When designing a new home or a major renovation of an older home the question of wiring comes up and how much is enough? By code the rule of thumb is that a circuit is rated at 80% and each outlet counts as 1.5 amps. Thus a 15-amp circuit could have up to 8 outlets and a 20-amp circuit can service 10 receptacles. The ratings are the same for lighting circuits. The load is figured the same. It would be wise to put lighting on separate circuits. If the lights fail you plug light into an outlet to work on the lights, like when mounting a fan. Working on live circuits can be dangerous. If an outlet fails, you have room lighting to work on the outlets. You can string up to 10 duplex outlets. If you install dual-duplex with four plugs, you can do four boxes with two duplex outlets. Why would you want quad outlets? In this the electronic age, we have a plethora of devices hungry for power. Chargers for batteries and transformers for computers and peripherals abound. Quad outlets allow you to service more devices.
Stop Vampire Power
Vampire power consumption is the phenomenon of the remote control. Take for instance your TV. You have a live circuit inside to power remote control services. This consumes up to 1/3 the power of that the device uses when on. This eats at your power bill providing no service to you. A switched circuit would allow you to kill the power these kilowatt digesting devices.
Code for Dedicated Circuits
There are, by code, numerous dedicated circuits run to various appliances in your home. An appliance is anything that consumes power for benefit. Each A/C unit has one to two circuits. In self contained roof mount units you have a dedicated 240-volt circuit. With split systems with the main unit and compressor outside on the ground, a separate circuit would feed power to the air handler inside with a branch for your thermostat. Electric driers get their own circuit. Stoves, stove tops, ranges and cabinet mounted ovens each have dedicated circuits, usually 240-volt.
Energy Saving LED Light Bulbs
Most modern lighting are LEDs, with the CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light, the spiral type of tubes) and incandescent lighting a thing of the past. LED consume much less power per light candle output then any other lighting. With the extended life of LED lighting it helps to drive the costs down, but LEDs, though cheaper than a few years ago, still cost more than the two older technologies. Savings is over time instead of upfront cost savings. Less power and longer life make LEDs inexpensive in the long run. The only incandescent lighting is heat lamps, all other lighting is being replaced with LED technology. Even shop lights are converting from fluorescent to LED 48-inch bulbs. In time the only use of fluorescent light will be signage. The reason these bulbs are being phased out is each one contains a small amount of mercury which is toxic, making disposal problematical. A single bulb no problem, but 1000’s in a land fill, a problem.
Electrical Wiring, Energy Audits & More in Laguna Woods, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Lake Forest & Orange County, California
Designing electrical wiring is not necessarily easy or straight forward, best to consult with a certified electrician. Peterkin Electric can handle all your electrical needs. Contact us for a consultation today.