How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steve G. Your Own Question

Steve G.
Steve G., Electrical Engineer
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 16796
Experience:  27 years in Electrical Engineering, designing electrical plans and specifications.
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Steve G. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We use an outlet in the bedroom for a space heater, in addition

Resolved Question:

We use an outlet in the bedroom for a space heater, in addition to other things. The space heater trips the circuit breaker. Could the amp on the breaker be increased (now 15)? Or could some things be moved from that circuit to another? The heater is rated 1500 watts and I am now using it with an extension cord to another outlet in the bedroom – not very satisfactory. The electrical panel is rated for 200 amps.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Steve G. replied 10 months ago.
If the breaker is 15A you are overloading it with a 1500w heater. Breakers are not meant to be loaded more than 80%. 80% of 15A is 12A. 12A at 120V is 1440Watts.

So, I would stop using that heater.

If (and only if) your outlet wiring is run in #12 wiring, you can up the breaker and EVERY RECEPTACLE on that circuit to 20A devices. If the wiring is #14 which I suspect it is, you can't upsize that breaker.

But for now, I would strongly suggest you stop using that heater unless you can run it at say 50%.

I'll be here if you need further help with this issue. Please let me know.

Regards
Steve
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I opened another switch to check the wiring size. It is #14 so I suppose it is consistent with the rest of the normal outlets and switches (disregarding heavy duty appliances.) That having been said, I note that the heater has its own breaker. As I mentioned, I have been using it with a heavy-duty extension cord to an outlet where neither the panel breaker nor the appliance breaker is tripped. I presume that the only other demands on that outlet and other connections to the particular panel breaker are lamps. Notwithstanding its usability in those circumstances, is it unsafe? I suppose that the maximum wattage for a heater on 15 amp is 1440 less some allowance for other items on that breaker.

Expert:  Steve G. replied 10 months ago.
The heater having its own breaker is not going to protect your wiring. It is going to protect the heater.

What you're doing is technically unsafe. You are overloading your circuit beyond it's design capabilities. Even the circuit that isn't tripping is going to be getting warm.

Either use a smaller heater or keep this one at half power if that is possible.

I'll be here if you need further help with this issue. Please let me know.

Regards
Steve
Steve G., Electrical Engineer
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 16796
Experience: 27 years in Electrical Engineering, designing electrical plans and specifications.
Steve G. and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mikepettinato/2009-9-4_41145_DSC005132.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/WI/WireitUp/2012-6-17_18212_Photo00006.64x64.jpg Jason's Avatar

    Jason

    Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3278
    Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MikeG2010/2012-6-7_192640_IMG01612.64x64.jpg Mike G.'s Avatar

    Mike G.

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5318
    Proven Professional 45 years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/AssuredElectrical/2011-9-13_221243_me.64x64.gif AssuredElectrical's Avatar

    AssuredElectrical

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2149
    Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/electrifier/2008-12-16_200429_headbob1.jpg electrifier's Avatar

    electrifier

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1454
    Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1115
    Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UR/urelectrician/2012-9-28_223652_JustAnswerPic.64x64.jpg Kevin's Avatar

    Kevin

    Licensed Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    993
    27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector