at the top, it's the "Main Disconnect". I am
going to suggest that you throw that in whatever the "off" position is
before you bring your cable down to the new breaker.
Believe me, I learned that the hard way!
(And no, it didn't feel any different coming down the main as it does at any
other time. Although, I'm pretty sure I was getting 240 volts, not 120!)
And those two big cables that attach to lugs at the top of the breaker
panel? Stay away from 'em. They could give you a bad day, even with the
main breaker off. If you have a disconnect outside the house, turning it
off would reduce your chances of having a very bad outcome.
Yes, the dangerous part about electricity is that at line voltage levels
you can't see, hear or smell it. And if you chance to feel it, it may
just bite you or make you jump enough to bash yourself on something sharp.
Then again, I still remember the words of a middle aged Brit prof back
in my college daze circa 1954 who tought a course I was taking called
"Rotating Machinery" (All about electric motors, generators and stuff
like that.) We were working with three phase 440 volt equipment when he
told us, "You smen will never be good electrical engineers until you
learn to 'take' a shock!" <G>
I've been surprised to discover how innocuous 120V is -- just an
unpleasant tingling, aside from the initial contact which is moot anyway
if a screwdriver does the job. What is disturbing is the thought that
you are flirting with death despite the unremarkable sensation.
That scares up the question: How many shocks have you electrician (and
EE) types encountered in your careers? And how many arm-to-arm (i.e.
across the heart) shocks, which seem inevitable given the ease of using
some conducting metallic box with the non-working arm to give support?
It's actually the current that matters. 30mA (.03A) is fatal. Current
is voltage divided by resistance (you might want to try measuring the
resistance of your body sometime. Try it both dry and wet).
I remember measuring 2K ohms across my body (when dry). 120V across
that would produce a current of 60mA. Good thing I've only had that
between fingers of the same hand.
I was changing an outdoor light bulb about 5 feet off the ground on my
previous house. It was summer and I was barefoot -- yeah should have known
better. Previous owner had confused black and white. He had the switch
break the white lead and had the black wired to the screw thread part of the
light socket. Moisture on the bulb provided a connection from the threads
to me. Afterwards had to redo a bunch of his electrical work. First thing
I learned about wiring was BLACK to BRASS.
At work saw the result of someone accidentally dropping a screw driver
across a 50A circuit -- lots of splattered metal no one hurt. I am sure
lots of folks have other stories. Personally prefer electrical work to
using a chain saw, especially up in a tree.
Many moons ago while I was an EE student I was in a lab which had 3
phase 440 coming out to a test panel. The panel had U shaped channels
of thick sheet metal that was HOT and the wires we connected to them
were half inch brass rods with an insulated handle and a slot that went
on to the panel terminals. Some of the wires were heavy wire (probably
#8 or 10 ISTR), and some were #16 that were intended to connect to
Not the safest arrangement, but part of the course was to teach us
respect for the power. The breakers protecting these panels were large,
probably 50-100 amps.
One day in lab I was setting up the experiment de jure there was a
BRIGHT flash and a LOUD bang from behind me. I turned around and there
was a cloud of smoke rising from a bench and the student clawing for the
breakers (which had not tripped). This guy had clipped a length of the
#16 wire across a 440 live circut. All that was left was the two end
Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM\'er since CP-67
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