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.
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.
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
and tell the landlord you will help with the wire installation if he will
get the electrician access the breaker panel.
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
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.
If emailing, please let me know whether
or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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...
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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