A neighbor asked me about upgrading her breaker box.
I used to know what it is. However now, to see the value on my main
breaker would require climbing on the dryer and using a mirror but I do
know that the box has 4 duplex breakers (for the oven, water heater, AC,
and clothes dryer), 12 15-amp breakers and it has 6 empty slots before I
used one. One breaker is a GFI.
Does that imply how much amperage the house is wired for?
They were built in 1979-80. 3 floors including basement, 3 bedrooms.
It seems to me there is nothing a normal person could want to add that
would require a bigger box. Maybe an electric chair would need more.
1) The box needs to be located where it is easily accessible. The
bottom of the box typically 4' off the ground.
2) The word is "current" not "amperage."
If the water heater, clothes dryer and oven are all electric, I'd say
200 amp service would be in order.
If those appliances are gas, she may be able to get by fine with 100 amp
service, depending on the size of the A/C unit.
On Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 2:59:19 PM UTC-5, philo wrote:
Yeah, I don't understand having to climb on a dryer and use
a mirror to get to breakers.
And the first question would be why does she think she needs
an upgrade? Unless the main is being tripped what's the problem?
I never popped my 100 amp fuses with the wife making dinner and
running the drier at the same time -Oven on, stovetop on, coffee-maker
or toaster - even with the AC running.
The only thing gas in the house is water heater and furnace.
I love the way you call a boiler a furnace. Slight exaggeration isn't it? In the UK a furnace would be a huge commercial installation for smelting metal.
Same goes for "truck" - I gather you say truck for a 4x4 / SUV / etc. In the UK a truck is 50 tonnes and carts cargo around. You need an HGV license for it.
It's always funny, until someone gets hurt...
then it's just hilarious.
In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 21 Jan 2018 23:20:52 -0000, "James Wilkinson
They are two things in the US (and elsewhere, I'm sure.) A boiler has
to have something to boil, water for steam heat. Possibly water for hot
water heat, but I don't know for sure.
A furnace that just heats air is not a boiler.
We have those too. We also have smelt that you eat.
I don't think people call an SUV a truck. But they were built on truck
frames, whatever that was, to get around iirc the gas mileage
requirement that was applied to cars. So for regulation purposes the
federal government ranks them with trucks, but I don't think anyone
calls them that.
OTOH, there are half-ton pickup trucks that are trucks even though they
can only carry about 1000 pounds. They are trucks because they are
designed to carry cargo more than people, and pickup trucks don't even
have a roof, so you can carry big cargo.
In alt.home.repair, on Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:49:11 -0000, "James Wilkinson
This is not true in the USA and it's hard to believe it's true anywhere.
The air in the house is warmed, then warmed again and again later.
There's a filter on the furnace to removed dust etc.
Air to be mixed with fuel may be pulled into the house from a vent.
If this means what it sounds like, I don't think this is true either,
but I haven't had a gas furnace since 1964. Others will know, but I
think there is a fire chamber separate from the air to be warmed. ???
The amount of fuel that goes up the chimney unburned decreases
efficiency, but once fuel is burned, I don't think it matters if the air
is heated directly or not. The heat might take longer to get to the
air but the heat doesn't disappear just because it's indirect. The heat
is still in the house and it still warms the house.
These would be advantages. Another big advantage is that central air
cooling can be added very easily to the same air duct system.
I don't think I've ever heard of anything other than a mainframe
computer room being cooled by cool water, and even less common is
cooling a home with cold steam.
Here the market is big, a large percentage of houses, more than half I'm
sure, have forced air heat. There is not much retrofitting. Places
with steam and hot water radiators continue to use them.
So people have water heaters, either gas or electric.
Like I say, very little retrofitting. More likely to see repiping for
radiators with the new pipes outsides the walls, but pipes are not as
big as ducts.
Not true here.
I myself am not allegic to anything. The furnace has a filter that
should be changed what, once a month, and some people get hepa filters
or eledtrostatic filters.
Yes, of course
Just rewrite that sentence in the opposite order for new housing in
America. My old apartment house built in 1930 had, and my grandmother's
house built in 1940?? might have had radiator heat, but I don't think
I've ever been in a house built from 1955 on that did.
In new homes a heat recovery ventilation system does draw in some
fresh air and exhaust some "stale" air after recovering heat through a
A "heat echanger" is used - the flame heats the heat exchanger which
heats the interior air which is circulated through the building.
Virtually NO unburned fuel goes up the flue, and in "high efficiency"
furnaces a second heat exchanger is used to cool the exhaust below the
condensing point so all water vapour is removed from the exhaust,
recovering the "latent heat of vapourization".. This allows the flue
gasses to be directly vented using a plastic pipe through the wall,
with no chimney or flue required. The burner is "fan forced" so no
thermal draft is required.
It has not been replaced by hydronic heating to any great extent in
North America, except for radiant heating.
In houses where hydronic radiant heating is used a coil in an air
handler is very often used for hoit air heating, rather than using
radiators in the rooms because central air conditioning already
requires the ductwork.
But MANY homes that were originally built with electric baseboard and
electric radiant heat are being retrofitted with forced air gas heat
because electricity is so terribly expensive (here in Ontario, for
And they are a lot more efficient than running a heating boiler to
heat domestic hot water. Tankless heaters are becoming more common
for their percieved better efficiency (which has proven to be
I know of many houses retrofitted with forced air. In a bungalow it is
a total non-issue - particularly with a basement - and in 2 stories it
just requires the addition of a few "chases" - sometimes being hidden
in a closet - and sometimes opening a wall and patching the drywall
when finished. Sometimes you need to pull up some flooring - but the
payback for switching fromelectric to gas pays for the trouble pretty
When using hydronic radiant heat, it is quite common to simply run a
hot water loop to a coil in a heat exchanger on the top floor, running
ducts in the attic. (not as efficient in cold climates as the ducts
need to be very well insulated to keep the heat in the ducts and out
of the attic)
Actually the exact reverse, as VERY effective air filters can be
built into the air handlers. Even HEPA filters can be integrated into
the system - electrostatics (both active and passive) are VERY common.
There are some. Some people think forced air is a "dry" heat - and
there are many europeans who come with their biases. Veissman sells a
lot of boilers in Canada - but compared to the forced air furnaces
sold by Lennox, Bryant, ICG, and about 20 other brands, the boilers
are barely a blip.
We call then "blast furnaces" or Smelters.
get thr ft >>> We have those too. We also have smelt that you eat.
Even the Chrysler PT Cruiser was technically a truck
We don't get the Nissan Navara, but it would be considered a truck .
ecently we are getting more and more 4 door "crew cabs" and "super
crews" that have more passenger room than a fullsized sedan, and
sometimes ridiculously short boxes - and HUGE towing capacities -
often used for towing large "caravans" - known as RVs or "travel
trailers" here - 35 footers are not uncommon.
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