There's some long explanations here. Skip to "The Heart Of The Matter",
below, if you don't want the story.
Just to set the stage: the original structure of our house was built in
1920. From 1954 to '56, my uncle added a garage/office to the back (West),
extended the bedrooms (North), and enclosed the screened-in porch to make a
dining room (South - pretty neat: in the basement you can still see the
"door" that was used as access to the area under the house, hinges and all,
that's now floored over).
Of course as the house has been built / added to over the years, the
electrical system is one huge bowl of under-powered spaghetti. The main
panel, a 60 amp fuse box (yep, fuses), powers most of the house. Another
box beside it holds the "Main" and the "Range", plus four fuses which
control the West addition, and under the stairs is _another_
box with 10
fuses, also for the West addition. The last box, the last one I've ever
found anyway, is a double-pole breaker for the air conditioner. The box
under the stairs appears to be wired directly to the meter, but that's
By day I'm a mild mannered computer programmer. My office at home has two
computers with all the trappings, plus a MIDI workstation, mixer, amp, etc
etc etc. My wife and I also own a business making shirts and tights for
renaissance festivals throughout the country, so in the basement are three
industrial sewing machines, plus all the trappings that go with ~that~.
No, we're not blowing fuses. The problem is, I've got four boxes, and no
more circuits - by rights, if I'm doing my math right, the costume shop
alone should have two, for instance, but there was only one left in the box.
Each computer should have its own circuit. I'm not overpowering the box,
I'm just out of room.
--- THE HEART OF THE MATTER.
I called an electrician and gave him the situation, saying I was exploring
having a 200 amp box. He told me flat out that 200 amp was for industrial
applications only, and wouldn't do it. My contention is that the codes as
they exist were by and large written at a time when a floor lamp, tv and vcr
setup was considered a lot of electricity for a room. To setup one computer
in my house takes an outlet for the computer; a monitor; a printer; a
scanner; the DSL modem; a broadband router; a switch (I have a home
network). That's seven. The entertainment center: a tv; vcr; dvd; an
amplifier/receiver; cd player. That's five.
Thesis: We live now in an age where there is more Electical Stuff in common
usage than anytime before, and that the conventional/traditional wisdom
needs some updating.
Tailor, Seamlyne reProductions
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