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  • Calling all electricians - I NEED HELP

    I have 2 nice powertools that I've been running on low amperage wires unknowingly for a while. I saw a 15 amp extension cord at HD and I purchased it. My tools had more OOMPF from the startup. Very good.

    Then I started blowing fuses. Blew 2 times to be exact. I went into box and opened to check amperage rating. ENTIRE BOX has 10 amp fuses GGGGGGGG. It's a 25 year old house with the one switch box in the basement with resettable fuses. I don't want to run my tools underpower and I don't want to keep blowing fuses.

    How big a deal is this to fix. Can I do anything myself or should I get an electrician. How much do you think this would cost.

    Thanks a bunch

    Jake

  • #2
    update.

    Box is not all 10 amp fuses. Box has circuit brekaers ranging from 15 - 50. My entire basement is under 1 15 amp fuse. I blew it out while running a boom box radio and 4 - 75 watt bulbs. Anyone know what I should be looking to do to correct?

    Jake

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    • #3
      What is the gauge of the wires in your house?

      Comment


      • #4
        First of all Im not a licenced electrician, but do know quite a bit about the electron flow. To start off, when you say you have 10amp resettable fuse. Do you mean a circuit breaker and not a pull out fuse type. Im not sure they even make a 10 amp circuit breaker. 15amp is the norm and then 20 depending on your load. It's fairly easy to wire a individul circuit by replacing the current circuit breaker with a larger one, providing the wiring is able to handle that load. I.e., a 15 amp circuit needs 14awg wire while a 20amp needs a 12awg wire. The wire should have a gauge stamp on the wire every few inches. If it's neither then you may have to fishe a new wire thru from the circuit breaker to your receptacle. If you just need a 110 volt source only 3 wires are needed but if you want to have a 220 volt then you need 4 wires. If you go to HD talk to one of the electrical guys, most are very knowledgable and they usually have atleast one licenced or previously electrician employed at each HD. They could recommened all the supplies needed, they also have a few good books there, wiring 1 2 3. That book has a lot of usful info and lots of pics to help exlpain the procedures. If all else fails you may need a electrician. It shouldn't cost more then 70 bucks for his hour's work plus whatever the supplies fee they charge. Or you can have the supplies ready for him from HD.

        Hope I didn't ramble on too much. Please feel free to email or reply with any clarification

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        • #5
          Yep, they circuit breakers and are over 15 amps and higher. There was a 10 next to each switch and someone from another site directed me to look at switch handles. They list amperage on the end of switches.

          However I still have my entire basement wired off one 15 amp fuse. All outlets including my basement lights. Is this bad? What should I have? I'm not very knowledgable in electricity except that I should turn on the switch and the difference between 220 and 110.

          appreciate the guestimate of cost to rewire. 70 bucks isnt' that bad. I may give him a call tomorrow.

          Jake

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          • #6
            Jake,

            If you could determine the size of circuit wire then probably you can change the fuse size. The thing to know is that the fuse has to protect the wire. If the wire is #14 you can use 15A fuse. If the wire is #12 then you can use 20A fuse.
            If you can't determine the wire size then hire a reputable electrician.

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            • #7
              Is there a way I can do that without zapping myself? I have zinged myself once or twice with the outlet. Not a big fan. something about the muscles in my forearm tightening til they feel they're gonna rip off my bone isn't one of my favorites.. LOL

              I've never messed with a utility box before but I am semi handy. Whatcha think?

              Jake

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              • #8
                Almost forgot. If I were to swap this fuse out with a 20 amper. Would this cover my needs? or do you think I need a dedicated outlet for different tools / etc. I never am runnign more than one tool at a time. But do have lights & boom box running while I work

                Biggest motor draws 15 amps on my TS.

                Jake

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                • #9
                  Jake, just because your basement is wired off of a 15 amp circuit isn't necessarily a bad thing. If there are only outlets and lights on that paticular circuit, your probably just fine. 1st, identify the wire size on that circuit. Next, identify everything that is fed from the base ment circuit. What appliances are in your basement? Where is your washing machine? Do you have freezer down there?

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                  • #10
                    Jake, another question is weather there are any free spaces left over in your electrical panel...you would have a metal knockout available if there is free space. This is where you would put in another circuit breaker and wire in another receptacle. This would be the easiest way and give you the desired outlet dedicated for your power tool(s). Again if it's a 15 amp you desire you'll need 14awg wire, just enough to run from the circuit breaker to the new outlet, or if you want 20amps then you'll need 12awg wire. It looks like your probably satisified with 110 vols, then just 3 wires are needed.Let us know if you have an extra space in your panel.

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                    • #11
                      You have Romex or Bx? Code is different in each state, town, or village.

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                      • #12
                        Lots of free spaces. At least 7.

                        I also just found out we have a 220 volt wire not being used. replaced 220 volt dreyer with a gas dreyer a while back.

                        Anybody run their tools at 220? Are there any considerations / complications I should consider if that's an option I want to explore.; I know my CS can be wired 220. Not sure about my Delta bandsaw. it's the 28-276.

                        Jake

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                        • #13
                          Jake,

                          I have always found it useful to have lights and tools on sepearate circuit. Blow a fuse and the lights are still on, lights don't dim on every tool use. I added a 20 amp circuit for the tools, 12 gauge wire and 20 amp outlets. The panel is nothing to fool with if you are uncertain of what not to touch. Always be aware of what you are about to touch. If you have the whole house switch in the panel throw it before toching anything. If you touch the wrong thing in the panel it will be more than a little zap! Keep someone around with a piece of 2x4 to shove you off of the panel when you begin to light up lol.

                          Check around for circuit with very little on them a couple of upstairs lights or outlets. Many times its easier to wire into underutilized circutis if access is easier.

                          For an electrician just to show up it will be pushing a couple hundred bucks.

                          Chris

                          Chris

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                          • #14
                            220 is most desirable.

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                            • #15
                              I think I'm gonna call electrician. I do need to decide what I want him to do though. 220 wiring or 110? Any suggestions which one everyone would choose and why?

                              I will be calling him Wednesday so need to know by then.

                              Jake

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