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Category: Electrical
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Experience:  29 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
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# I'm trying to determine whether we have enough amps left on

### Customer Question

Hi Pearl. I'm trying to determine whether we have enough amps left on our house circuit to run a water feature & some small lighting outside. The circuit is also running our kitchen refrigerator/freezer!
JA: Sometimes electrical issues that that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Electrician I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so we can help you best.
Customer: OK! It's a 20-amp circuit, a rock-waterfall-type feature yet to be determined, and some modest, probably LED or low voltage lighting. The house circuit, as I mentioned, runs our 30-year-old app 20-cubic foot refrigerator/freezer (Amana) and a few light outlets in the small, rarely used dining room.
JA: Anything else I can tell the Electrician before I connect you two?
Customer: What else info may I provide or research?
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the \$5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Electrician about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Depending upon the size of the fridge compressor motor due to the initial motor start-up and the waterfall and all lighting, the circuit may be nearing boarder line of it's amp capacity.

2) The correct method to determine the amount of unused amps on the existing circuit is to turn all of the LOADS to the ON position and run them simultaneously. Then use a clamp-on amp meter at the 20 amp branch circuit breaker hot wire and measure the circuit ampacity under a Full Load. A 20 amp circuit that is cord and plug connected should not be loaded greater than 16 amps. The clamp-on amp meter should be measured upon the initial fridge motor start-up as well as when the compressor motor shuts off in order to get an accurate measurement.

3) Once the measured ampacity is known, subtract that value from 16 amps and that would be the remaining amount of amps that are available on the 20 amp branch circuit.

Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

1) Shown in the link below is a typical clamp-on amp meter. These are sold at any Home Depot, Lowe's or an electrical supply store.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-LCD-Digital-Clamp-Meter-MS2033C/206288136

2) In addition, any exterior cord & plug connected lighting or if the waterfall will be outside, GFCI protection is required.

Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks................Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks...............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks...............Kevin:)